The seed potato import derogation has ended - what happens now?

The derogation allowing the import of EU seed potatoes to 30 June 2021 has now expired, meaning that it is now prohibited to import EU seed potatoes into the UK. A similar prohibition on the export of GB seed potatoes to the EU and NI has been in place since 1 January 2021.

The NFU understands that there are specific exemptions for scientific research purposes, and there is also scope for EU member states to apply to the UK for either individual or collective equivalency authorisations in the future. This would allow for the restarting of imports from certain parts of the EU that are deemed equivalent by the UK government. You can find out more about the policy around seed potatoes at Defra's Plant Varieties and Seeds – UK Plant Health Information Portal.

What is the NFU doing for members on this issue?

The NFU has been working closely with Defra, industry, and European farming organisations, calling for the EU and UK to seek practical solutions which allow this important trade between both parties to reopen. The NFU will also be working to understand the impacts of this approach on growers and what support may be necessary from both government and the supply chain.