Growers in England and Wales allowed to import Dutch seed potatoes

Published: January 20, 2022

Seed potatoes England
Photo: APH Group

Growers of ware potatoes in England and Wales are allowed to import seed potatoes directly from the Netherlands.

At the request of the Dutch Potato Organization (NAO), the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) has investigated the possibilities for exporting Dutch seed potatoes to the United Kingdom. One of the suggested options, direct import by growers in England and Wales without putting seed potatoes on the market locally, appears to be possible.

Jan Gottschall (NAO)
Jan Gottschall (NAO)

Country document amended
NVWA bases this conclusion on information provided by NAO and its members, says Jan Gottschall, secretary seed potatoes and policy specialist at NAO. Based on cases and questions asked, NVWA has amended the country document mid-January 2022. The document now states that seed potatoes may be supplied to ware potato growers who are themselves importers.

Import seed potatoes directly
The British Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) indicates that ware potato growers may import seed potatoes directly from the Netherlands to England and Wales. In this case, the ware potato grower must be the importer and may not put the imported seed potatoes on the market. In addition, a phytosanitary certificate is required for imports, which must state, among other things, that the seed potatoes are free of potato ring rot and brown rot, explains the NAO secretary.

Protected area and Schotland
Within the protected area in Northern England, the direct import of seed potatoes is only possible if the area to be planted is less than 0.1 hectare, or if the seed potatoes are intended for planting for the production of early potatoes. The direct import option for England and Wales is not applicable in Scotland, where growers are only allowed to plant seed potatoes that have been marketed under the Seed Potato (Scotland) Regulations 2015. This is not the case when the seed potatoes are directly imported by the grower.