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Preparing for Brexit - information for the Florists

Latest Brexit update Jan 2019

With a parliament vote on the Brexit deal taking place on Tuesday 15th January we have simply outlined some points that may relate to the florist industry.

Please note that these details, listed below, may apply to your wholesalers and not you directly as an individual business, but it is important that you should be aware of any changes that could affect your business in the near future.

Be aware that there will be changes after the 29th March 2019.


'The Deal' or 'The Withdrawal agreement' which is also being called the 'divorce deal' is only working out HOW the UK leaves the EU, NOT what happens afterwards.

If the deal goes through, the Transition Period then starts and runs from the 29th March - 31st Dec 2020 it's during this time that the EU & UK make the trade deals. A deal simply means a smoother journey during the negotiation period.



"No deal" means the UK would have failed to agree a withdrawal agreement. Depending on Governments 'Plan B'. If Parliament rejects 'The Deal', the government will have three (Parliamentary working) days to come up with 'Plan B'.

No Deal would mean there would be no transition period after 29 March 2019, and EU laws would stop applying to the UK immediately! The UK would be considered a ‘third country’ along with 97 other countries not in the EU.

Whilst it is unknown what this may be, the most likely outcome could be the request from government for an extension of article 50 – this is not guaranteed.


  • Possible delays at the border as inspections take place (the Dutch are beginning trials over January and February)
  • A need to place your orders earlier than you do at present time, i.e. 2-4 days
  • WTO tariffs added to flower and plant costs via the wholesaler (the minimum is 4% the maximum is 12%)
  • Extra charges for flowers on top of tariffs for the inspection process and delivery.

What you could do?

Check with your wholesalers/importers that they have certification to trade with the EU. In the event of no deal there will be an influx of certifications requested. It would be wise to be prepared. The certification is called P.E.A.C.H (see below for full explanation)

A NO DEAL scenario

  • There will be a plant health inspection for certain EU imports. This includes some cut flowers. There will be check centres at either the truck ‘first place of delivery’ in the UK or designated regional check centres.
  • Customs clearance required for EU imports.
  • New tariff regime in absence of free trade agreements. 4-12%
  • Plant and plant product health inspection and customs clearance for third country imports transiting the EU
  • Delays for importing plants and cut flowers
  • Increased costs due to tariffs, the transport and checks.


A DEAL scenario.

  • The government will need to negotiate a beneficial trade agreement with the EU/third countries (97 countries outside of the EU).  This will be executed within the transition period.
  • There will be a better tariff deal.
  • More efficient and cost -effective customs clearance.
  • Lighter plant health inspections (which also includes some flowers that may have been flown into UK from third countries outside of EU)
  • Maintain access to global labour markets and temporary workforce
  • Maintain biosecurity at UK border
  • Assure mutual recognition of standards and regulations.

Has your importer/ wholesaler registered on the PEACH website?

Importing plants and plant products from the EU

After the UK leaves the EU, any plants and plant products currently managed under the EU plant passport scheme will be subject to UK import controls. When you import controlled plants or plant products, you’ll need to:

  • register as an importer using the PEACH website for England and Wales
  • the process is different if you’re in Scotland and Northern Ireland
  • provide pre-arrival notification using the PEACH website
  • make sure a controlled consignment enters the UK with a phytosanitary certificate (PC) issued in the country of export (or re-export)
  • upload scanned copies of your PC and other relevant documents (for example bill of landing, cargo movement request, or delivery company invoice to the PEACH website)
  • supply the original copy of the PC within 3 days of your consignment reaching the UK via post.

Notice periods for imports

You must give notice to the relevant plant health authority each time you bring a consignment to the UK for:

  • consignments brought in by air - 4 working hours
  • consignment being brought in by another route - 3 working days


Other sources of information include:

  • Department for Environment food and rural affairs
  • HMRC
  • The BBC news website
  • FPC – Fresh Produce Consortium
  • HTA – Horticultural Trade Association



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