Plants and plant products

What is Traces?

Traces is short for Trade Control and Expert System. Traces was developed to ensure the traceability and control of live animals and plants and animal, organic and plant products, among others things, both in intra-Union trade between EU-countries and in imports from non-EU-countries. The system is maintained by the European Commission.

Further information about the Traces system is available under the following links:

Traces will be introduced gradually in Finland in the import of plants and plant products

The Traces system will be introduced gradually in the import of plants, plant products and timber. Currently, the majority of the import consignments of plants intended for planting are recorded in the Traces system, as is part of the import consignments of timber imported from Russia and from countries other than Russia. The objective is that the majority of import consignments will be migrated to Traces during the autumn of 2019.
Following the adoption of the new Plant Health Regulation (EU/2016/2031), the use of the system is mandatory as of 14 December 2019. Importers are advised to take into account that after the aforementioned date, each import consignment for which a phytosanitary certificate is required must be recorded in the Traces system (Phytosanitary certificate requirements pdf).

Effects of the introduction of the Traces system on the import process

The biggest change in the process of importing plants, plant products and timber is that the importer or the forwarding agent representing the importer completes the CHED-PP (Common Health Entry Document for Plants, Plant Products and Plant propagating material) in the Traces System. Step-by-step instructions for completing the CHED-PP are provided on the Commission website:
Create a new CHED-PP in a few steps...

The introduction of a new system always involves unforeseen situations. We at the Plant Health Unit of the Finnish Food Authority endeavour to take the particularities of different importers into account when we plan the introduction of the system. Please note, however, that at the early stage, the use of the system may increase the time needed for the import process, and thus the costs incurred. Be sure to take this into account in your operations. We will be in touch with major importers and forwarding agents during 2019, and we will work with companies to streamline the import processes. The Finnish Food Authority recommends that if the import volume of the importer is high, the company should start using Traces before the mandatory deadline.

How do I become a plant health Traces user?

Instructions for applying for personal Traces user credentials can be found from the Finnish Food Authority website. Personal user credentials are always applied for a specific company engaged in import or forwarding operations. The first person who applies for Traces user credentials for a company is automatically the Traces administrator for that company. From then on, companies are required to manage the Traces user credentials by themselves.

The Plant Health Unit of the Finnish Food Authority has already set up in Traces the companies engaged in import or forwarding operations. However, in case your company is not found from the system, submit your company information (company name, business identity code and contact details) to kasvinterveys.traces@ruokavirasto.fi. After receiving your declaration, the Finnish Food Authority will confirm when the personal user credentials can be applied for.

Please note that before starting any import operations, the company must see to it that it is duly registered with the plant protection register (in Finnish) and EORI register. Instructions for EORI registration can be found from the Customs website. EORI registration is required before any customs declarations can be lodged.

Training

Training sessions related to Traces have been arranged for forwarders and importers in Lappeenranta on 10 October 2019 and in Helsinki on 1 November 2019. Training material available here (pdf)

Advice and guidance  

We kindly request you send any questions and feedback related to the Traces system at: kasvinterveys.traces@ruokavirasto.fi