Changes in exception and expiry practices for phytosanitary certificates

January 19/2024

According to the plant health legislation the authorities must have the possibility to inspect an export consignment before their departure. If an export consignment is taken outside the country before submitting an export notification, the authorities cannot conduct their statutory supervisory activities. By law, an export notification must be submitted at least 14 days before exports.

Plant health certificates will no longer be granted if an application for a plant health certificate is only submitted after the relevant export consignment has already departed Finland. The existence of any export readiness is irrelevant. This practice will enter into force on 1 February 2024.

As an exception, a plant health certificate can be issued after a consignment has departed in situations where the final quantity of an export consignment – in the case of cereals or timber – is clarified after loading. In this case, the plant health certificate can be dated for the loading date. As a result, information about the consignment quantity must be submitted to the Finnish Food Authority by the following working day. This practice will remain in force until the end of 2024.

After this, plant health certificates will no longer be dated retroactively but phytosanitary certificates may be replaced at the request of an exporter for a consignment for which a phytosanitary certificate has already been issued. This change has been made because the Finnish Food Authority is about to deploy the EU’s electronic plant health certification system (TRACES). In the system, plant health certificates cannot be dated retroactively. The date of issuance will always be set as the date of the certificate. The same updating policy applies in the Teto system.

The Finnish Food Authority will announce more information about the changes and the deployment of the electronic plant health certificate system during 2024 by email, on its website and in the Teto system.


More information:
Senior Specialist Liisa Vihervuori, tel. +358 (0) 40 057 1060
Head of Section Annika Wickström, tel. +358 (0) 50 471 1455