Phytosanitary controls at import

Objectives

Phytosanitary control is an inspection procedure applicable to plants and plant products when they are imported.

The objective is to implement all measures for protection against the introduction of pests harmful to plants and plant products into the Community and against their spread within the European Union (EU).

Related products

Phytosanitary controls apply to plants and plant products. They also apply to some wood packaging materials.

In addition to usual control measures, if shipments of plants, plant products or potentially contaminated articles from a third country are likely to constitute a threat for the European Union, the Member States or the European Commission may take temporary emergency measures.

These measures consist in restricting imports from that third country, depending on the plants and/or plant products affected, the harmful pests concerned and/or the specific geographical areas concerned. These measures are temporary because they may be revoked when the harmful pest is eradicated.

Execution steps

Any company that imports plants or plant products must be registered with the Luxembourg Trade and Companies Register.

Some plants and plant products must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate delivered by the competent authorities of the exporting country. This phytosanitary certificate must be an original that was issued no later than 14 days before the goods left the territory of the exporting country.

The Administration of Agricultural Technical Services (ASTA) must be notified beforehand of the arrival of these goods.

In Luxembourg, the inspection is carried out at the first point of arrival in the EU by the ASTA. The two points of arrival on the territory of Luxembourg are the following:

  • the Luxembourg airport, the Air Navigation Administration
  • the customs center at Gasperich.

The inspection takes place in three phases:

  • a documentary inspection to make sure that the required documents are present, properly completed and in accordance with the transport document or the invoices relating to the consignments concerned
  • an identity control to make sure that the real composition of the shipment matches what is indicated in the documents
  • a physical phytosanitary control to make sure that the shipment is free from harmful plant pests.

If the goods are compliant, the ASTA will give its authorization from a phytosanitary point of view to allow them to enter the European market.

The ASTA invoices for phytosanitary inspection fees.  

Note: If the products are going to be shipped to EU Member States with which Luxembourg has bilateral agreements (Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands), the ASTA does not conduct any identity or physical control of the goods if the goods are delivered to a destination that has been approved as a place of inspection by the phytosanitary authorities of the destination country.  Only a documentary inspection is conducted by Customs on behalf of ASTA. A Plant Health Movement Document  is then delivered to authorize the goods to be transported to an approved place of destination.

The identity control and the physical phytosanitary control are then conducted at that place of destination. The goods are released for free circulation only after this final inspection in that Member State.

Related organizations

The Administration of Agricultural Technical Services conducts the phytosanitary controls on plants and plant products.

All companies that import plants and plant products must submit these goods to phytosanitary control.

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