Following NFU campaigning, changes are being introduced to the border inspection regime for young plants which could save British growers thousands.
A flat-rate inspection fee of around £27 is being introduced for all young plant imports, regardless of their destination. This is reduced from around £200.
The NFU had highlighted to Defra the unfairness of the previous inspection regime, which charged an inspection fee of around £20 for plants destined for retail.
NFU horticulture and potatoes board chairman Martin Emmett said: “This is a significant victory for growers, which will save them thousands of pounds and move away from an inspection regime that unfairly penalised growers importing plants.
“This is a great example of the government understanding growers’ concerns and finding a practical solution that works for both growers and retailers.
“While it is only temporary until the cost of the plant import process post-Brexit can be fully assessed, I know growers will be pleased with this announcement, particularly given the backdrop of rapid inflation increasing costs.
“There remains work to be done on other border issues, such as handling charges at ports1, and the NFU is continuing to receive clarification on these as soon as possible.”