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Potato inspectionScotland's potato production enjoys an excellent plant health reputation and is free of several damaging disease including, potato brown rot, potato ring rot and Dickeya species. The maintenance of this record is vitally important to the Scottish potato industry. A key measure to prevent new diseases becoming established is to monitor potatoes entering the country and check them for any infection or infestation.

The following notification requirements are in place:

Statutory notification of all non-Scottish seed potatoes, including those from other parts of the UK.

Statutory notification of ware potatoes from Poland and Romania, due to the high level of ring rot outbreaks.  Portugal and Spain to minimise the risk of introducing (Epitrix (flea beetle) species)

Stakeholders have been advised that strengthened national measures have been introduced which means anyone bringing seed and ware potatoes into England or Scotland from Spain (excluding the Balearic Islands and Epitrix demarcated zones) should be aware that these potatoes must be washed so that there is no more than 0.1% of soil remaining.  The aim is to kill or remove any Epitrix which might be present, as well as removing soil in which some life stages of the pest could be present.  These measures were decided following a public consultation. Importers must supply the details stated below.

If you are planning to bring in non-Scottish seed potatoes, or Polish, Romanian, Portuguese and Spanish ware potatoes, to Scotland you should contact your local Area Office, or email: php@gov.scot at least 48 hours prior to arrival and provide the following details:

  • the proposed time, date and means of arrival of the potatoes;
  • the proposed point of entry;
  • the proposed destination;
  • the variety;
  • the quantity of potatoes; and
  • the producers identification number or reference number of lot

Alternatively you can complete this form and pass it to your local area office.

SASA will carry out a risk assessment and, if necessary, make arrangements with the local Area Office for samples of the material to be taken and tested for potato brown rot, potato ring rot and Dickeya before planting. There is no charge for this service.

Egyptian Potatoes

Ware potatoes from Egypt may only be imported into Scotland if they comply with specific import conditions including that they come from pest free areas (PFA), have been handled at certified packing stations and exported by an officially registered exporter.  Imports of Egyptian ware potatoes are also subject to testing for brown rot.  The fee for this must be paid for by the importer.  Companies who may be interested in packing, washing or processing Egyptian potatoes please contact your local RPID are office as annual authorisation is also required.

Separation of Seed and Ware Potatoes

There is also a provision included in the Seed Potatoes (Scotland) Regulations 2015 which relates to the separation of seed and ware potatoes.  This provision is in place to protect the health of seed potatoes, particularly from the devastating disease brown rot and ring rot, by controlling their contact with farm saved seed potatoes, ware potatoes and with any plant, machinery, equipment, container, store or vehicle previoulsy used in the production of ware potatoes.

A letter and application form, to apply for exemption, have been sent to all potato growers, growers' co-operative and potato processors, washers and packers in Scotland.  If you need to apply for exemption from the provisions the application form should be complete and retruned to your local RPID office.