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FRUIT AND VEGETABLES

Alinea Customs provide a guide to the Horticultural Marketing Inspectorate and obtaining a certificate of conformity.

The top ten most frequently traded fruit and vegetables are subject to the Specific Marketing Standards (SMS) controls, to ensure conformity of produce. Download our list of fresh products covered by the SMS.

Whilst EU produce is currently subject to waiver, the Horticultural Marketing Inspectorate (HMI) and Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) will carry out some quality and labelling checks on fruit and vegetables inland.

Imports of fruit and vegetables from outside of the EU will:

  • be checked routinely at the GB border

HMI inspects imports in England and Wales. SASA inspects imports in Scotland.

If HMI or SASA decide to check your consignment, they’ll tell you that you need to apply for a GB-issued certificate of conformity for your consignment.

To apply for a certificate of conformity:

  • use the IPAFFS if you’re importing into England and Wales - the system has recently moved from PEACH

  • contact SASA if you’re importing into Scotland


All goods which have to meet the Specific Marketing Standard (SMS) need a certificate of conformity before they can enter Great Britain.


You’ll need a GB-issued certificate of conformity unless your SMS consignment meets both of the following criteria:

  • it’s from a country that has GB Approved Inspection Service (AIS) status

  • it’s accompanied by a valid certificate of conformity issued by the country of production

For further information, please contact the team at Alinea Customs.

Countries with Approved Inspection Status

You’ll need a GB-issued certificate of conformity unless your SMS consignment meets both of the following criteria:

  • it’s from a country that has GB Approved Inspection Service (AIS) status

  • it’s accompanied by a valid certificate of conformity issued by the country of production


The following countries and products have GB AIS status:

  • India (all fresh fruit and vegetables)

  • Israel (all fresh fruit and vegetables)

  • Kenya (all fresh fruit and vegetables)

  • Morocco (all fresh fruit and vegetables)

  • New Zealand (apples, pears and kiwi fruit)

  • Senegal (all fresh fruit and vegetables)

  • South Africa (all fresh fruit and vegetables)

  • Switzerland (all fresh fruit and vegetables apart from citrus fruit)

  • Turkey (all fresh fruit and vegetables)


Most imports accompanied by a certificate of conformity from countries with GB AIS status do not need routine quality and labelling (marketing standards) checks.


HMI or SASA will inspect a small sample at random to make sure that goods comply with the quality and labelling rules.


Some goods that have to meet the General Marketing Standard (GMS) will be checked to make sure they meet quality and labelling requirements.


If HMI or SASA decide to check your consignment, you’ll need to apply for a GB-issued certificate of conformity.


To apply for a certificate of conformity:


You must apply for a certificate of conformity for GMS goods on PEACH even if you’re importing from a country that has AIS status and you have a certificate of conformity that’s issued by that country.

In 2022, the PEACH system will be changing to a new IT system called IPAFFS. You’ll get an invitation to register for IPAFFS. You should continue to use PEACH for import pre-notifications until then.

Alinea Customs can use PEACH - which will be migrated to IPAFFS into 2022, on behalf of your company to obtain a certificate of conformity. For further information, please contact our team.