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Statutory Notification Scheme for importing solid fuel wood (firewood) into England and Scotland

From 1 January 2017, a statutory notification scheme requires that all imports into Great Britain1 of non-regulated solid fuel wood (in the form of logs, kindling, twigs, billets or faggots) from the European Union and third countries, plus all regulated solid fuel wood material from the EU, be notified to the Forestry Commission before they are landed.

The information obtained will help determine the level of pest risk represented by the trade in fuel wood. We are concerned that there could be fuel wood imports which do not meet landing requirements, and which might carry a risk of introducing harmful tree pests and diseases into the UK. We carried out a consultation between March and June 2015 on a proposal to amend the Plant Health (Forestry) Order 2005 to introduce a statutory notification scheme for importing solid fuel wood (firewood) into England and Scotland. The outcome of the consultation was published in January 2016, and confirmed the decision to introduce the notification scheme.

We recommend that potential importers of firewood read the guidance to familiarise themselves with the differences between regulated and non-regulated material.

This scheme applies to imports into England and Scotland. All relevant consignments, irrespective of size/weight, must be notified. Notification allows us to monitor the extent of the solid fuel wood import market where data is not already captured and, if necessary, to carry out risk-based and random inspections of consignments to ensure that they meet GB landing requirements.

1. England, Scotland and Wales


Before you start to notify us of import consignments you must enrol with us by completing our on-line form.

You will be provided with an enrolment number which can be used in further correspondence. Although enrolment is not compulsory, importers are encouraged to enrol.


There are two options for notifying us:

Once you have completed and submitted the form for each new consignment, you will be sent an automated email reply with a unique reference number for that consignment. Please use this number in any correspondence with us.

For each consignment, please print the form (if necessary), complete it (manually or electronically) and either send it as an email attachment to or post it to:

Plant Health Service
Forestry Commission
Silvan House
231 Corstorphine Road
EH12 7AT

Key Points

For sea freight and consignments coming via the Channel Tunnel you should send your notification form at least three working days before the material is expected to be landed. For consignments arriving by air, at least four working hours' notice must be provided.

Notification of landing is a statutory requirement. Failure to comply will be seen as a contravention of the Plant Health (Forestry) Order 2005 as amended.


Most of the information required in the notification form is self-explanatory, but these notes are provided for clarification.

  1. Estimated date of arrival – enter the estimated date of material landing at a port or airport in England and Scotland
  2. Place of arrival – enter the specific port/airport/Channel Tunnel terminus in England or Scotland where the material will be arriving. This should be the first point of arrival in the country of final destination. You should be as specific as possible: some ports, such as Humber, cover a number of locations including Hull, Immingham, Grimbsby and Goole, so specify exact ports if known. This might also be the location of any inspection by a plant health inspector if it is deemed necessary, although inspections might also take place at the first destination.
  3. Name of importer – enter the full name of the importer.
  4. Address of importer – enter a detailed postal address, including postcode.
  5. Address of first destination after landing – enter the details, including a postcode, of the first destination point after landing at a port or airport in England or Scotland. This could be a distribution centre or a final destination for the consignment, depending on the importer's requirements.
  6. The shipping container number or numbers, if appropriate.
  7. Genus and species – ideally, botanical names of tree species should be stated where they are known. If not, common names are acceptable. Some botanical names of tree species frequently used for firewood are given below.

    Common name
    Botanical name
    Norway Spruce  Picea abies
    Sitka spruce  Picea sitchensis
    Scots pine  Pinus sylvestris
    Corsican pine  Pinus nigra
    European larch  Larix decidua
    Japanese larch  Larix kaempferi
    Hybrid larch  Larix eurolepsis
    Douglas fir  Pseudotsuga menziesii
    Silver fir  Abies alba
    Western red cedar  Thuja plicata

    Common name
    Botanical name
    Ash Fraxinus
    Oak Quercus
    Birch Betula
    Willow Salix
    Maple/Sycamore Acer
    Beech Fagus
    Chestnut Castanea
    Alder Alnus
    Poplar/Aspen Populus

  8. Type of material being imported  – enter whether the solid fuel wood is in the form of logs, kindling, twigs, billets or faggots.
  9. Quantity – enter the quantity in tonnes as accurately as is feasible.
  10. Country where the material is imported from – enter the country from where the solid fuel wood was last moved. (Note that this is not necessarily the country where the firewood was grown.)
  11. Country where the material was grown – enter the country where the wood was originally grown and harvested.
  12. Phyto-sanitary treatments – enter details of the phyto-sanitary (palnt health) treatments, if any, which might have been applied to the solid fuel wood or associated wood packaging material if present, before export. (I.e. treatments undertaken to comply with ISPM15 requirements for third-country and certain EU country imports). Examples include bark freedom, heat treatment and kiln drying.
  13. Exporting company name and address – enter the full name and address of the exporting company of that species.
Last updated: 30th December 2017