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Timber and wood import and export contacts

Contact us

Mon-Thursday 9am-5pm

Fridays 9am-4pm

The main office of our cross-border Plant Health Service is in Edinburgh, where the Head and Deputy Head of Plant Health and the Operations Manager are based.

Two regional managers direct the activities of contract plant health inspectors at the main points of entry and at registered premises throughout Great Britain.

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

T: 0300 067 5155
F: 0131 316 4344

Operations Manager
Ian Brownlee
Address as above

T: 0300 067 5034
M: 07831 159014

Regional Manager (North)
Ian Murgatroyd

T: 0300 067 6523
M: 07767 251379

Regional Manager (South)
Nick Hazlitt

M: 07799 657417


Note: The points of entry listed below are only the main ones used for landing plant health-controlled items. See the full list of all points of entry for details of the others.

Inverness, Peterhead, Aberdeen or Montrose:

Stephen O’Kane
M: 07748 094968
T: 01343 543165
E: stephen.o'

Grangemouth, Greenock, Inverkeithing, Leith, Methil Perth, Dundee and Rosyth, and Edinburgh and Glasgow Airports:

Speedy Group Services Ltd
M: 07773 014517
Liverpool, Birkenhead, Garston, Bromborough, Tyne, Sunderland, Seaham, Hartlepool, Tees, Teesport, and Manchester Airport:

John Reid
M: 07961 437264

Hull, Goole, Immingham, Grimsby, New Holland, Barrowhaven, Flixborough, Gunness Wharf and Keadby:

Paul Gibson
M: 07878 794279

Gavin Fry
M: 07768 721892

North Thames - Tilbury, Ipswich, Mistely, Harwich, Creaksea (Baltic Wharf), Brightlingsea, and Stansted Airport

Adam O’Hanlon
F: 0208 445 9438
M: 07938 502193


Steve Hoyle, Roland Fry, Keith Whitlock
F: 01394 303344
M: 07813 216097

Cardiff, Barry, Port Talbot, Swansea, Neath, Newport, Bristol (Avonmouth), Sharpness, Pembroke, Portbury:

Sid Martin
T/F: 01792 863344
M: 07816 215066

Teignmouth, Plymouth, Par, Newquay, Pembroke:

Chris Marrow
T: 01626 833981
M: 07816 123450

Southampton, Poole, and London Heathrow and Gatwick Airports:

Paul Radigan, Alistair Wilson
F: 02380 775195
M: 07702 363541

South Thames - Thamesport, Sheerness, Rochester, Chatham, Ridham, Dover, Shoreham, London Gateway, and Stansted Airport

Adam O’Hanlon
F: 0208 445 9438
M: 07938 502193

Boston, Sutton Bridge, King’s Lynn and Wisbeach:

Roland Fry
F: 01394 303344
M: 07813 216097

East Midland Airport:

Plant Health Service
T: 0300 067 5155

Northern Ireland - Belfast, Warrenpoint and Lisahally:

Afforestation & Plant Health
Forest Service
Dundonald House
Upper Newtownards Road
Belfast BT4 3SB

T: 0289 052 4870


The UK Plant Health Services comprise Defra (supported by the Animal & Plant Health Agency - APHA), the Forestry Commission, and the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. They work with international bodies to agree appropriate plant health rules and co-ordinate their implementation.

Operational responsibilities in regulated forestry material are held by:

  • Forestry Commission cross-border Plant Health Service - wood, wood products and bark;
  • APHA - forest tree plants and seed intended for planting in England and Wales
  • The Scottish Government - forest tree plants and seed intended for planting in Scotland

Forestry Commission Plant Health Service Standards

Our aim is to protect Britain’s trees and forests against quarantine pests and diseases and to do so in a way which minimises burdens and restrictions on trade. To achieve these we:

  • enforce rules for the importation of forest material (wood, wood products and bark);
  •  comply with government principles of better regulation; and
  • work closely with stakeholders to find effective and proportionate ways of dealing with threats.

By delivering these actions we contribute to the Forestry Commission’s mission of ‘protecting and expanding Britain's forests and woodlands and increasing their value to society and the environment'.

We provide advice on import regulations for forest material, and supply export phytosanitary (plant health) certificates to meet the import requirements of countries outside the EU. We charge fees for certain services, including supplying export certificates and inspecting imports of regulated material.

We maintain close links with the forestry and timber-processing sectors, and work to develop solutions to accommodate new or changing needs in the marketplace.

Our commitment to you

Our inspectors will always carry official authorisation cards as identification, and make themselves known to you by name in both written and oral correspondence.

When examining your premises, goods or records, and recording your details, we will keep your business affairs confidential unless you agree otherwise.

We will try to carry out our work with minimum disruption to you and your business.

When asking for your co-operation, we will help to make a clear distinction between statutory requirements and advice on good practice.

We will provide information to help keep you informed of changes in the relevant legislation, outbreaks of infestations and other plant health matters. We do this through free newsletters, which are issued regularly to registered forestry traders and published on line for other interested parties.

We operate to precautionary principles, and in some situations immediate action may be required to prevent the potential spread or introduction of quarantine forestry pests or diseases. We will do our utmost to ensure that any disruption to your business in these situations is kept to a minimum.

Our Standards

The Plant Health Service team aims to:

  • answer all telephone enquiries promptly. If the first person you speak to (other than the operator) cannot deal with your query, you will be passed to someone who can. If there is no one immediately available to answer your query, we will do our best to respond within one working day;
  • answer all written correspondence (including emails and faxes) within three working days of receipt. If this proves impossible we will let you know why, and tell you when we expect to be able to give you a full reply. For email correspondence, if the person to whom you sent it is away you will get an ‘out of office’ auto-reply telling you when they will be back and offering an alternative contact;
  • inspect regulated consignments from a non-EU country, whether shipped in bulk or containerised, on the day of notification by you or your agent, provided that it is ready and safe for examination, or on the next working day*;
  • issue a Certificate of Clearance for those consignments meeting statutory import requirements within four working hours of the end of an inspection, comprising documentary, identity and physical checks*; and
  • provide an inspection service from 9am–5pm Monday to Friday. Our Plant Health Managers will also provide a service outside these hours when you request it in advance, and the plant health inspector who will carry out the examination has agreed to do so. (Note that some inspections can only be conducted properly in daylight.)

*If this proves impossible we will let you know why, and what we are doing to resolve it.


The Plant Health Service complies with the Cabinet Office Code of Practice on consultation on the development and implementation of new regulations.

How you can help us

You must:

  • contact us immediately if you think you have found evidence of a quarantine plant pest or disease (as listed in Schedule 1 of the Plant Health (Forestry) Order 2005 as amended) on your premises. This is a statutory requirement;
  • keep full and accurate records of your trade in regulated forest material with other countries, including both EU and non-EU countries;
  • give our inspectors advance notice if you intend to land controlled wood, wood products and bark: for air cargo this is a minimum of four working hours; and in any other case, three working days. Notification of landing is a statutory requirement, and failure to comply may result in a fine, and will almost certainly result in a delay in clearing your consignment.
    A Notice of Landing must be completed and passed to an inspector;
  • make sure that the shipments of controlled wood, wood products and bark have had the correct treatment and are accompanied by the correct documents before being landed or moved in Great Britain. The requirements are set out in the Plant Health (Forestry) Order 2005 , as amended, or in the Plant Health Guide for Importers of Wood, Wood Products and Bark Originating in Countries outside the European Union;
  • get to know the plant health rules which apply to you. If you are unsure what the rules are, ask your local Plant Health Regional Manager or contact our cross-border Plant Health Service; and
  • if you have any suggestions as to how we could improve our service, we would like to hear from you. Contact either your local Plant Health Regional Manager or the cross-border Plant Health Service.

Value for Money

We are committed to carrying out our duties in an efficient manner so that the cost of meeting statutory requirements, as well as carrying out good practice, is kept to a minimum.

Where charges are made for work you can find out the likely cost to your business before the work is carried out.

Complaints – England and Scotland

If your business is based in England or Scotland and you have a complaint, please first contact your Plant Health Regional Manager, who might be able to resoslve it immediately. In his absence, contact our Operations Manager. We aim to deal with your complaint within 10 working days of receipt. If you are not satisfied with the response to your complaint you should contact the Head of our Plant Health Service:

Dr John Morgan
Head of Plant Health
Forestry Commission
Silvan House
231 Corstorphine Road
Edinburgh EH12 7AT

T: 0300 067 5170
M: 07867 501116

We will do everything we can to deal with your complaint to your full satisfaction. However, if you feel that our response does not fully address your concerns you may contact our Head of Corporate & Forestry Support, who will discuss your complaint as appropriate with the Forestry Commission Directors in England and Scotland before responding:

Roger Coppock
Head of Corporate & Forestry Support
Forestry Commission
Silvan House
231 Corstorphine Road
EH12 7AT

T: 0300 067 5021

We aim to resolve all complaints within the organisation. However, should you remain dissatisfied after using the complaints system, you may refer the matter either through your local MP in England or MSP in Scotland, or directly, to the appropriate Ombudsman.


Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower

T: 0345 015 4033


Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
4 Melville Street

T: 0800 377 7330

Complaints – Wales

The Plant Health (Forestry) powers in Wales were transferred from the Forestry Commissioners to the Welsh Government in 2013. The Forestry Commission's cross-border Plant Health Service provides a service in Wales by arrangement on behalf of the Welsh Government. If your business is based in Wales and you have a complaint, contact:

Martin Williams,
Natural Environment and Agriculture Team,
Sustainability & Environmental Evidence Division (SEED),
Sustainable Futures,
Welsh Government,
Cathays Park,
Cardiff CF10 3NQ

T: 02920 823452

If your complaint is still not resolved, consult your local MWA in Wales or go directly to the Welsh Ombudsman:

Welsh Public Services Ombudsman 
1 Ffordd yr Hen Gae

T: 0300 790 0203

Last updated: 12th September 2018