We have received enquiries regarding imports of the aquatic plant genus Vallisneria into Great Britain.

This genus is subject to plant health phytosanitary controls in order to be imported from third countries (which now includes the EU) to GB (i.e. England, Scotland and Wales).

Vallisneria is listed as a regulated and notifiable plant species (i.e. it can only enter GB with a phytosanitary certificate and must be notified in advance of landing) due to interceptions of nematode pest species, notably those nematode species listed as a Great Britain quarantine pest species under Schedule 1, Part D, Point 5 of The Plant Health (Phytosanitary Conditions) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 i.e. nematodes of Hirschmanniella spp, such as Hirschmanniella caudacrena.

We have been advised by Defra that such nematodes are very frequently associated with the foam wrappings around the plant’s roots/lower stems. It is therefore an ongoing issue which Defra must regulate, following the most recent interception of such nematodes on this host plant species which occurred in January 2021.