Importing bonsai from Japan and Korea to Britain

You can import some species of bonsai from Japan and Korea to Britain.

From Japan you can import natural or artificial dwarf plants from:

  • Chamaecyparis sp. spach
  • Juniper sp. L
  • Pinus parviflora Sieb. and Zucc. (Pinus pentaphylla Mayr)
  • Pinus thunbergii Parl.
  • Pinus parviflora Sieb. and Zucc. grafted on a rootstock of another species of Pinus, native to Japan
  • Pinus thunbergii Parl. grafted on a rootstock of another species of Pinus, native to Japan

From Korea you can import natural or artificial dwarf plants from:

  • Chamaecyparis sp. spach
  • Juniper sp. L
  • Pinus parviflora Sieb. and Zucc. (Pinus pentaphylla Mayr)
  • Pinus parviflora Sieb. and Zucc. grafted onto a rootstock of another species of Pinus

Import bonsai from Japan

To import bonsai from Japan, you must:

  • contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) for a license – email [email protected] to request the application form
  • get your quarantine facilities approved – an inspector from the Phytosanitary and Seed Inspection (PASS) will check your quarantine facilities

When the PASS approves your institution, it will send you a license by e-mail.

You must follow the instructions on what documents you need and how to pre-notify the PASS to import plants and plant products from third countries into Great Britain.

Import charges from Japan

The physical inspection will cost £182.38, plus £10.51 for verification and identification.

Your license will cost £42.50.

Inspections to approve your facility or factories during post-entry quarantine will cost £17.50 per 15 minutes with a minimum of £35.

Import bonsai from Korea

To import bonsai from Korea, you must have your quarantine facilities approved. Email [email protected] to arrange a plant health license inspector. PASS to visit your premises.

When the PASS approves the establishment, they will send you an email to confirm it.

You must follow the instructions on what documents you need and how to pre-notify the PASS to import plants and plant products from third countries into Great Britain.

Import fees from Korea

The physical inspection will cost £182.38, plus £10.51 for verification and identification.

Post-entry checks are currently free.

When can you import bonsai

You can import:

  • Juniperus between November 1 and March 31
  • Chamaecyparis and Pinus at any time of the year

Import bonsai from registered nurseries

You must import bonsai plants and any growing media (for example, soil and compost used to support the plant) from nurseries registered with the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) from Japan or Korea.

The NPPO:

  • verifies that registered nurseries comply with UK import rules
  • issues a phytosanitary certificate to accompany exports of bonsai and any growing medium

Quarantined bonsai imports

You must keep bonsai in quarantine in an approved containment facility on your premises when they arrive in Britain.

Your quarantine facilities must be approved before you can import bonsai trees from Japan or Korea.

Juniperus plants should be quarantined between April 1 and June 30. Pinus and Chamaecyparis plants should be quarantined for at least 3 months of active growth.

You have to:

  • move bonsai trees from Korea directly from the border checkpoint (BCP) to your approved quarantine facility
  • keep the bonsai in a containment facility such as a fully enclosed greenhouse or poly-tunnel
  • keep bonsai separate from other plants
  • keep bonsai free from pests and prevent pests from escaping

Check your plants for pests

A PASS the inspector will make an appointment to inspect your plants:

  • when they arrive at your facilities
  • at least once during active growth
  • before allowing them out of quarantine

A full list of harmful organisms is available in the Annex to Regulation (EU) 2020/1217.

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