Imports of some types of fruit and vegetables from outside the European Union, such as citrus and stone fruit, could be in danger of being delayed.

This is because the Plant Health Division of Defra is enforcing plant health certification rules much more strictly, the Fresh Produce Consortium has warned.

Since March it has has made a point of holding all consignments where the documentation has not been completed correctly.

The certificate is a statement that the products have been officially inspected in the country of origin and comply with statutory requirements for entry into the European Union, and are also free of any pests and diseases.

Problems have included insufficient detail to enable the importing national plant protection organisation to confirm the identity of the consignee, which must be a location within the UK, and also omitting the botanical name of the produce, preferably to species level.