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Detailed guide: Register as a professional operator to trade in wood, issue plant passports and apply ISPM15 marking

Forestry Commission

January 18
17:00 2021

If you, or your business, want to import, export or move certain types of imported regulated wood, wood products and bark within Great Britain (GB) England, Scotland and Wales you must be registered with the Forestry Commission as a professional operator.

The types of regulated wood, wood products and bark that must be accompanied by plant passports include:

  • Conifer
  • Castanea (sweet chestnut)
  • Platanus (plane) except the isolated bark
  • Juglans (walnut)
  • Pterocarya (wingnut)

You must use plant passports if you commission the movement of timber, wood products or bark of these species within GB or to Jersey and the Isle of Man.

Find out what rules to follow if you move regulated wood, wood products and bark in Northern Ireland.

How to apply

Follow the instructions for each question on the form.

You can register one person as a professional operator to represent each forestry company.

In sections 1 to 13, you will need to give details of:

  • company name
  • operator name
  • postal and email address
  • GB nations where you operate In section 14 you must give a description of your managed premises in 840 characters or less. Include a description of any locations used by the professional operator.

In sections 15 to 23 of the form you will be asked to confirm any forestry activities you undertake.

You will be asked if you want to register to issue plant passports or apply the ISPM15 mark. These activities are optional.

In sections 25 to 27 you will give activity authorisation, a declaration of undertaking and agree to the data protection statement.

What to expect

When you complete and submit your online registration as a professional operator you will immediately receive an email confirmation. The Forestry Commission will process your application.

Apply to issue plant passports

To issue plant passports as a professional operator you must show that youve completed the e-learning module on the Forestry Commission Digital Learning site (section 24 of the form).

If you do not have an account you can create a new one or continue as a guest.

Read the plant passporting slides then complete the knowledge check. You will get a knowledge score at the end. You must email this to the Plant Health Forestry team at plant.health@forestrycommission.gov.uk

In your email you must include:

  • your name
  • registration number
  • a screenshot of your score results

You will get confirmation of your professional operator status to issue plant passports.

Complete question 24 on the professional operator registration form to confirm youve done your e-module on plant passporting and emailed your results to the Plant Health Team.

Register to apply ISPM15 marking

To apply ISPM15 marking to wood packaging material (WPM) as a professional operator you must complete section 22 on the professional operator application form.

If youre a new producer wanting to supply ISPM15-compliant packaging, you must register with TIMCON. Do this before you complete the Forestry Commission professional operator application form.

You will have to give your reference number from the United Kingdom Wood Packaging Material Marking Programme. This is issued by TIMCON in the format FCXXXX (FC followed by your four digit registration number).

Find out more about meeting international standards as a supplier of WPM.

Published 18 December 2019
Last updated 18 January 2021 +show all updates
  1. Updated link to form and reformatted instructions

  2. Update / new form ready for Day 1

  3. The 'Professional operator registration guidance note' has been updated.

  4. You can now access Professional Operator application form and registration guidance note.

  5. You will not be able to access the Professional Operator application form from 27 May 2020 to 29 May 2020 due to the Forestry Commission carrying out essential maintenance on the Professional Operator registration system.

  6. The application form and guidance note have been removed while the Forestry Commission carries out essential maintenance on the Professional Operator registration system. You will be able to access the application form again from 28 May 2020.

  7. You will not be able to access the Professional Operator application form on 27 May 2020 and 28 May 2020 due to the Forestry Commission carrying out essential maintenance on the Professional Operator registration system.

  8. First published.

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