Plant passports are an EU official document to move regulated plants and plant products within the EU.If you’re based in England and Wales and you’re moving plants or plant products in the EU they may need plant passports.
You must also follow this guidance to move plants or plant products within England and Wales. For Scotland, check with SASA (Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture). For Northern Ireland, check with DAERA (Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs).
You can issue plant passports yourself, but you must be authorised by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).
When you need a plant passport
The list of passported plants and plant products is different under the new regulations.
The exemption when supplying directly to retailers no longer exists. If you sell directly to retailers, you will need to be authorised to issue plant passports for any plants which fall under plant passport requirements.
A plant passport is required even to customers buying for personal use if you are supplying through means of distance sales, for example, if you are selling online.
Under the new Plant Health Regulations 2016/2031 (PHR), implemented from 14 December 2019, the scope of plant passporting will be greater than before. You will need a plant passport to move regulated plants and plant products within the EU, including within the UK.
- all plants for planting
- some seeds
- seed potatoes
- some fruits with peduncles attached
Check the following lists to find out if a consignment you’re trading in the EU (including within the UK) needs a plant passport:
If you’re not sure whether your consignment needs plant passports, contact APHA.
Apply to be authorised
You need to complete the following forms and email them to plant passport registration:
After you apply for authorisation, APHA will process your application and grant you authorisation to issue plant passports. APHA will do an inspection shortly after to ensure you are compliant with the regulations.Inspectors will:
- interview you or the person responsible for plant passports at your site
- audit your records
- inspect host plants and sample them to make sure they’re free from pests or diseases that could make trading in the EU a plant health risk
- give you or the person responsible an update on the latest plant quarantine pest and disease risks
They’ll then discuss test results and any issues they find at your site.
If they’re satisfied your site doesn’t pose a risk to plant health, your authorisation will remain approved.
The fees are £61.58 for each 15 minutes (or part thereof) with a minimum fee of £123.16.
The fees are payable for each 15 minutes (or part thereof) spent in carrying out the inspection and any associated activities. These associated activities include the time it takes inspectors to travel to your site and any administration relevant to that inspection, subject to the minimum fees.
The fee for renewal inspections is the same as for first inspections.
An additional fee of £20.66 will be charged if you submit an application for a plant passport authorisation in paper form rather than online.
You will not have to pay if APHA authorises you to issue supplier documents only.
After you’re authorised
If you’re authorised to issue plant passports, you’ll get a unique registration number - you can then issue as many passports and supplier documents as you need.
You’ll only need a separate authorisation to issue supplier documents if you’re not already authorised to issue plant passports. For example, if you’re trading fruits and vegetables that aren’t covered by the plant passport regime.
Make a plant passport
Passports issued before 14 December 2019 under the old regulations are valid until 14 December 2023.
Under the new regulations the passport must be distinct and separate from other information. If it’s placed on a different label such as a care label, it must be distinct from the other information on that label.
You must include certain details on plant passports under the new regulations:
- EU flag and wording
- the letters ‘A, B, C, D’, known as ‘parts A to D’, with information following each letter
EU flag and wording
The EU flag must be in the top left hand corner of the plant passport. It can be printed in colour or in black and white. If it’s in black and white, it can have white stars on black backgrounds, or black stars on white background.
The words ‘Plant Passport’ must be printed in English to the right of the EU flag.
If relevant (depending on the country you are dealing with), ‘Plant Passport’ must also be printed in one other official EU language, separated by a slash, to the right of the EU flag.
You must state:
- the botanical name of the plants or plant products concerned
- there should be full genus and species name, a genus name alone is acceptable if the species name is not known
- a variety name can be added, but this is optional
You must state:
- the two-letter ISO code for the member state in which the professional operator issuing the plant passport is registered
- the code for the UK (including Northern Ireland) is GB
- the alphabetical, numerical or alphanumerical national registration number of the professional operator concerned
- the letters ‘EW’ (this is the code for APHA) should go before your unique APHA registration number
You must state the traceability code of the plant, plant product or the other object concerned.This can be an existing code used to trace or identify a consignment)
The code must provide traceability back to the unit for which the plant passport was issued. For example, it could be an individual serial, week, batch or invoice number.
A traceability code is not required where plants for planting meet all of the following conditions:
- they are prepared in such a way that they are ready for the sale to final users without any further preparationno risk exists concerning the spread of EU quarantine pests
- they do not belong to types or species that are considered to have a greater plant health risk (This list is still under discussion between Member States and the European Commissio