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Are you planning to trade, import or export plants or plant products within the European Union (EU)? You may need a plant passport for certain plants and propagation materials.
What is a plant passport?
A plant passport contains essential information for trading seeds, cuttings, plants and trees within the EU. The passport states the identity and origin of the product and details of the producer. This information is obligatory.
Which plants require a plant passport?
You need a plant passport for any plant intended for planting, that means:
- Propagating materials
- Potted plants, bedding plants or tub plants intended for consumption
- Boxwood, conifers and roses (companies who grow and trade these plants need to register with an inspection service)
The register (pdf, in Dutch) of the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NWVA) lists the plants and plant materials that need a plant passport.
What should a plant passport contain?
A plant passport always contains the following elements:
- Botanical name
- ISO code of the EU member state, followed by the national registration number
- Traceability code (not necessary for materials that are ready for sale to an end user)
- ISO code of the country of origin or production
- European flag
- The name ‘Plantenpaspoort/Plant passport’ or ‘Plant passport’
Issuing a plant passport
Producers and suppliers of plant products may issue a plant passport themselves. This is only possible with authorisation from one of the following inspection services:
- Flower Bulb Inspection Service (BKD)
- Quality Control Bureau Fruit and Vegetables (KCB)
- Netherlands Inspection Service for Horticulture (Naktuinbouw)
- Dutch General Inspection Service for Agricultural Seed and Seed Potatoes (NAK, in Dutch)
A passport can only be issued to plants that do not contain harmful organisms (in Dutch).
Exporting plants to the United Kingdom after Brexit
On 31 January 2020 the UK has left the European Union, which marks the start of the transition period until 31 December 2020. During this transition period, the UK is no longer a member of the EU, but will still be subject to EU regulations. If you import plants from or export plants to the United Kingdom, you will need to take extra measures (in Dutch) after this transition period. This is because then the UK will be considered a third country. For instance, to export plants you will need a phytosanitary export certificate instead of a plant passport. Also check the Brexit Portal Export and import pages (in Dutch), the Get ready for Brexit website and What does Brexit mean for my customs matters?. Make sure you take steps to prepare in time.