Plant passport

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

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:

  • propagating materials
  • potted plants, bedding plants or tub plants intended for consumption
  • boxwood, conifers, and roses (companies which 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 (NVWA) lists all 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 your company’s country of residence, followed by the phytosanitary registration number
  • traceability code (not necessary for materials that are ready for sale to an end user)
  • ISO code of the plant’s or plant material’s country of origin or production
  • an image of the EU flag
  • the words ‘Plantenpaspoort/Plant passport’ or ‘Plant passport’

A passport can only be issued for plants that do not contain harmful organisms (in Dutch).

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:

A passport can only be issued to plants that do not contain harmful organisms (in Dutch).

Exporting plants to countries outside the EU

For certain plants you need a phytosanitary export certificate when you export them to or import them from 3rd countries. 3rd countries are all non-EU countries. Check the rules for exporting plants to different countries (in Dutch).

You can apply for phytosanitary certificates through the e-CertNL system.

Keeping records

When you trade products with a plant passport, you have to keep records and retain them for a minimum of 3 years. You record:

  • data from your suppliers (when buying)
  • data from your buyers (when selling)

Do you want to split a batch of plants or plant products with a plant passport? The thereby created batches all need new plant passports before you can sell them. You must keep the information of the original plant passport, as well as the information of the new, replacing plant passports.