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Government information for entrepreneurs

Plant passport

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

You need a plant passport if you transport plants and plant products within the EU. These plants and plant products are listed in the register of productsExternal link (in Dutch) requiring a plant passport, kept by the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA)External link. A complete list of harmful organisms and (potential) carriers thereof, and which requirements apply, can be found in the annexes of the council directive (2000/02/EC)External link (pdf).

What is a plant passport

A plant passport guarantees that the product is free from harmful organisms included on the quarantine organisms list. The plant passport is issued by one of the following inspection services:

EU rules

New EU rulesExternal link have been introduced to protect against the spread of harmful organisms in the EU as of 14 December 2019. The European phyto-directive has been replaced by 2 new European directives: the directive on plant healthExternal link and annexes in the implementingExternal link and controlExternal link regulations.

The main changes include:

  • the obligatory use of plant passports is expanded to all plants intended for planting, including pot plants, bedding plants and tub plants for consumers;
  • harmful organisms will be re-assessed;
  • companies trading in plants must be registered in a national register;
  • new procedures for imports will be introduced;
  • a new format for the export certificate and a pre-export certificate are to be introduced;
  • European phytosanitary reference laboratories will be established.

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 measuresExternal link (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 ExportExternal link and import pagesExternal link (in Dutch), the Get ready for Brexit websiteExternal link and What does Brexit mean for my customs matters?External link. Make sure you take steps to prepare in time.

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO