Seeds and plants grown for the European Union market must comply with several rules, which have been renewed by Plant Health Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 (Articles 78-99 with Annex VII). Production of seeds and other plants for planting, which need to be labelled by plant passport, when they are moved from place of production to the market, are listed in Annex XIII to Regulation (EU) 2019/2072.
Plant passport is in principal an official attestation that plants are free from regulated pests. Its content is defined in Annex VII of Plant Health Regulation, which contains in its:
- Part A requirements for plant passports for movement within the Union territory
- Part C requirements for plant passports for movement within the Union territory, combined with a certification label
In the same annex, the parts B and D contain requirements for plant passport for EU Protected Zones. See the Regulation (EU) 2017/2313 for the models of plant passports.
A plant passport is at least required for the movement of regulated material within the EU between professional operators (B2B). Final users might be exempted from receiving a plant passport based on PHR Article 81. Regulation (EU) 2016/2031, Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/2313 and Regulation (EU) 2020/1770 established a set of new rules concerning the use and content of plant passports.
Who receiving groups are?
– Professional operators, who shall always receive a plant passport for regulated plants (Annex XIII, emergency measures) as they are professionally involved in planting; breeding; production, including growing,multiplying and maintaining; introduction into (import), and movement within and out of, the Union territory; making available on the market; storage, collection, dispatching and processing of regulated plants and other goods (PHRdefinition)
– Final users (non-comercial growers, gardeners, citizens) who receive regulated plants and other goods for their personal use equipped with plant passport only, if:
– they are located in protected zones or
– they buy them online (e-commerce)
– they buy plants, which need to have a traceability code.
on plants for planting not exempted from the traceability code requirement for plant passports has got one year of transitional period for implementation.
A traceability code on new plant passports shall be on labels in the trade chain until the final users for citrus, potato and main Xylella host plants from 31 December 2021 (Regulation (EU) 2020/1770) for plants for planting other than seeds, of Citrus, Coffea, Lavandula dentata, Nerium oleander, Olea europea, Polygala myrtifolia, Prunus dulcis, and Solanum tuberosum.
Plant passport is usually issued by authorised operator, who is first entered into national register for his activity. Professional operators need to fulfill ceratin critera to become authorised by competent authority for issuing plant passports (Regulation 2019/827). Authorized professional operators must have:
- Necessary knowledge about plant heath requirements and quarantine and regulated non-quarantine pests
- Necessary knowledge about best practices, measures to prevent presence and spread of pests
- An effective plan to be followed in cases of suspicion or finding of pests
- Necessary knowledge to carry out visual inspections of quarantine and regulated non-quarantine pests
- Equipment and facilities to carry out such inspections
- Appointed a contact person responsible for the communication with the competent authority