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  • New Plant Health Regulations

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Added 07.11.19

New Plant Health Legislation

New plant health legislation 2016/2031/EU comes into effect on the 14th December 2019.  This will mean there will be a range of changes for both the industry and the Department in how their respective day-to-day activities are carried out.  Here you will find out what the key changes are and how it affects your business.

 

  • Teagasc video guide to changes in plant passports with DAFM.

  •  DAFM presentation on New Plant Health Regulations at Teagasc Nursery Stock Conference 23rd October 2019. To view the Plant Health Regulation Presenation click on the attached link Plant health regualtion presentation Sept 19 (pdf 3,524Kb)   

 

 

 

A new EU Plant Health Regulation(Regulation(EU)2016/2031) will come into operation on 14th of December 2019.  The objectives of the new Regulation are:

 

  • Better protection of EU Plant Health,
  • More focus on proactive action,
  • Compliance with international plant health standards (International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC).

The new Regulation focuses on reducing the risk of introducing quarantine pests to the EU as follows:

  • focusing attention on high risk plants,
  • developing a list of EU priority pests,
  • expanding the range of plant operators to be registered with the competent authority,
  • applying stricter Protected Zone requirements, and
  • requiring all plants for planting to be accompanied with a Plant Passport.

Under the New Regulation plant health will, for the first time, be subject to the Officail Controls Regualation (Regulation(EU)2017/625) .  This introduces the possibility for co-funding of the annual surveys for priority pests and also the possibility to contribute to the destruction costs for eradication control measures of a Quarantine Pest.   

 

The main changes to the existing Plant Health Directive (Council Directive 2000/29/EC) are:

  • All plants for planting require a Plant Passport when moved between professional operator to professional operator.
  • Professional operators must maintain records for plants supplied by them to other professional operators and for plants supplied by other professional operators to them for at least 3 years.
  • Professional operators should also have in place systems and procedures to allow identification of the movements of plants, plant products and other objects within and between their own premises.
  • All professional operators must register with the National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) of the country. For Ireland the NPPO is the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. 
  • Each professional operator must provide a contact/competent person to be available to liaise with the NPPO.

Union Quarantine Pests

Union Quarantine pests are pests that are not present in the EU, or, if they are present, they are not widely distributed and are under official control.  These are pests that could establish on the Union territory and could cause significant damage to plants and plant products.  Their establishment in the EU would have unacceptable economic, environmental and social impacts.  A list of Quarantine Pests can be found at this link List of Union quarantine pests and their respective codes (pdf 175Kb)  

 

Priority Pests

Priority pests are an extract from the Union list of Quarantine Pests.  These pests potentially would have the most severe economic, environmental or social impact if they were to establish in the Union.  The list of Priority Pests can be found by clicking the attached link Priority Pests Reg (EU) 2019 1702 (pdf 503Kb)  

 

Union Regulated Non-Quarantine Pests (RNQP)

Union Regulated non-quarantine pests are pests that are present in the EU.  The damage these pests cause has a high economic impact on plant reproductive material/plants for planting.  They are generally prohibited in plant reproductive material, however, in certain instances a certain tolerance is allowed.   The list of Union RNQPs can be found at the link attached List of regulated non quarntine pests (RNQP) (pdf 285Kb)  

A protected zone is a zone in the Community in which one or more quarantine organisms are present in the Union territory but are absent from specific parts of the territory despite favourable conditions for them to establish themselves there.  Their presence would have an unaccepted economic, social or environmental impact.  The list of Protected Zone Pests can be found on the following link Protected Zone (pdf 164Kb)  

 

Processional operator

All professional operators are required to register with DAFM.   Therefore, if you are involved professionally in one or more of the following activities concerning plants, plant products and other objects you need to register with DAFM:

  • Planting
  • Breeding
  • Production, including growing, multiplying and maintaining
  • Introduction into, and movement within and out of the EU territory
  • Making available on the market
  • Storage, procession, dispatching and processing.

Authorised operator

An authorised operator means a registered operator authorised by DAFM to issue plant passports.

Final or end user

The final or end user is anyone who acquires plants or plant products for their own personal use.

Plants

‘Plants’ means living plants and the following parts of plants:

  • Seeds, in the botanical sense, other than those not intended for planting;
  • Fruits, in the botanical sense;
  • Vegetables
  • Tubers, corms, rhizomes, roots, rootstocks, stolons;
  • Shoots, stems, runners;
  • Cut flowers;
  • Branches with or without foliage;
  • Cut trees retaining foliage;
  • Leaves, foliage;
  • Plant tissue cultures, including cell cultures, germplasm, meristems, chimaeric clones, micro-propagated material;
  • Live pollen and spores;
  • Buds, budwood, cuttings, scions, grafts.

Plant Products

‘Plant products’ means unmanufactured material of plant origin and those manufactured products, which may create a risk for the spread of quarantine pests, e.g. coniferous wood.

Other Objects

‘Other objects’ means any material or object, other than plants or plant products, capable of harbouring or spreading pests (this includes soil or growing medium), e.g. Wood Packaging Material.  

Who needs to register with DAFM?

In general, if you are involved in any of the following activities you need to register with DAFM:

  • Nursery
  • Garden Centre
  • Multiple Store that trades in plants
  • Landscaper/Landscape Architect
  • County Council/Local Authority
  • Internet traders of plant and plant products
  • Christmas tree growers

 

 

 

From 14 December 2019, each professional operator issuing plant passports must have a contact person nominated (competent person), what is the role of the contact person?

From 14 December 2019, professional operators shall fulfil the following criteria in order to be eligible for authorisation in relation to the issuance of plant passports:

  • they have demonstrated to DAFM the necessary knowledge of the applicable rules relevant to the examinations carried out concerning the Union quarantine pests, protected zone quarantine pests and Union regulated non-quarantine pests (RNQP) that could affect the plants, plant products and other objects concerned;
  • they have demonstrated to DAFM the necessary knowledge of the best practices, measures and other actions required to prevent the presence and spread of the pests referred to in point (a);
  • they have an effective plan to be followed in case of any suspected occurrence or findings of the pests referred to in point (a);
  • they have demonstrated to DAFM the necessary knowledge and competence, for the performance of the required examinations of the plant, plant product or other object for the relevant pests and to take the measures referred to in point (b);
  • they have demonstrated to DAFM that they possess or have access to the necessary equipment and facilities for the performance of the required examinations of the plant, plant product or other object, and they also possess the capacity to take the measures referred to in point (b);
  • they have appointed a contact person responsible for the communication with DAFM with respect to the above and have communicated to the competent authority the contact details thereof.

    DAFM should make available guidance containing information on the above.

Changes to the Plant passport system are being introduced

  • From 14th December 2019 all plants for planting require a Plant Passport when moved between professional operator to professional operator;
  • Plant passports are not required for plants, plant products and other objects supplied directly to final users. However, under the new Plant Health Regulation, Protected Zones host plants for planting must have a plant passport to the end user.  They EU Commission may bring in some exemptions for this. 
  • All distant sales operators must be registered with DAFM;
  • From 14th December 2019 plant passports will have a common format throughout the EU.

Format of the Plant Passport

Plant passports must be visible, legible and be clearly distinguishable from any other information or label.

Due to the differences in size and characteristics of the plant material for which a plant passport is required, a certain degree of flexibility is ensured as regards the format style and size of the plant passport.  There are various plant passport types available, which allow for these differences.  These types do not specifically require a particular size for the plant passports or specify the use of a border line, the proportion, and the fonts used.

The elements of the plant passport should be arranged within a rectangular or square shape, and should be clearly separated from any other written or pictorial matter by a border line or otherwise.  It is important to enhance the visibility of plant passports and their distinctiveness from any other information or label.

Plant passports issued on or after the 14th December must comply with the new format.  Any plant passports issued before 14 December 2019 should remain valid until 14 December 2023.

Types of plant passports

The plant passport for movement within the Union territory shall contain the following elements:

  • the words ‘Plant Passport’ in its upper right-hand corner;
  • the flag of the Union in its upper left-hand corner, printed in colour or in black and white;
  • the letter ‘A.’, followed by the botanical name of the plant(s) species or taxon concerned, in the case of plants and plant products, or, where appropriate, the name of the object concerned, and, optionally, the name of the variety;
  • the letter ‘B.’, followed by subsequently the two-letter code for the Member State (IE for Ireland), in which the professional operator issuing the plant passport is registered, a hyphen and the registration number of the professional operator. For example, a professional operator registered in Ireland would record their registration number as: B   IE - 1234
  • the letter ‘C.’, followed by the traceability code of the plant, plant product or the other object concerned;
  • the letter ‘D.’, where applicable followed by:
    • the name of the third country of origin, or
    • of the Member State of origin.

The traceability code referred to in point (1)(e) may also be supplemented by a reference to a unique traceability barcode, hologram, chip or other data carrier, present on the trade unit.

Examples of Plant Passports (non-protected zones)

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Plant passports for movement into and within protected zones

The plant passport for movement into and within protected zones shall contain the following elements:

  • the words ‘Plant Passport — PZ’ in its upper right-hand corner, in one of the official languages of the Union and in English, if different, separated by a slash;
  • immediately underneath those words, the scientific name(s) or the code(s) of the respective protected zone quarantine pest(s);
  • (c) the flag of the Union in its upper left-hand corner, printed in colour or in black and white;
  • (d) the letter ‘A.’, followed by the botanical name of the plant species or taxon concerned, in the case of plants and plant products, or, where appropriate, the name of the object concerned and, optionally, the name of the variety;
  • the letter ‘B.’, followed by subsequently the two-letter code for the Member State (IE for Ireland), in which the professional operator issuing the plant passport is registered, a hyphen and the registration number of the professional operator. For example, a professional operator registered in Ireland would record their registration number as: B   IE - 1234
  • the letter ‘C.’, followed by the traceability code of the plant, plant product or the other object concerned;
  • the letter ‘D.’, where applicable followed by:
    • the name of the third country of origin, or
    • two letter code of the Member State of origin and, in the case of replacement of the plant passport, the registration number of the professional operator concerned who issued the initial plant passport or for whom the initial plant passport was issued by the competent authority.

The traceability code referred to in point (1)(f) may also be supplemented by a reference to a unique traceability barcode, hologram, chip or other data carrier, present on the trade unit.

 

Examples of Plant Passports for Protected Zones

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For further information on Plant Passports please consult Regulation (EU) 2017/2313, click here

 

 

 

 

The contact details for DAFM are:

 

Horticulture and Plant Health Division Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Backweston Administration Building, Backweston Campus, Celbridge, Co. Kildare. W23 X3PH   Phone: 01-5058885
Email: plantandpests@agriculture.gov.ie

Regional Inspector Contact Details

 

AAI

Counties

Phone Numbers

E-mail

Donal Bourke

Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, Longford, Clare

091 – 507 656

086 – 814 4087

Con Collis

Dublin,

01 – 505 8752

087 – 676 3891

Michael Cullen

Wexford, Carlow

053 – 916 5524

086 -605 4946

Padraig Flynn

Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan,

Monaghan

049 – 436 8226

086 – 850 4324

Dermot Grogan

Cork, Kerry, Limerick

021 – 481 9900

086 – 606 4147

Declan Kealy

Kildare, Wicklow

01 – 505 8698

087 – 337 9818

Kieran Kelly

Laois, Westmeath, Offaly,

North Tipperary

057 – 937 0334

086 – 858 0439

Shane Kirk

Meath, Louth,

 

01 – 505 8705

086 – 779 3448

Pat Morrisson

Kilkenny, Waterford,

South Tipperary

056- 7753478

086 – 605 4922

 

Registration

I am already registered with DAFM do I need to re-register or will it happen automatically?

If you are already registered with DAFM for plant health purposes you do not need to re-register, however, you must ensure that DAFM has the up to date details for your business – e.g. contact details of owner, email address, nature of business, contact person if different from owner, etc. 
I am registered with DAFM, will my new registration number be the same as the existing one?

Yes, if you are registered with DAFM your existing registration number will remain the same.

I am a Landscaper, must I be registered as a professional operator?

If you are supplying plants or plant products as part of your landscape contract, then under the new Plant Health Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/2031) you are considered a professional operator and must be registered with DAFM.

I import or sell plants, plant products or other objects over the internet, do I need to register with DAFM?

Yes, if you sell plants, plant products or other objects over the internet then you need to register with DAFM.

I only sell a small number of plants at a stall in a Farmer’s Market, do I have to register with DAFM as a professional operator?

If you supply directly and exclusively small quantities of plants, plant products and other objectives to the final user you may be exempt from registering as a professional operator.  You will need to apply to DAFM to get this exemption.

What will the Plant Health Registration Number look like?

The plant health registration number will be the country code followed by a four-digit code (e.g. IE-1234).  On the plant passport this will be recorded at point B as follows: B IE – 1234 (see example below)

Do I have to keep records?

In order to facilitate the detection of the source of an infestation by a quarantine pest, professional operators must keep records in respect of the plants, plant products and other objects supplied to them by professional operators and supplied by them to other professional operators.  These records shall be kept for at least 3 years.

I will have to buy a new printer, labels and need extra labour to make this work. Is there financial support?

At the moment there is no financial support available for professional operators to adapt their system in order to comply with the new regulations. 

Must a Landscaper retain traceability records for all plants purchased and records of where all plants are planted?

A landscaper must keep records of all plants supplied to them by a professional operator and of all plants supplied by them to a professional operator.  These records must be kept for 3 years.

Contact/Competent Person

I have run a Nursery for several years; will I have to attend a Training Course to qualify as a competent person to deal with Passports?

Over the coming months DAFM will put a system in place to register the competent person for each professional operator.  If you want to be the competent person for your operation, then you must comply with the application system regardless of your previous experience.   

I have a formal horticulture qualification; will this count towards being the nominated contact/competent person?

The contact/competent person does not need to hold a formal qualification; however, they will need to understand the requirements of this role, which will be set out in the near future.  While a formal qualification is not necessary, it would be a benefit.

Plant Passports

What are two-letter codes for Countries:

Two-letter country codes are defined in ISO 3166-1 and represent countries, dependent territories and special areas of geographical interest.  They are published by the International Organisation for Standardisation.  To view the ISO codes click here

What are the exceptions from the requirement to attach plant passports?

Plant passports do not have to be issued when the sales are to the final non-commercial user.  However, under the new Plant Health Regulation, Protected Zones host plants for planting must have a plant passport to the end user.  They EU Commission may bring in some exemptions for this. 

Many vegetable and flower seeds do not require a plant passport.  There is no plant passport required for the movement of plants for planting within and between premises of the same company.

Do Christmas Trees require a plant passport?

Cut Christmas trees under 3 metres are not subject to plant passports.  Cut Christmas trees over 3 metres or trees with growing medium attached must have a plant passport when trading from professional operator to professional operator.

What are the organisms that Ireland has a protected zone for and what are the EPPO codes for them?

Refer to Annex 4 for the list of Ireland’s Protected Zones and the EPPO codes for each pest/disease.

Do all plants need a traceability code?

The traceability code is mandatory for almost all plant passports.  However, the traceability code shall not be required where plants for planting fulfil the following conditions:

  • for plants that are prepared for sale to the end user without further preparation, this code is not mandatory. A unique batch/traceability code is not required for these plants/plant products.   
  • Garden centres selling plants for planting to the final user do not have to have plant passports attached That exception shall not apply to:
  • final users receiving those plants by means of sales through distance contracts; or
  • (b) Protected Zone host plants for planting and plant products (The EU Commission may introduce exception to this).

The European Commission may publish a list of plants, which do require a traceability code.  A link to this list will be provided if the EU Commission proceed with this.

In the case of Protected Zones, all plant passports will require a traceability code.  The letter ‘C’ must be printed on the plant passport, even if the traceability code is not mandatory.

I sell plants for planting over the internet, do I need to attach a plant passport to these plants?

Yes, plants sold over the internet must be plant passported the end/final user.

I have a mixed container with 5 plant species, how should the plant passport appear?

It is possible to have more than one species on the plant passport.  If you have 5 plant species, then follow the format of the plant passport and at point ‘A’ list the 5 species of plants under each other.  If one of the plants is a host species for a Protected Zone, then this must have a separate passport.

Do all plant varieties need to be plant passported or is species adequate?

The botanical names can consist of (1) the genus, (2) the genus + species or (3) the genus + species + cultivar).

Does the plant passport have to be attached to each plant or will it suffice to have it on Delivery note that accompanies the plants?

Plant passports shall be attached to the trade unit of the plants, plant products and other objects before they are moved.  Where the plants, plant products or other objects are moved in a package, bundle or container, the plant passport shall be attached to that package, bundle or container.

It is no longer allowed to put the plant passport on the Delivery Docket unless the delivery docket is physically attached to the unit of the plant, plant products or other objects.

Must each plant in a garden centre have a Plant passport attached to it?

However, the garden centre must have a traceability system in place that can link each plant to the plant passport of the nursery that supplied that plant.  This will be up to the trade to decide what traceability system to use and, in some cases, that may mean having an individual plant passport on each plant.

What will happen if I sell plants without an eligible plant passport?

If you sell plants without an eligible plant passport these plants may by intercepted and destroyed.  Also, your authorisation to issue plant passports may be suspended or revoked. 

When can the country of origin change, on the plant passport, to Irish for plants sourced from other EU or non-EU countries but grown on in Irish nurseries?

For woody crops (tree nursery stock), the plants must be on your premises for at least one growing season before the origin of the plant can change.

For other crops such as protected crops, potted plants, cuttings, herbaceous perennials the country of origin can change after 1 month.

Can the batch number be on a delivery note and all other information be on plant passport label attached to plant?

No, all the information required for the plant passport must be on the plant passport.

For plants sold before 14th December 2019, can the new Plant Passport format be used including the PZ followed by European Plant protection Organisation (EPPO) code for hosts of protected zone organisms?

Yes, the new plant passports can be used before the 14th December.

What will happen plants in retail outlets with current plant passports after 14th of December 2019?

Any plants with a plant passport issued before the 14th December, 2019 will remain valid until 14 December 2023.

If the plant I am selling is a host plant for more than one protected zone organism what will I put on the plant passport?

You should include each of the respective EPPO codes under the words ‘Plant Passport — PZ’ in the upper right-hand corner.  The Protected Zone EPPO codes can be found here Table of EU Protected Zones & EPPO Codes (pdf 164Kb)   

What ZP code must I use on Plant Passports for Conifer plants under the new plant health law?

DAFM will accept the code ‘ZP CONF’ for conifer plants under the new plant health law.

Does the PZ have to be named or is a number adequate, e.g. PZ fireblight or PZ (b) 2

The Protected Zone has to be named on the plant passport by using the EPPO codes.  For example, the EPPO code for Fireblight is ERWIAM and this must be included on the passport.  The list of EPPO PZ codes can be found in Annex 4. After 14th December the current letter/numbers will not be accepted.

I only grow Bedding plants. Do I have to have a plant passport attached to each tray of bedding plants I sell?

Producers of bedding plants have to comply with the plant passport rules as outlined above.

What do I do if the plants I buy from a nursery do not have a plant passport attached to them?

You should not accept plants that do not have a valid plant passport as there is no traceability with these plants and they may have to be destroyed.

What do I do if I suspect my plants are infected with a Quarantine Pest or a RNPQ?

If you suspect that your plants are infected with a Quarantine Pest or RNQP contact DAFM.