By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
HomeA-Z IndexSubscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

The Plant Passport

A. Types of plant passport

The plant passport may be a label or label and an accompanying document (often part of a delivery note or similar trade document) attached to the plants, their packaging or the vehicle carrying the plants. If this contains all the information contained at B. below (also described in Annex of Commission Directive 92/105/EEC) it is known as a full plant passport.

The plant passport may also be divided between one or more labels (the plant passport labels) containing all the information contained at B. below, attached to units of the consignment, and an accompanying document, which again can be a delivery note or similar document. The accompanying document may refer to labels from more than one origin or plant type. Using labels attached to units of the consignment could make it easier for the customer to sell on part of the consignment, because a new replacement plant passport would not then always be necessary. 

B. Information to appear on the plant passport

The information that has to be carried on the plant passport is as follows:

  1. EC plant passport
  2. Indication of EC Member State code
  3. Indication of responsible official body or its distinguishing code
  4. Registration number
  5. Individual serial or batch number
  6. Botanical name
  7. Quantity
  8. The distinctive marking ‘ZP’ for the territorial validity of the plant passport, and where appropriate, the name of the protected zone(s) for which the product is qualified
  9. The distinctive marking ‘RP’ in case of replacement of a plant passport and, where appropriate, the code of the originally registered producer or importer
  10. Where appropriate, the name of the country of origin or consignor country, for third country products

The following points are offered for guidance only. We cannot guarantee that other Member States will use the same interpretation. Nurseries planning to send consignments to other Member States should be advised to check with their customers whether there are likely to be any problems with their proposed passports.

Plant passport items 1-4 - registration details

These must appear on the full plant passport.  The four items can be run together as follows: 'EC/Plant Passport IRL/DAFM/1234'. The four-digit number is the PHR number of the registered producer/importer/trader.  The prefix IRL/IE distinguishes producers in Ireland from those in other parts of the EU, who may have the same number.

Plant passport item 5 – individual serial or batch number

This must appear on the full plant passport, or on all parts of a split plant passport.  It will be used to relate the different parts of a split plant passport and to identify intercepted consignments more closely than would be possible from the PHR number alone.  Considerable flexibility should be shown in interpreting this requirement. In some circumstances a year of production would be adequate. In other cases an invoice number or unique label number would be appropriate. There are advantages to the grower being specific in identifying the week or batch number. If quarantine pests are identified on a consignment from the nursery, it may be possible to confine movement restrictions and visits to other customers more narrowly, if the likely origin of the pest can be pinpointed from the records using a batch or week number.

Plant passport item 6 - botanical name

This must appear on the full plant passport, or on the accompanying document of the split passport. The degree of detail required will depend upon the type of plants being traded. In some cases a genus name will be adequate, or a genus and variety. For brassicas, for example, 'Brassica - cabbage – cv. ‘January King' would be adequate.

Plant passport item 7 - quantity

This is required on the full plant passport, or on the accompanying document of the split plant passport. Any sensible measure of quantity should be acceptable. Where a full plant passport is used, the quantity should refer to the quantity covered by that plant passport. Take for example, a consignment comprising twenty boxes each containing 1000 cuttings. If each box has a full passport, the passport should refer to the quantity of cuttings in one box, not the quantity in the whole consignment, i.e. '1000 cuttings'. If the consignment is covered by a split passport, the accompanying document should refer to the total quantity of cuttings in the consignment, and the number of boxes or other units covered by individual plant passport labels: in this example '20,000 cuttings in 20 boxes'.

Plant passport item 8 - protected zone eligibility

This is required on the full passport or on the accompanying document, only when the plants are eligible to move into or within a protected zone. It must be indicated by the letters 'ZP' (zona protecta) plus the code for the protected zone.

For example for the Fireblight protected zone the plant passport could read 'ZP –IRL (code for the relevant PZ, in this case the entire territory of Ireland). More widely used are the item numbers in the Protected Zone Directive (92/76/EEC as amended), e.g. for the Fireblight protected zone this would read 'ZP -b2'.

Plant passport item 9 – replacement plant passport mark

This is required on the full plant passport or on the accompanying document where appropriate.  The full code of the original producer should be printed after the letters RP, for example 'RP - IRL/DAFM/1234' for material originating with the grower whose PHR number is 1234. See also additional note below regarding replacement of plant passport.

Passport item 10 - country of origin

The full name of the country of origin is required on the full plant passport or on the accompanying document for plants imported from third countries, and should be reproduced on any replacement plant passport.

C. Replacement of plant passports

When plants are received with a plant passport, and must be dispatched again with a plant passport, there are several different ways in which that plant passport requirement can be fulfilled. The allowable options depend upon what has happened to those plants between receipt and dispatch, what sort of plant passport was on them when they came, and where they are going.

1. Trading fully plant passported plants

Plants which are received with a full passport, and are not grown on* may be traded on with the same full passport, provided the unit to which the passport relates is not broken down or added to. The trader does not need to be authorised to do this, because no passport is issued. The trader bears the same responsibility as anyone else to notify the occurrence of quarantine pests on that plant passported material and to record the plant passport details of the plants traded.

2. Issuing replacement passports

Plants which are received with a passport of any sort, and which have not been grown on* may be traded on with a replacement plant passport. Such traders must be authorised to issue plant passports, and must keep the original full plant passport or its details or accompanying document (or details) for at least a year.

3. Issuing new passports - plants going to commercial growers

If the plants are going to a commercial grower, and they have been grown on* the nursery must carry out a thorough inspection to satisfy themselves that the plants are free from quarantine organisms. They can then issue a new plant passport, bearing only their own registration number. The nursery must be authorised to issue plant passports, and must keep the original full plant passport or accompanying document for at least a year.

If the plants have not been grown on*, it is possible for trade within Ireland, for the nursery to issue their own plant passport after thoroughly inspecting the plant material and satisfying themselves that no quarantine pests or diseases are present providing their recording system can identify the material to its original source.

4. Trading plant passport labelled plants

Plants, which are received with plant passport labels attached and are not grown on*, may be traded on with the same passport labels, and an accompanying document issued by the trader. This may be done even if the consignment covered by the accompanying document has been broken down, provided that the individual units to which the passport labels are attached are not broken down or added to. The accompanying document will be part of the plant passport, will refer to the original plant passport labels, which are present on the plants, and will reproduce the information received on the accompanying document from the supplier. The trader must be authorised to issue plant passports, and is obliged to keep the original accompanying document for at least a year.

5. Issuing new or replacement plant passports for ‘Protected Zone’ plants

The ‘ZP’ marking cannot be added to the plant passport unless the plants have come from a nursery which fully meets the ‘protected zone’ requirement and ZP details were on the original plant passport or until they have been on the buyer’s nursery long enough to meet ZP requirements. 

*Growing On can be defined as follows:

Growing plants for sale or distribution or maintaining material where its plant health status could change

Nurseries may consider their plants to have been grown on if they have been:

i)       In active growth under protection for at least two weeks, or

ii)      In active growth outside for at least four weeks

Nurseries must consider their plants to have been grown on if they have been:

i)       Potted, repotted, grafted or rooted or

ii)      In active growth under protection for at least four weeks, or

iii)     In active growth outside for at least twelve weeks, or

iv)     Subject to high risk of infestation by a quarantine organism (e.g. grown on a premises subject to Statutory Notice)

D. Records to be kept of plant passports issued

Records or copies of all plant passports issued must be kept for a year and made available to DAFM on request, along with the reports from the inspections carried out by the ‘Responsible Person’ before the plant passports were issued. These records must be readily accessible either as part of the regular nursery assessment or at short notice to enable DAFM to trace quickly the likely source of a quarantine pest intercepted on a consignment.

E. Retention of plant passports by recipients

1. General requirement to retain passports

There is a general obligation on all those who receive plant passported material to remove the plant passport and retain it for a year. This does not apply if the plant passport is to be passed on directly to the next customer in the marketing chain although the seller should keep a record of the passport details.  For split plant passports only the accompanying document needs to be retained.

2. Retention of Invoices

It will not be acceptable for plant passport information to appear on the invoice alone.  However retention of an invoice carrying an exact copy of the plant passport details from the delivery note will be acceptable as an alternative to keeping the delivery note itself or the plant passport label.  The invoice must contain all plant passport information and be retained for 1 year. 

3. Retention of alternative records in lieu of plant passports

Likewise where a complete passport is in the form of an adhesive label attached to a plant tray or other container or is of a similar form which makes it impractical to retain the plant passport itself, then the recipient may keep a manual or computer record of the details in lieu of the plant passport itself. The record must contain all plant passport information and be retained for 1 year. It must be easily retrieved to allow traceback, for inspection as part of regular plant health inspections and be freely available to DAFM at all times. 

F.  Example of what a plant passport might look like

 

Added 01.02.19