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IMPORTANT - Plant Passports


By AndrewR


Under EU Regulations introduced in December, all plants sold to a third party that involve being transported, posted, or sent by courier, need to have a Plant Passport. This is to prevent the transmission of plant diseases, especially important with the threat of xylella, a disease with several hosts, that has devastated olive groves in southern Europe. All sellers need to register, and commercial growers will also be inspected on a regular basis, to ensure the plant material they are selling is free from disease. As the UK is still in the transition stage of Brexit, the regulations apply here as well.

But it has not been clear whether face-to-face plant sales, such as Open Gardens, or at Garden Clubs, are included in the new regulations. To clarify the position, I sent an e-mail to my Assistant County Organiser for the NGS, and have now received a response:

“I have now had confirmation from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) confirming in writing what I told you before about Plant Passports. The vast majority of our garden owners who sell their own or donated plants for a charity like the NGS, or for a local good cause, do not need to do anything.

Only commercial plant sellers, who would need to register anyway, that sell plants at a garden opening with a percentage going to charity do fall within the new regulations."

In addition, sending plants to other people, without making a charge for them, are exempt from the rules. So plant swaps on GOY are still legal!

Not all sellers are “up to speed” yet, so you may still receive plants without passports, but all reputable outlets should be compliant. Plants bought over EBAY, etc. ought to have passports as well, even if the seller tries to tell you don’t.

For more information on xylella, see:

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Great bit of clarification Andrew. I am sure that this will muddle along for some time, but I have already seen plants with passports in the GC. As for the "will be inspected on a regular basis" who's remit will that come under and will they have the manpower?
But local plant selling shouldn't make any difference - unless of course people are planning to send them on a round the world tour first.

26 Feb, 2020


Yes we had this clarification from the RHS and HPS recently. It comes as a relief to many of us who do sell plants at plant fairs for little commercial gain.

Defra or what ever it is called now will be responsible for doing the checks.

But people must stop bringing cuttings etc back from their overseas holidays. That is one of the biggest problems we are facing.

26 Feb, 2020


Thanks for that Info Andrew ,its definitely something we need to know ...

26 Feb, 2020


Thank you Andrew.

26 Feb, 2020


Thankyou Andrew...

27 Feb, 2020


Thanks for that information Andrew.

28 Feb, 2020


That is good news, Andrew. I would hate to have to chat on GoY from behind bars.

1 Mar, 2020

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