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Plant health regulations and Plant Passports

New plant health requirements came into force in the EU on December 14th 2019. The purpose of the new plant health legislation is to help protect Plant health across EU Member States from the introduction of harmful pests and disease. It will help to prevent the entry in to the EU of specific harmful organisms and also prevent and limit the spread within the EU. It will also help ensure that Ireland and the EU complies with strict International standards.

The legislation will require all plants for planting sold between professional operators including nurseries/garden centres to have a plant passport. A new format or style of plant passport will bring a level of standardisation across the European Union.

All professionals trading or selling plants will be required to register with their national authority, The Department of Agriculture, in Ireland.

Plant Passport

There some standard elements to the new Plant Passport.

  1. The EU logo in the left-hand top corner

  2. The word plant passport in English and possibly other EU languages

  3. the letter “A” followed by the botanical name of the plant;

  4. the letter “B” followed by the two-letter country code for the Member State hyphen the company registration number;

  5. the letter “C” followed by the traceability code of the plant. This may be in addition to a barcode, data matrix or chip);

  6. the letter “D” followed by the two-letter country code of the country of origin and, where applicable, the name of the third country.

For movements in EU protected zones it is necessary to print the words “Plant Passport – Protected Zone” and the scientific names or EPPO codes of the relevant protected zone quarantine pests. PZ will now replace ZP as used previously.

Further requirements for the EU plant passport:

  • must be attached directly to the commercial unit (e.g. pot container, bundle, package)

  • must be clearly visible and legible

  • must be unchangeable and durable

  • must be separate from other information on the same medium

  • must contain the information in a rectangular or square text area

You can find detailed information about new plant health regulations from the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine (DAFM)

Contact us at +353 1 8902070 or Adrian Hudson @ +353 86 0441044 for information on how BHC Coding Systems Ltd can help you to comply with the new plant passport requirements or visit

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