Following a review, the Plant Health Services in Great Britain have agreed to extend an easement that allows draft UK Plant Passports to be attached in EU Member States on plants for planting intended for final users.
The current easement is due to end on the 30th June 2023, however, a decision has been made to extend the easement for another 24 months from June 30th 2023. This means EU plant suppliers will still be able to attach labels with details necessary for UK Plant Passports in the EU on plants for planting intended for final users, this easement excludes propagators.
While the extension to the easement allows for labels with UK Plant Passport information to be attached in EU Member States, the UK Plant Passport will not be valid until a visual check has been made and recorded by the UK Professional Operator. It will be necessary for the Professional Operator to record that the visual examinations have been conducted and that the requirements of the UK Plant Passport scheme have been met.
During the easement Defra will work with stakeholders to develop Plant Passport pilots for this specific trade pathway to explore the potential of this technology to provide the necessary assurances regarding biosecuirty and traceability, while facilitating trade processes. For more information, please follow this link to the Plant Health Portal.
This easement is specific to the movement of plants for planting intended for the final user between EU Member States and GB. Working collaboratively Government has identified a means to facilitate ongoing use of the current process temporarily, while developing ePlant Passport trials, to explore the potential of this approach into the future
This easement will not be extended past June 30th 2025. Previous extensions have not resulted in a solution to the challenges businesses and their current plant movement models face.
During the 24 months of the extension an industry led working group will aim to work with government officials to deliver ePlant Passports. This will require the attachment of both physical and electronic passports running concurrently while pilots are ongoing.
The Professional Operators currently utilising the current easement provide a good opportunity to run pilot studies/trials in accordance with best practice due to the pathway being a distinct area of the horticultural trade and impacts a relatively small number of Professional Operators who trade in large volumes of plants.
The ePlant Passport pilots will be evaluated to consider potential wider user, if it can be demonstrated they provide the same level of biosecurity assurance and traceability as the current process.