Moving plants within the UK

The health of plants in the UK is under threat from global trade, and a change in legislation was essential to ensure the movement of plants and plant products does not become a cause of widespread pest and disease. 

Oak processionary moth, ash dieback, Asian longhorn beetle and xylella are just a few of the pests and diseases that have the potential to cause ecological, environmental and socio-economic harm. 

To prevent further spread of pest and disease, the European Commission upgraded the rules concerning plant importation and movement within the European Union under a plant health regulation called Smarter Rules for Safer Foods.

The changes associated with Smarter Rules for Safer Foods include:

  • Increased use of plant passports by the landscape industry and authorisation to issue these
  • Requirement for professional operators to be registered 
  • A more precautionary approach to flows of material  

Smarter Rules for Safer Foods applies to EU members but also to countries in a transition period.  Under the terms of the EU Withdrawal Act, Smarter Rules for Safer Foods will continue to apply in the UK from 2021 until parliament amend it.

All landscape professionals have responsibilities in relation to the new plant health regulation.  Please select the button that applies to your business below, or for more general information about plant passports please review the glossary and FAQ pages