Commercial landscape contractor

What do commercial landscape contractors need to do?

1. Register as a professional operator

Any landscape business professionally involved in, and therefore legally responsible for one or more of the following activities concerning plants, plant products or other objects must register as a professional operator:

- Planting
- Breeding
- Production, including growing, multiplying and maintaining
- Introduction into, and movement within and out of, the Union territory
- Making available on the market
- Storage, collection dispatching and processing

Q: Who must I register with?
A: You must register with the appropriate competent authority:

England Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) 
Scotland Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) 
Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) 

2. Record plant passports you receive from 'authorised operators' (e.g. nurseries, wholesalers) together with details of the authorised operator (name and address) who sold you the plants.  You need to record this information (physically or digitally) for 3 years.

The minimum information which must be recorded from the plant passport(s) supplied is Part A (the botanical name(s) of the plant(s) species concerned) and Part B (the supplying operator's registration number).  This FAQ document highlights where Part A and Part B may be found on a plant passport.  The information contained with Part A and Part B is required for each trade unit (see glossary for definition of trade unit) of passported plants received. 

Although not required, recording the dates each trade unit was received, together with the client they were supplied to, will ensure good accuracy in the event of any issues in the future. 

3. Review your client list and operations; many commercial landscape contractors will be required to issue plant passports under the new plant health regulation 

Commercial landscape contractors are required to issue plant passports if they supply plants or plant products to clients who are also professional operators.  Examples of other professional operators include councils, housing associations or botanical gardens.  

In most cases, if the site you are working on is run by a professional operator and they are the final stage in the supply chain (i.e. you are planting on behalf of the client) a single plant passport could cover all the plants in a single movement.  You must keep records of any plant passports you issue and who you supplied them to for three years (this storage can be physical or digital). 

Q: Where do I apply to become authorised to issue plant passports?
  England click here
     Scotland click here 
     Northern Ireland click here