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 or plant products 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 as a professional operator 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* 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. 

* Authorised operators are businesses authorised to issue plant passports, and may include nurseries, wholesalers or other commercial landscape contractors.  Note:  Authorised operators are distinct from professional operators. 

3. Review your client list and operations; many commercial landscape contractors are required to issue plant passports 

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, or any commercial customer who will be undertaking any planting or moving of plants themselves.     

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

4. Subject to the considerations in point 3 above, attach plant passports to consignments destined for commercial client sites

If material is travelling from one premises to one single site to be planted, each van or trailer load containing planting material can be covered by a single plant passport. 

It is perfectly acceptable to email a client with plant passport details, as long as this is in addition to attaching a plant passport to consignments.  Any operator who issues plant passports must record who originally supplied them with the plants, as well as any plant passports they have issued and who they supplied these to (this storage can be physical or digital).  

4a. Issue and attach a plant passport where planting material is being moved between premises >10 miles apart. 

To maintain traceability of planting material, plant passports must be issued and attached to consignments transported a distance of more than 10 miles between sites owned by the same operator.