New EU Plant Health Regulations (PHR) came into force on 14th December 2019. These new regulations apply to all plants as well as some seeds and bulbs and have been designed to protect against disease and pests and create full traceability for plant movements in the UK and EU.
What is the new Plant Health Regulation (PHR)?
The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have advised that ‘The PHR is part of a wider set of changes which are being introduced across the European Union (EU) under the Smarter Rules for Safer Food (SRSF) package, replacing 70 existing European directives and regulations to modernise and improve plant health, animal health and food safety standards across the agri-food chain.’
What are Plant Passports (PP)?
As part of PHR, plants and some plant products will require a Plant Passport (PP). A PP is an official label for the movement of regulated plants and plant products within the EU.
What do you need to do?
This new regulation does not affect cut flowers. As a florist retailer in the UK and Republic of Ireland you are required to ensure that any plant stock you are buying from your wholesalers has a Plant Passport containing the relevant information and that you retain a copy of this Plant Passport, which is currently for a minimum of 3 years, to comply with the new regulation.
For our florists who also operate as wholesale businesses you will need to ensure you are complying with Plant Passporting requirements and supply these to your florist customers in line with the new PHR.
The new Plant Health Regulations apply regardless of Brexit and are applicable post 31st January 2020 when Britain plans to leave the EU, albeit possibly in a revised format.
For more information and guidance from DEFRA please visit their Plant Health Portal https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/
Further information can also be found via the following resources:
· Smarter Rules for Safer Food
· Plants requiring a Plant Passport
A list can be found under ‘Lists of pests, commodities and plant health requirements’ in Annex XIII and XIV