Uproar over EU plant passport: “We can’t stick a label on every pot”

Over the past six years 13,000 dangerous organisms have been seized on plants entering the EU.  In Belgium the number of dangerous organisms impounded has doubled since 2014.  In order to address a threat that often receives scant attention the EU has now introduced plant passports.

The passports affect nearly all plants though cut flowers and a few seeds are exempt.  Plants sold directly to the customer without any intermediary don’t require a passport either.

Plant passports identify the variety of plant and its origin.  Plant growers have been preparing for the introduction of the EU plant passport for months.  Still a lot of confusion reigns.  Under the Euro law a passport needs to be delivered for the smallest quantity of the same plant being imported.  This could be an entire lorry or a single pallet.

Since September though florists have been asking for each and every plant to have its own passport label.  This is driving up costs for the wholesalers and they weren’t prepared for this request.

“It’s not feasible to stick a label on every single plant” one grower told VRT.

The EU hopes the new passport will facilitate future seizures and prevent the spread of plant diseases.