Plant Health & Plant Passports

Plant Health & Plant Passports

We take our plant health very seriously. After all, it affects both our environment and our livelihood.

We are regularly inspected by the Animal and Plant Health Agency for plant pest and disease and are fully authorised to issue Plant Passports allowing us to send plants to both the general public and horticultural trade businesses in the United Kingdom and European Union State members. This system facilitates traceability of plants to assist with the UK's & European Unions bio security.

(Our Plant Passport Authority Number is GB-24709).


As of 14th December 2019 Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 came into effect.

This basically means that anyone in the UK or any EU State selling plants online MUST issue plant passports to all plant consignments sent out via mail order. This covers websites, marketplaces such as Amazon/Ebay and orders placed via mail order catalogues.

We understand that this regulation will remain in effect in the event of the UK leaving the EU ! ( There are NO exceptions to this, so when you do order your plants from any online source, make sure that the seller holds a valid plant passport number ).


What is a Plant Passport ?

There has been a lot of confusing press recently about plant passports and we have recently received a number of enquiries from our customers asking what the plant passport is and why it is needed.

The idea behind the plant passport system is too create traceability of plants that travel throughout the UK and EU so that in the event of infection there is a possible way to trace back to the source. Issuing plant passports on all plants sent out mail order  is hopefully only the first step to a more robust bio security for the UK. 

These regulations also apply to the many general public / amateur gardeners who also sell plants / seeds / cuttings from their own gardens, allotments etc on the internet. Basically, without exception, anyone or any business selling plants by distance must be registered with Animal and Plant Health Agency and be authorised to issue plant passports. 

The actual plant passport can take various forms. Our passport is a simple label that you will find attached to either the individual plant or the plant consignment. You will also find this information duplicated on your Calamazag Nursery delivery document. It contains some simple details such as the genus of the plant or plants, the sellers plant passport number, a traceability code and the country of origin.

The word passport has confused some customers thinking that it only applies if we send plants outside of the UK. This is not the case, plants sent in the UK and EU need a passport.

We keep records, checked by the Animal and Plant Agency to allow for traceability of all of the plants that we sell online.

At present, plant passports do not need to be issued if we sell to you face to face (e.g. flower shows or our own nursery). The current legislation only covers distance selling and selling to the trade so unless you are involved in professional horticultural activities such as growing on our plants to re sell, if you buy from us, face to face, we do not need to issue a passport for those plants.

A quick example at present would be that a customer in London places an order on our website. In this instance we issue a plant passport with the delivery, thus providing the required traceability.

The same customer could visit our nursery in Cornwall, buy plants and take them back to London and no passport needs to be issued by us. In both instances, the plants leave us in Cornwall and arrive in London, one is traceable and one is not.

As we said earlier, this is only the first step. To tighten further the UK's bio security these plants also need to be traceable but at present there is no legislation for this. Hopefully this will change in the future but for now it purely applies to online and trade sales.

Why are plant passports being issued ?

One of the main reasons for this system is that the UK's bio security is under threat from disease in plants and trees. At present, the greatest threat is a bacterium called Xylella fastidiosa. This causes disease in a wide range of plants. It has not yet been detected in the UK but there have been major outbreaks in mainland Europe.

There are serious concerns about the risk of introduction of Xylella via infected host plants imported into the UK. We have added an easy to understand short video narrated by Dame Helen Mirren to this page that gives a good insight into this.

As you will see in the clip, this is a very serious threat to the UK's bio security and if detected could have major consequences for local nurseries, garden centres and gardens.

Rest assured, at Calamazag Nursery we propagate most of our own stock on site in Cornwall. Any plant material we buy to grow on is sourced from fellow UK nurseries who also hold plant passport certification.