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New Plant Health Regulations came into force on 14 December 2019 as part of the Government’s Smarter Rules for Safer Foods package. 

The rules are intended to support growers and farmers by providing: 

  • a simpler and more consistent plant passport format
  • a more harmonised approach to internal plant movement including better traceability and protection of their production
  • a risk-based approach to plant health surveillance
  • strengthened outbreak management processes. 

The new regulations mean extending the scope and changing the format of plant passports and there will new requirements for authorising the issue of them. 

Professional operators have new registration requirements and there is a more precautionary approach to new trade flows and commitment to undertake thorough pest risk assessments. 

There are new requirements applying to high risk plants and regulated non quarantine pests (RNQPs). 

The Plant Health Portal includes information about pests and diseases and any new contingency plans that are needed. 

The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has designated 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH), and the first annual UK Plant Health Week will run from 20-27 April. 

For more information about the Plant Health Regulations, see here.