Switzerland, Liechtenstein and the EU form a common phytosanitary area, within which plant material can, in principle, be freely traded (no systematic phytosanitary border controls). Under the bilateral Swiss-EU Agreement on Trade in Agricultural Products, the same regulations apply throughout this single market for trade in plant material.
For plants and parts of plants intended for planting, and for certain other goods, a plant passport is required for sales within Switzerland and for exchanges with the EU. Only in the case of direct (local) supply to persons not using these goods for commercial or professional purposes is a plant passport not generally required. However, for trade – within Switzerland or with the EU – in vegetables, fruits, cut flowers, most seeds, and other plant products not intended for planting, a plant passport is not generally required.
Plant passports can only be issued by authorised operators and by the competent authority in the country concerned (in Switzerland, the Swiss Federal Plant Protection Service/SPPS). Persons and companies producing plant material intended for planting only for their own use do not need to issue plant passports and therefore do not require authorisation.
Note: The United Kingdom (with the exception of Northern Ireland) is considered as a non-EU country for trade in plant material since 1 January 2021 (for more information, see below).