A plant passport is required for commercial trading (with the EU and within Switzerland) that involves certain plants and plant material. This document gives evidence that specific provisions related to plant health are satisfied. Producers and retailers who handle plants or plant material that require plant passports must be registered with the Federal Office for Agriculture before they trade in such goods (Application for registration). There are specific requirements regarding the production of the said goods. Regular checks are made to ensure that producers and retailers are adhering to the conditions laid down.
Bringing into circulation of plants with a plant passport
A basic distinction is made between plants and plant material that require a plant passport in all cases and those that require a passport only if they are propagated for commercial purposes (see also Material that requires a plant passport). As a rule no plant passports are issued to private individuals.
Producers of plants that require plant passports must register their production areas or stocks every year, after which an authorised agent (Concerplant, Vitiplant or the Swiss Central Office for Market Gardening) will carry out a plant health inspection. If this confirms that the specific provisions related to plant health are satisfied, the material produced can be put into circulation with a plant passport under the terms of the Guidelines on the production and trade in plants that require a plant passport.
Retailers who trade in plants that require a plant passport will receive the corresponding passport with their deliveries. If no plant passport is provided with a delivery the retailer must demand this document from his supplier. A replacement plant passport RP must be issued when the plants are sold.
Every firm that is registered must keep an inventory of plants acquired and sold. The corresponding plant passports must be kept for at least 3 years. The firm's accounts will be checked regularly by the Federal Plant Protection Service.
A protected zone (Zona Protecta) is defined as an area where specified harmful organisms have not been found despite favourable ecological conditions (possibility of colonisation). Such protected zones (ZP) are specific to given organisms (e.g. fireblight = b2, Grapevine flavescence dorée = d4) and exist for the EU and Switzerland. Only plants or plant material with a corresponding ZP plant passport may be introduced into these areas (e.g. ZP-b2 for Erwinia amylovora).
ZP plant passports are issued only by authorised bodies. The plant material is considered equivalent in view of the specific production conditions (buffer zone).
Upon application the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) may issue an exception for bringing into circulation of engrafting material without plant passport. For specific restrictions and additional requirements, see the document "information about bringing into circulation of engrafting material without plant passport".
Last modification 12.11.2019
ContactFederal Offico of Agriculture FOAG Swiss Federal Plant Protection Service (SPPS)
- +41 58 462 25 50
- +41 58 462 26 34
Customs offices SPPS
- +41 58 464 33 93
Geneva international airport
- +41 58 464 33 88
- +41 58 461 81 03