EU regulations for plant manufacturers since 14.12.2019 - what you need to know

According to the Plant Health Regulation (EU) 2016/2031, plant producers and traders have to comply with higher labelling requirements since 14 December 2019 and label the smallest trading units with the plant passport. The plant passport serves to implement the new EU plant health system and to ensure plant health in agriculture. The Institute for National and International Affairs of Plant Health of the Julius Kühn Institute is responsible for the plant health sector and works closely with the responsible Federal Ministry of Agriculture, the plant protection services, the authorities and international expert bodies.


Find out now which products are affected and which requirements have to be observed for plant passports within the European Union due to the new regulation.

More transparency due to the plant passport

The plant passport is used to ensure transparency and communication of phytosanitary information in the EU internal market. The plant passport is required at all levels from the producer to the retail trade. The aim is to reduce the spread of pests or diseases and to ensure traceability in the event of pest infestation. A requirement for the use of the plant passport is an application by the operator for registration with the competent authority, which is based on the specifications of the respective federal state.

The new plant health system requires retailers and manufacturers to act on their own responsibility. 
The company concerned carries out a thorough check for controlled pests of the plant. If the requirements are complied with, the plant passport is attached to the trading unit. These internal company checks are documented by the entrepreneur. A regular check on compliance with the requirements in the companies is carried out by the plant protection service.

Which plants must be marked with the EU plant passport?

The plant passport must be issued for all plants intended for planting and for seeds of certain plant species.  The identification of plants with the plant passport shall in principle distinguish official seed/plant material from other plants, plant products and other objects not subject to the certification procedure. 

Form and indications of the plant passport

There are concrete requirements for the contents of the plant passport, which must comply with the specifications of the implementing regulation (EU) 2017/2313. Format and size, on the other hand, allow a certain degree of flexibility.

Indications of the plant passport

The following information should be visible and legible on the plant passport:

  • Top left: the EU flag (in colour or black and white print)

  • Top right: the name „Plant Passport“ in English and in the national language

The information consists of:

  • letter A: botanical name/taxa of the plant species concerned and optionally the name of the variety

  • letter B: national registration number of the issuing company

  • letter C: Traceability code of the plants, plant products or other objects

  • letter D: two-letter code of the Member State where the operator issuing the plant passport is registered


In case of presentation on the plant passport, the letter must always be followed by the relevant indication.​

The botanical name should describe the commercial unit as concretely and accurately as possible. The use of botanical names and taxa (species, genus, family, etc.) is mandatory - the simple use of product names is not permitted.

The traceability code is allocated by the company issuing the plant passport. The traceability code and the company‘s corresponding record keeping obligations towards the plant protection organisation must make it possible to ensure where the goods originate. No traceability code need to be indicated for plants without a high plant-health risk and intended for the end user.

The country of origin of the product must be indicated in the form of the two-letter code. If the commodity is further processed by major crop steps, the origin of the commodity changes and the country of origin indication on the plant passport must be revised. Seeds always retain the country of origin as the country of production. If a plant is cultivated (rooting of cuttings, further cultivation from raw material to finished product) the origin changes. Inspections of incoming and outgoing goods and storage in one country do not lead to a change in the country of origin.

Format and size of the plant passport

To ensure that the plant passport is clearly visible and legible, it should be issued in a standard format. This will ensure that the plant passport can be easily distinguished from other information and labels. To improve the visibility of the plant passport, the information should be highlighted by rectangular or square boxes.


Due to differences in size and characteristics and the different labelling requirements of commercial units, the formats and thus the arrangement of the information on the plant passport may vary. The following examples are correct in their presentation, other designs may also be correct. The samples do not contain any specifications regarding passport size, margin usage, font size or typeface.

Normal complete plant passport with traceability code

Normal complete plant passport without traceability code 
(For plants intended for planting, which may be supplied to the end-user)

Normal complete plant passport for protected zones
(A complete plant passport is required and the relevant protected area pest must be indicated)

Normal complete plant passport for protected zones
(A complete plant passport is required and the relevant protected area pest must be indicated - here in the form of an abbreviation)


Applying the plant passport

The plant passport must always be applied to the smallest trading unit, e.g. plant pot, package, bundle or container. 

Plant passport as a label

The plant passport is an official label which must comply with the following conditions:

  • easily identifiable to other labels

  • clearly visible application to the goods

  • clearly readable

Application to the goods

The plant passport is always attached to the smallest trading unit. This must be homogeneous in terms of composition and origin (production takes place on the same holding). 

Replacing a plant passport

If the physical characteristics of the plant change as a result of cultivation, a new plant passport must be issued and applied.

For plant passports issued before 14 December 2019, there is a transitional period until 14 December 2023.


Implement the EU plant passport efficiently and reliably with b+b

In general, there are many ways to implement the plant passport. The choice of the right technology depends, among other things, on the production environment, production speed, product variety, product formats and the number of products. In the following we will inform you about possible solutions.


The plant passport label can be easily applied to the trade unit. Whether blank labels for printing or prefabricated plant passport labels - thanks to our own label production, we offer you the highest quality and fast delivery.

> More about labels

Use of label printers and direct printers

By using label printers, the plant passport can be printed directly at the production company. Alternatively, the plant passport can be printed directly on the trade unit. As a partner of well-known manufacturers of label printers, thermal transfer printers and inkjet printers, b+b offers you the right solution for your requirements - depending on the production speed, the number of products to be labelled and the production environment. 

> More about label printer and direct printer

Use of print and apply systems

The use of label printing dispensers is generally possible. The information of the plant passport is printed directly on the label and then applied to the product. The new label print dispenser EDS 420i | EDS 620i from b+b is suitable for the implementation of the plant passport. It is compact, robust and can be flexibly integrated into your production line.


> More about print and apply systems

Use of label design and automation software

With the help of a label software you can design and print your plant passport labels directly. The label software Labelsplatform 4 from b+b enables you to easily implement the plant passport.

> More about label design software LP4

Use of semi or fully automatic labelling systems

Depending on the product or packaging format different standard systems from b+b can be used. Whether top, bottom, side, wrap-around or closure labelling - b+b offers you the right solution. In addition to the standard labelling machines b+b also offers corresponding special solutions, tailored to your product and packaging formats as well as your requirements.

> More about labelling machines

Traceability by b+b Siteserver

By using the b+b site server, the recording process can be digitalized for the plant protection service and a complete traceability of the trading units can be ensured. By means of product labelling and product tracking, the paths of the product can be traced and thus a product recall can be carried out more quickly. b+b offers you all the required hardware or software components for tracing the plants.

> More about track and trace

Which technology is the best economic solution for your company?

The question of the right technology to implement the plant passport always requires a differentiated assessment of the possibilities and the consideration of your production and requirements. b+b will be pleased to help you finding the best economic solution for your company to fulfil your requirements.


You are looking for a turnkey solution to label your products - contact us!

b+b Automations- und Steuerungstechnik GmbH

b+b Automations- und Steuerungstechnik GmbH is your partner for innovative and reliable labelling and identification technology made to measure. In 1986 b+b was founded in Airlenbach in the Odenwald. Today the internationally operating company employs 115 people in the field of labelling technology.


Your requirements and wishes are our focus when implementing your project. From development and planning to complete implementation, our employees will provide you with optimum support.


At b+b you receive the complete solution from one source. From software, printing and dispensing systems to fully automatic labelling and identification systems. For more than 30 years b+b has been supplying complete solutions for labelling, serialisation and aggregation for companies from all industries.

email: info@bb-automation.com

phone: +49 (0) 6068 9310 0


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b+b Automations- und Steuerungstechnik GmbH

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64760 Oberzent


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