Businesses in Luxembourg which produce certain plants, plant products or wood packaging, and plan to move them to another Member State in the European Union (EU) have to apply for a plant passport from the Administration of agricultural technical services (Administration des Services Techniques de l'Agriculture - ASTA).
The plant passport guarantees that the products are compliant with EU regulations and ensures their traceability.
Whenever plants and plant products are transported within the European Union for the purpose of exporting them to a third country, it is necessary to apply for an intra-EU phytosanitary communication document and not a plant passport.
Businesses who produce certain plants, plant products or wood packagings are required to apply for a plant passport for intra-EU movements.
All plants and plant products are not necessarily concerned but only those which present a phytosanitary risk depending on their destination (namely a protected area).
Applications can only be submitted if the company is registered with the Trade and Companies Register (Registre de commerce et des sociétés - RCS) in Luxembourg.
Submitting the application
The company first has to register with ASTA's Plant protection service (Service de la Protection des Végétaux) by indicating its business activity, the type of goods concerned and the purpose of their application.
Depending on the goods, ASTA will communicate the necessary controls to perform or analyses to provide, if any, as well as other procedures to complete.
Depending on the type of registration requested, 2 different cases are possible:
- the business which occasionally applies for a European plant passport to ASTA will receive the passport from ASTA;
- the business itself will print out the passport.
Using the passport
The European plant passport is presented in the form of an adhesive label which is put on the plant, the plant product or the batch of products in a manner which renders the reuse of the label impossible.
The label must contain 7 essential pieces of information:
- the indication "PASSEPORT PHYTOSANITAIRE CE" in capital letters;
- the name of the official control body: ASTA;
- the country code of the Member State: LU;
- the registration number of the business in the Luxembourg Trade and Companies Register;
- the serial number, the consignment number or number of the week, typed or written in capital letters;
- the botanical name of the plant (its latin name);
- the number of plants or plant products.
It may also contain 3 optional pieces of information:
- the mark "ZP" ("zone protégée" = protected zone) followed by the code of the protected zone(s) in which the product is authorised;
- the mark "RP" ("passeport de remplacement" = replacement passport, mandatory in the event of a reforwarding of the consigment, a division of the consignment, a combination of consigments or a change in the plant health status of the consignment) followed by the producer's code or the code of the intial importer;
- the indication of the country of origin if the product originates from a third country.
If the information is not indicated on the label, it must be communicated in an accompanying document to which the label should be affixed instead. The accompanying document can be any type of document used for commercial purposes. It must list all the consignments concerned, and all the mandatory and/or relevant information for the plant passport must be indicated on the document.
In order to be authorised to print out the plant passport, the company has to:
- undergo an annual inspection and ensure access to its installations for all ASTA agents at all times;
- have received the authorisation to issue plant passports; they are made available to the company by ASTA and will remain ASTA's property;
- keep a register of plants produced by the company or purchased from or sold to professionals, and keep said register for 3 years;
- appoint a contact person for ASTA's agents who has technical experience in the field of plant production and protection;
- have systems and procedures in place (e.g.: have updated plans of their installations) which allow to monitor the circulation of plants, plant products and other objects on their own production sites (in order to guarantee traceability).
Conditions for denial
ASTA will deny the application if:
- the plants or plant products for which a plant passport is required contain organisms which are in the list of exclusions for the destination zone(s).
The company must immediately inform ASTA:
- of any unusual occurrence of harmful organisms or any other plant abnormality;
- of each change of activities for which it was registered.