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Plant Passports and Plant Sales

Merrylee Spring Plant Sale
Merrylee Spring Plant Sale, Glasgow & District

New EU Plant Health Regulations, introduced in December 2019, require traders to use Plant Passports throughout the EU and internally within the UK. This is vital to ensure that plants and plant products can be traced throughout the supply chain which is essential for maintaining biosecurity. Although the practicality is being debated, the regulations currently apply.

As an SGS GARDEN OPENER, with plants for sale, HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

If you wish to sell plants propagated from your own, or a local garden: (which constitutes the vast majority of SGS Garden Open plant sales), then you do not need a Plant Passport as long as the customer is purchasing them for personal use and does not intend to use the plants for commercial purposes. To make this easy, your SGS District Organiser will give you a sign to display on your plant stall stating (or you can download below):

Plant Health Regulations: Plants purchased at this sale are intended for personal use only and cannot be bought or used for commercial purposes.


SGS has registered with SASA (Science & Advice for Scottish Agriculture) as a Professional Operator, in order to ensure that we keep up to date with all relevant legislation. This registration covers all of our Garden Openers for plant sales as described above. Please note, however, that SGS registration DOES NOT cover:

1.     Plants received from a commercial source to sell at your plant sale: (eg: nursery, garden centre, etc.) either purchased or donated. The nursery must supply you with the plant passports.  You do not need to register with SASA, but you will need to keep the passports, or a photograph or copy of them, for three years. Few of our Garden Openers receive plants this way. It is perfectly understandable, and simpler, should you prefer not to sell plants from a commercial source. 

2.     Selling plants by post: if you intend to do this, you will need to independently register with SASA and apply for Plant Passports for any plants sold. It is unusual that plants are sold this way for SGS and selling by this method is best avoided.

With a changing climate and the increasing movement of plants, particularly the huge number of online and magazine plant sales, we’re all aware of the increasing risk of spreading plant pests and disease, and we all need to be vigilant and careful. This is a welcome industry regulation to help curtail the likelihood of any spread, and to monitor if/when it does. It has no impact on your Garden Open Plant sales if you sell under the conditions of the SGS registration.

Please direct any questions or concerns to the SGS office (0131 226 3714 or

Updated: March 2020

Below you can download this advice sheet as well as the notice to display at your plant sale: