New plant passporting arrangement

4 November 2019

The new plant passporting arrangements will come into effect on 14 December 2019.

Anyone responsible for the movement of roundwood timber or Christmas trees over 3m needs to become a Registered Authorised Professional Operators (RAPOs).

The following also require a Plant Passport:

  • Sweet Chestnut and Plane, together with bulk bark, brash and wood chipped on harvesting sites.
  • Christmas trees over 3 metres and decorative foliage from such trees


  • Sawdust, wood chips and slabwood with bark are currently considered to be a lower risk and are not expected to require Plant Passports

To start the registration process, please first contact

You will then be asked to complete a short “e-learning” package – which can be accessed here.

Confor has worked to ensure that these requirements and their enforcement are reasonable and as risk based as possible.

For further information on plant passporting please see the “Media link” below to an article in Forestry and Timber News October 2019.

Update from Forestry Commission as of 19 December 2019:

"We are aware that some professional operators have followed earlier advice to use “a” prefixed pest codes on their plant passports and that “a” prefixed pest codes were used in the September Confor article on plant passporting.  The Forestry Commission can accept the use of “a” prefixed pest codes for movement within England, Wales and Scotland until stocks of “a” prefixed pest code delivery advice notes need to be re-printed.   

Please ensure “c” prefixed pest codes are used for the trade in conifer with bark from the Pest Free Area in Scotland, to EU Protected Zones such as Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The Forestry Commission will issue another update on pest codes to be used in January 2020."