Trade with plants and plant propagating material
If you trade in plants and plant propagating material professionally, there are plant health rules that you must follow to prevent the spread of plant pests. You must also comply with the rules that are intended to ensure that plants and propagating material are otherwise healthy and of good quality. The rules are common to all of the EU. If you trade in organic products, there are further rules that you must comply with.
New seed legislation 2023
Register your professional production or sales of plants and seed
If you professionally produce or trade in plants, plant propagating material or seed, you have to be registered at the Swedish Board of Agriculture, except in a few specific cases. The purpose of the registration is to enable the tracing of pests, and to check that you meet the requirements for the production of and trade with plants.
You must register your professional activities in the following cases
You have to register your professional activities if your business
- needs to apply for a permit to issue plant passports
- produces or trades with other companies with
- plants or plant products that have plant passports (issued by a previous supplier)
- plants or plant products for which your company issues a plant passport, e.g. for growing, replanting, repackaging of seed
- plant propagating material for ornamental plants
- plant propagating material for vegetables or vegetable plants
- plant propagating material for fruit and berries or fruit and berry plants
- markets plants or seed which require a plant passport, via e-commerce or by mail order, regardless of whether your business trades with other businesses or only sells to non-professional end users
- packs, repacks or labels seeds of vegetables or ornamental plants, or if your business is the main responsible agent in Sweden for packaging, labelling, or marketing of seeds for vegetable or ornamental plants which the business is marketing under its own brand, such as the main office of a retail chain.
You do not have to register your professional activities
- If you only market the following products to non-professional end users in a physical store or similar physical location:
- plants that you have purchased
- plants you have grown yourself.
- if you only sell the following, regardless of end customer or location:
- pre-packaged seeds you bought from professional companies other than your own and which you sell in unbroken packages
- seeds under own brand, subpackaged by another company that is responsible for the content and the label on the packaging
- seeds of non-woody species of ornamental plants, if you only market less than 5,000 seeds per variety and year or if you have an annual turnover from the seed sales that is lower than 1.5 price base amount.
Plant passport are required when you trade within Sweden or with other EU Member States
If you professionally trade in or move plants and propagating material within Sweden or between EU Member States, the products shall in most cases have a plant passport. A plant passport is a label attached to the product, certifying that the product has been checked and is free from regulated pests. The purpose is to prevent the spread of regulated pests and, when necessary, enable the tracing of pests which have spread. Plant passports are issued by the company that is authorized to issue plant passport. To issue a plant passport, you must first register with the Swedish Board of Agriculture.
Phytosanitary certificates are required for trade with countries outside the EU, and there are some import bans
If you are buying plants or propagating material from a country outside the EU, there must be a phytosanitary certificate for the products. This is a document which is issued by the plant protection organisation in the exporting country, showing that they have checked the products and verified that the products are free from regulated plant pests. You shall also pre-notify the import. Please note that if you then move the products between countries within the EU, this will require plant passports.
Some plants entail such considerable risk that they are not allowed to be imported at all if they come from certain countries or certain parts of the world.
If you are selling plants or propagating material to a country outside the EU, you need to find out what the rules are in the recipient country. Some countries require a phytosanitary certificate for the products. You can apply for a certificate with the Swedish Board of Agriculture.
Trade in propagating material of ornamental plants and in vegetable propagating materials and vegetable plants
These rules apply to you if you produce or trade with propagating material for ornamental plants including seed from woody ornamental plants, or with plant propagating material for vegetables or vegetable plants.
The rules apply to all genera and species which are intended for ornamental use, and those genera and species which are for vegetables.
The species and groups to which the rules for vegetable plants apply (in Swedish)
Allium cepa L.
Allium fistulosum L.
Allium porrum L.
Allium sativum L.
Allium schoenoprasum L.
Anthriscus cerefolium (L.) Hoffm.
Apium graveolens L.
Asparagus officinalis L.
Beta vulgaris L.
Rödbeta inklusive Cheltenhambeta
Brassica oleracea L.
Huvudkål (rödkål och vitkål)
Brassica rapa L.
Capsicum annuum L.
Cichorium endivia L.
Cichorium intybus L.
Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. et Nakai
Cucumis melo L.
Cucumis sativus L.
Cucurbita maxima Duchesne
Jättepumpa inklusive vinterpumpa
Cucurbita pepo L.
Cynara cardunculus L.
Daucus carota L.
Foeniculum vulgare Mill.
Lactuca sativa L.
Solanum lycopersicum L.
Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) A. W. Hill
Phaseolus coccineus L.
Phaseolus vulgaris L.
Pisum sativum L.
Raphanus sativus L.
Rheum rhabarbarum L.
Scorzonera hispanica L.
Solanum melongena L.
Spinacia oleracea L.
Valerianella locusta (L.) Laterr.
Vicia faba L.
Zea mays L.
If you produce plant propagating material and plants, you must meet the requirements in the Swedish Board of Agriculture’s regulations on ornamental plants and vegetable plants. This means, among other things, that you must:
- Register your business with the Swedish Board of Agriculture. At the latest on 30 April each year, you must update the information from the previous year, if it has changed. You can do this using our e-service.
- Chart, monitor and document your production to ensure that the production generates plants which meet the health and quality requirements. You should retain the documentation for one year.
- Send samples for analysis when needed.
- Keep different batches of propagating material and plants separate both during production and marketing. The lots must also be identifiable.
The propagating material and the plants shall
- be viable and develop typically for the species or variety
- be practically free of harmful organisms and of defects.
Plants showing symptoms of harmful organisms must be either destroyed or treated where possible. For several harmful organisms, the rule is that no plants with symptoms must be detectable when inspected visually.
Propagating material and plants shall be sold in lots with accompanying documentation. They may also be marked with labels. Anyone selling propagating material or plants shall document purchases, sales and deliveries. Your business accounting suffices as documentation.
Trade with plants for fruit and berries
The rules apply to plants, propagating materials and rootstocks. The specific genera and species for which these rules apply are given below.
The rules apply to you if you
- produce or trade with certified plants or propagating material
- produce or trade with plants with CAC quality
- sell plants directly to private customers.
The rules also apply to organisations, businesses, or others who wish to register varieties in the Swedish list of plant varieties.
Genera and species of fruit and berries to which the rules apply
Castanea sativa Mill.
The citrus genus
Corylus avellana L.
Cydonia oblonga Mill.
Ficus carica L.
The kumquat genus
The wild strawberry genus
Juglans regia L.
The apple genus
Olea europaea L.
Pistacia vera L.
Prunus amygdalus Batsch.
Prunus armeniaca L.
Prunus avium (L.) L.
Prunus cerasus L.
Prunus domestica L.
Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.
Prunus salicina Lindley
The pear genus
The currant genus
The raspberry genus
The blueberry genus
The rules for producing and trading with certified fruit and berries or propagating material
There are three different certification categories: pre-basic, basic and certificate plants. Pre-basic and basic plants are plants are used for propagation and which fulfil very high health and quality requirements. The lowest category, certificate plants, are sold to fruit growers and private individuals. Certificate plants also meet high health and quality requirements and can be traced back to the original prebase plant. The Swedish Board of Agriculture controls and decides which plants may be certified.
In order to be permitted to sell plants, propagating material and rootstock of fruit and berry plants, you must meet the requirements in the guidelines for growers producing certified materials of fruit and berries. This means, among other things, that you shall:
- Register the business and its activities with the Swedish Board of Agriculture. At the latest on 30 April each year, you must update the information from the previous year, if it has changed.
- Apply annually for the approval or certification by the Swedish Board of Agriculture of your fruit and berry plants
- Have a plan for your production and produce documentation
- Follow the rules for production, packaging, and labelling
- Ensure that the varieties you grow or sell are included in an official list of varieties within the EU, usually the EU variety list FRUMATIS or the Swedish list of varieties.
You register your business in the e-service Professional production and sales of plants and seeds. Using the e-service, you can also apply for the approval or certification by the Swedish Board of Agriculture of your fruit and berry plants.
If you wish to produce pre-basic, basic or certificate plants, please contact the Swedish Board of Agriculture’s plant rules unit for guidance.
We will check that your production meets the requirements on one or two occasions per growing season. After the check is carried out, we will decide on the certification of propagating material or plants which meet the requirements.
Rules for producing or trading with fruit and berry plants with CAC quality
Plants with CAC quality meet certain minimum quality requirements and requirements relating to the absence of pests. The plants are primarily sold to individuals. If you produce fruit and berry plants with CAC quality, you are responsible for ensuring that the plants are healthy and of sufficient quality. You can find the rules that apply to your production in the guidelines for the production of CAC material. We will then carry out inspections at your business, among other things to ensure that you are carrying out your own checks, and that your production meets the requirements. Varieties of CAC quality must also be included in an official list of varieties within the EU, usually the EU variety list FRUMATIS or the Swedish list of varieties.
Rules for selling fruit and berry plants to private consumers
In order to be permitted to sell fruit and berry plants to private consumers, this applies:
The plants shall
- be certified or meet the requirements for CAC
- be of a variety which is included in an official list of varieties within the EU, usually the EU variety list FRUMATIS or the Swedish list of varieties.
The plants shall be labelled with
- the name of the variety
- appropriate product information, such as growing zone, rootstock for fruit trees, and quality.
Trade with forest reproductive material
If you professionally produce, store or market forest reproductive material, you shall register your business with the Swedish Board of Agriculture. At the latest on 30 April each year, you shall update the information from the previous year, if it has changed. You can do this using our e-service.
Further information about other rules that apply to trade with forest reproductive material can be found on the Swedish Forest Agency’s website.
Forest reproductive material comprises seed, parts of plants, plants, plant cuttings, pine cones, acorns and similar, which are used in forestry.
Trade with organic products
In order to be permitted to sell your products as organic, you must be certified for organic production.
When you trade with plants, plant propagating material and parts of plants with countries outside the EU, there are additional rules that you must comply with in order to be permitted to sell them as organic in Sweden and the rest of the EU.
Fees for registered companies
There is an annual fee for registered companies of SEK 2,200.
Companies that only handle seed that is not covered by the plant passport rules do not pay an annual fee.
Fees for inspections
Businesses that have a permit to issue plant passports pay SEK 2,500 per inspection.
The following companies shall also pay an annual fee for public inspections of SEK 1,800:
- companies producing propagation or plant material of vegetables, ornamental plants and fruit plants
- companies that we inspect for fire blight in pears
- companies that have applied for an approval or certification of fruit plants.
If an inspection takes longer than one hour to carry out, an additional fee of SEK 950 per hour will be charged.
Seed operators from whom we take seed samples for analysis pay SEK 500 per sample as well as the actual cost of the sampling.
Seed operators with whom we check supplier labelling pay SEK 2,150 per sample, fees for analysis and the actual cost of sampling.
Revision date: 2023-03-30