Forestry Commission logo

Registering to trade in controlled material

Registration is free and has no time limit. You must sign a 'Letter of Undertaking' as part of the registration process which requires you to comply with certain terms and conditions. You will be given a unique registration number and your company details will be added to our Registered Forestry Traders database.

When your registration is approved a ‘Form of Undertaking’, which binds your business to comply with certain conditions, must be signed. This section sets out those obligations and describes what you must do to  comply with them. Failure to meet your obligations will, in most cases, result in immediate suspension of registration, which will stay in force until we are satisfied that you are able and willing to comply with them in the future. Failure to meet your obligations is an offence with a maximum fine of £5,000. In serious cases, we may instigate proceedings.

As a registered trader you must, in relation to the activities and premises that your registration relates:

  1. keep an accurate plan of the premises
    If you export regulated forestry material, the plan will enable you to show our Plant Health Inspector where material is stored so that they may undertake their inspection without delay.
    If you store material on your premises, a simple plan showing the access points and key features, including storage areas, will be sufficient to show our Plant Health Inspector where the material may be inspected.
  2. keep a record of relevant material purchased or brought onto the premises for storage, planting or production on those premises, and of relevant material under production on or dispatched from the premises
    So that we can trace any plant health problem back to its origin  where a pest or disease has been identified, you must maintain records showing who you obtained material from and, if appropriate, to whom you consigned it, together with relevant dates. Where a plant passport has been issued for material you have consigned, details of that plant passport (week, serial or batch number) must be recorded. In many cases, it will be possible to use the invoice or delivery note number as a serial number. Where a replacement plant passport is issued to you, you must record the registration number of the person who issued the original plant passport and its week, serial or batch number.
  3. keep all records for one year from the date created or received, if they are the final user any plant passport that accompanies the relevant material must be kept
    You must retain this information, and plant passports received by you, for at least one year from the date you record them or create them, as appropriate.   Where it is not possible to retain a plant passport, because for example it is in the form of a label integrated into packing material, you must make reference to the registration number in records maintained by you for this purpose.  In most cases normal commercial records can be used to form the basis of the requirement.
  4. designate an individual who is technically experienced in relation to the activities carried out on the premises
    you must designate someone who is knowledgeable about the activities of your business to be the central point of contact for us. If you have more than one premises within your operation it will be necessary for someone to be designated at each. This person will be the first point of contact for their local Plant Health Inspector.
    The designated person will also be responsible for ensuring that your obligations are met, although it may not necessarily be that person who does the work. He or she will also be the person to whom information about changes in the rules and any future guidance will be sent. It will be their responsibility to disseminate information to all those within the operation who have a responsibility for ensuring that the requirements are met.
  5. to examine their premises and relevant material as necessary and at appropriate times, and in a manner laid down in guideline instructions given by the responsible Plant Health Authority
    ‘Inspection' falls into three categories of examination: identity, documentary and physical for forestry material introduced into the country from another Member State.
Last updated: 18th October 2016