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Phytosanitary Certificate

A Phytosanitary Certificate is an official document that is necessary when you are shipping regulated goods such as plants , plant products or other regulated items. A phyto certificate is an official document that is produced from the Horticulture, Agric

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A Phytosanitary Certificate is an official document that is necessary when you are shipping regulated goods such as plants, plant products or other regulated items. A phytosanitary certificate is an official document that is produced from the Horticulture, Agriculture, Food or Water Resource Department of the exporting nation. Only an approved official from a government department approved by a National Plant Protection Agency (NPPO) may issue this. The agency is in a position to prevent the danger of spreading pests, pollution or disease into the importing country.

Export inspection and phytosanitary certification of plants and plant products shall be carried out in compliance with Article IV of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) for the fulfillment of the Member country's legal obligations. The Phytosanitary Certificates shall be issued in the model formats provided for under Article V of the IPPC in compliance with the importing country's existing PQ regulations. Such certificates shall be issued by technically trained and duly approved officers in the exporting country after careful inspection and treatment of plants and plant products and shall include additional declarations as may be needed by the importing country as well as treatment information if any provided by the duly authorized officer. Inspection and certification authorities are therefore notified by the Ministry of Agriculture for export inspection and certification

Export-Import Policy and CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna) provisions can be referred by the Phytosanitary issuing authority for a complete list of prohibited/restricted plant species.

When entering into trade agreements (Letter of Credit (LC)/Agreement, etc.), the exporter should ensure that the contract concluded with the importer represents the existing Plant Quarantine Regulations regarding the commodities being exported from the importing country or a copy of the permit provided by the importing country where applicable.

The phytosanitary certificate shall be issued in accordance with the requirements of the country of import duly reflected in the contract or permit issued by the country of import.

Who needs

The importer may need a Phytosanitary Certificate to import regulated products including commodities such as plants, bulks & tubers or propagating seeds, fruits & vegetables, cut flowers & branches, grain and growing medium. They may also be needed for certain processed plant products that have the potential to introduce regulated pests (examples include cotton or wood). They may also often be needed to cover contaminated articles, such as empty shipping containers, vehicles or other organisms. If the shipper is unable to provide the importer with a phytosanitary certificate, the products are highly likely not to be approved by customs.

Process of Certification

Importers of goods require a phytosanitary certificate to get customs clearing of the products before the shipments arrive in port. The goods shipper has to contact the appropriate department in their country and apply for the certificate. Generally, applicants must be registered with the department first before applying for the certificate.  An authorized officer may need to inspect the exporter's facility to ensure that it meets strict hygiene standards in order to be eligible for export. Most departments in government today require shippers to apply online for health certificates and Phyto certificates. However, a manual paper document can be submitted in some cases for approval.


Upon receipt of the inspection fees and full application review, sampling and laboratory testing begins. The officials conduct the same at a specific time and date, either at the PQ station or at suitable stations. chiefly mentioned in the exporter's quarantine order. The exporter would also be responsible for the transportation and the necessary facilities for opening, viewing, sampling, repacking, etc. In addition, seed testing must meet the guidelines laid down in the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA). While under the Bureau of Indian Standards, pulses and other eatables will be in the case of cereals.


A Phytosanitary Certificate includes the information below:

a. The product name, address and contact information for shipper (exporter)

b. Name of client, address and contact details of the consignor

c. Place of origin

d. Destination Nation

e. Conveyance means (road, rail, air, sea)

f. Declared Entry Point

g. Import permit number

h. Product details included in the shipment-including shipping marks and container numbers, package number and description.

the product name, quantity, botanical name, commodity code and total weight.

i. Company statement, example – 'This is to confirm that the plants, plant products or other regulated articles listed in this document have been inspected and/or checked-in compliance with appropriate official procedures and are deemed free from the quarantine pests identified by the importing contracting party and comply with the current phytosanitary requirements of the importing contracting party;

j. Treatment details including-date, type of treatment, chemical, concentration, duration & temperature plus any additional information or statements

k. An official approved by the governing authority must sign and stamp the certificate

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