D-08-04: Plant protection import requirements for plants and plant parts for planting

Effective Date: November 25, 2013
(2nd Revision)

Subject

This directive contains the general import requirements for plants and plant parts for planting from all countries to prevent the entry and spread of regulated plant pests. Additional requirements specific to certain plant taxa and certain pest species may apply. These requirements may be found in various pest-specific or plant-specific directives.

This directive has been revised to make the following changes:

  • Due to the deregulation of Heterodera glycines (soybean cyst nematode) as per RMD-11-02, the import requirements for this pest have been removed from the directive.
  • A new section (3.9) has been created to more clearly describe the import requirements related to soil and soil-borne plant pests. As part of this change, the additional declarations related to soil-borne plant pests required for plants and plant parts from areas other than the continental United States have been consolidated into a single additional declaration referencing this directive.
  • A new section (3.10) has been created to clarify existing requirements for packing material.
  • Various administrative and editorial modifications have been made (e.g. new section headings to clarify the text).

Table of Contents

Review

This directive will be updated as required. For further information or clarification, please contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Endorsement

Approved by:

Chief Plant Health Officer

Amendment record

Amendments to this directive will be dated and distributed as outlined in the distribution list below.

Distribution list

  1. Directive e-mail list (CFIA regional offices, CFIA Plant Health Risk Assessment Unit, United States Department of Agriculture)
  2. Provincial Government, Industry (determined by author)
  3. National Industry Organizations (determined by author)
  4. Internet

Introduction

The importation of plants and plant parts from all countries of origin present a potential threat to Canada's plant resources, environment and economy. Trade in plants for planting is a direct pathway by which numerous plant pests could be introduced and spread within Canada. Plant pests may also be transported indirectly through materials commonly associated with plants for planting, including: soil and soil-related matter, soil-free growing media, and non-propagative wood products (e.g. stakes).

In the past, many plants for planting were imported from areas other than the continental United States (U.S.) without undergoing a formal Pest Risk Analysis (PRA). Historically, this propagative plant material was imported in relatively low volumes, and from a very limited number of known, traditional sources in Europe for growing on in Canada. However, in recent decades, Canada and other countries have begun sourcing more finished and pre-finished plant material from a large number of new trading partners and the volume of plant imports from both new and traditional sources has been increasing. The pest risk associated with these new pathways should be evaluated before Permits to Import are issued.

Scope

This directive provides an overview of the main plant protection requirements that Canadian importers and foreign exporters must comply with prior to importing plants and plant parts to Canada. This policy focusses on plants for planting as a potential pathway for regulated plant pests and does not cover the regulation of plant taxa as invasive alien species. Other directives for specific commodities, pests and origins may be applicable. This directive is to be used as a general guide for Canadian importers, foreign exporters, shippers and brokers, CFIA inspectors, the Canada Border Services Agency and National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPOs).

References

This document supersedes Directive D-08-04 (1st revision).

ISPM No. 4: Requirements for the Establishment of Pest Free Areas. 1995, Rome, FAO

ISPM No. 6: Guidelines for Surveillance. 1997, Rome, FAO

ISPM No. 10: Requirements for the Establishment of Pest Free Places of Production and Pest Free Productions Sites. 1999, Rome, FAO

ISPM No. 36: Integrated Measures for Plants for Planting. 2012, Rome, FAO

RSPM No. 24: Integrated Pest Risk Management Measures for the Importation of Plants for Planting into NAPPO Member Countries. 2005, NAPPO

D-94-14: Propagative plant material and other commodities that require an import permit if originating from the continental United States

D-95-26: Phytosanitary Requirements for Soil and Related Matter, Alone or in Association with Plants

D-96-13: Import Requirements for Plants with Novel Traits, including Transgenic Plants and their Viable Plant Parts

D-96-20: Canadian Growing Media Program, Prior Approval Process and Import Requirements for Plants Rooted in Approved Media

D-97-04: Application, Procedures, Issuance and Use of a Permit to Import Under the Plant Protection Act

D-01-02: Import Requirements for Packages of Flower Bulbs Purchased in The Netherlands by Travellers Returning to or Visiting Canada

D-02-12: Import Requirements of Non-Manufactured Wood and Other Non-Propagative Wood Products, Except Solid Wood Packaging Material, From All Areas Other Than the Continental United States

Definitions, abbreviations and acronyms

Definitions for terms used in the present document can be found in the Plant Health Glossary of Terms.

1.0 General requirements

1.1 Legislative authority

The Plant Protection Act, S.C. 1990, c. 22
The Plant Protection Regulations, SOR/95-212
Canadian Food Inspection Agency Fees Notice, Canada Gazette: Part I (as amended from time to time)

1.2 Fees

The CFIA charges fees in accordance with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Fees Notice. For information regarding fees associated with imported products, please contact the National Import Service Centre (NISC). Anyone requiring other information regarding fees may contact any local CFIA office or visit our Fees Notice website.

2.0 Specific requirements

2.1 Regulated pests

The list of Pests Regulated by Canada is available on the CFIA's website.

2.2 Regulated commodities

  • Plants and plant parts for planting, including, but not limited to: nursery stock, greenhouse plants, houseplants, potted plants, orchid plants, artificially dwarfed plants (bonsai, penjing), plants with roots, in vitro/tissue culture plants, liners, cuttings, slips, seedlings, turf (sod), living mosses, epiphytes, aerial plantlets, bulbs, corms, rhizomes, tubers, tuberous roots and herbaceous perennial roots.
  • Certain fresh decorative branches (species listed in Section 4.5).
  • Pollen intended for propagation.
    • Note: Pollen used for insect feeding is regulated by Animal Health.
  • Packing material associated with plants for planting.

Other commodity- or pest-specific requirements may apply and are provided in separate directives. For example, Chaenomeles spp. (flowering quince), Cydonia spp. (quince), Malus spp. (apple and crabapple), Prunus spp. (stone fruits), Pyrus spp. (pear) and Vitis spp. (grapevine) must originate from sources approved under the CFIA's virus certification programs for fruit trees and grapevines and are subject to additional pathogen certification requirements. For further information, please contact your local CFIA office or visit the CFIA's website.

2.3 Commodities not regulated by this directive

Note: Requirements for these materials may exist in other directives. Please consult the CFIA's AIRS for further information.

  • flower bulbs intended for personal use that are purchased in The Netherlands by travellers returning to or visiting Canada, as per directive D-01-02
  • potatoes (for propagation and consumption)
  • seeds for propagation (tree, shrub, flower, herb, vegetable, cereal and grain)
  • sprouted seeds for consumption
  • nuts and seeds for consumption
  • pollen for purposes other than propagation (e.g. for human consumption, insect feeding, etc. )
  • bulbs and other below-ground plant parts intended for consumption
  • fresh fruit, root crops, and vegetables for consumption
  • fresh decorative branches of species other than those identified specifically in section 4.5 of this directive
  • cut flowers
  • cut Christmas trees
  • dried plant material
  • raw wood and raw wood products (wood, logs, roots, wooden stakes, bark, bark chips, wood chips, mulch, hog fuel, etc.)
  • bamboo stakes
  • soil, soil-related matter, and growing media not in association with plants for planting

2.4 Regulated areas

All origins outside of Canada.

3.0 General import requirements

Consignments of plants for planting must be free of regulated pests. If other pests of potential quarantine concern are found in a consignment, the consignment may be detained while the CFIA evaluates the risk posed.

Plants for planting may also be subject to additional requirements depending on the species and country or region of origin. These additional requirements will be specified on the Permit to Import (if required) and in the associated pest- or commodity-specific directive(s). The importer must ensure that the consignment meets all Canadian import requirements.

3.1 Permit to Import

A Permit to Import is required for all plants for planting entering Canada from areas other than the continental U.S. and for some plants entering Canada from the U.S. The Canadian importer must apply for the Permit to Import well in advance of the shipping date to ensure it is received prior to shipping. The Permit to Import will specify how the material must be packaged, transported, handled, controlled and used; this will help ensure that pests or biological obstacles to the control of a pest are not introduced into or spread within Canada. Please refer to directive D-97-04 for more information about the application procedures, issuance and use of a Permit to Import under the Plant Protection Act.

For plants from the continental U.S., directive D-94-14 provides the list of taxa for which a Permit to Import is required.

3.2 Phytosanitary Certificate

A Phytosanitary Certificate is required for all plants for planting entering Canada. The Phytosanitary Certificate is issued by the NPPO of the exporting country and must list each of the plants in the consignment. The plants must be identified using accepted scientific names to at least the genus level. Certain plants for planting must be identified to species or even to cultivar (e.g. Berberis spp., plants regulated by the Convention on International Trade or Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). The list of plants on the Phytosanitary Certificate should match the packing list for the imported material.

When treatment is required, details must appear in the "Treatment" section of the Phytosanitary Certificate.

Any additional declarations required by the CFIA must be included on Phytosanitary Certificates. Section 3.9 describes the required additional declarations related to soil-borne pests. Other additional declarations may be specified in other CFIA directives; see AIRS for details. The required additional declarations are also indicated on the Permit to Import.

A copy of the Phytosanitary Certificate should accompany the shipment to destination. If presenting paperwork to the CFIA's NISC for clearance, a copy of the signed Phytosanitary Certificate must be sent along with the other paperwork.

Official attachments to the Phytosanitary Certificate should be limited to those instances where the information required to complete the certificate exceeds the available space on the certificate. Any attachments containing phytosanitary information must bear the Phytosanitary Certificate number, and must be dated, signed and stamped by the issuing NPPO. The Phytosanitary Certificate should indicate, in the appropriate section, that the information belonging in that section is contained in the attachment and it should reference the attachment by a serial number or other unique identifier.

3.3 Pest risk analysis

The CFIA reviews each application for a Permit to Import that is submitted to the Permit Office. As part of this review process, each plant taxon on the permit application is categorized as being either "Prohibited", "Authorized" or "Not Authorized Pending Pest Risk Analysis (NAPPRA)". A list of plant material that has been classified as NAPPRA can be found in Appendix 2. If a plant is on the NAPPRA list or is added to the NAPPRA list, then a Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) must be conducted to determine whether or not the plant will be authorized for import. Please be aware that a PRA is not automatically required in order for a plant to be imported from a new source.

The NAPPRA category is also used to allow the CFIA to take action in a timely manner when a plant is believed to be a pathway for the introduction of a pest of quarantine concern to Canada. The CFIA may change the categorization of a plant taxon from "Authorized" to either "Prohibited" or "NAPPRA", at its discretion. In these situations, the CFIA may amend existing Permits to Import in order to prevent further importation of one or more plants until a PRA can be completed. If a plant is classified as NAPPRA, the CFIA will notify the applicant/importer and provide information outlining the procedures for requesting a PRA, should the importer wish to do so.

The PRA is used to identify the pest risk associated with the pathway, evaluate potential mitigation measures, and determine whether imports can be authorized. Ultimately, the PRA helps the CFIA to determine whether a particular plant taxon should be prohibited entry to Canada from particular countries, or whether phytosanitary measures are available to mitigate the pest risk to an acceptable level.

The PRA process includes: assembling a list of organisms likely to be associated with the pathway, identifying whether any of these organisms are a regulatory concern, and evaluating the potential economic and environmental impact. The biology of the pest organisms, including life cycles, geographical distributions, host ranges, habitats and associations with plants for planting are all used to develop the PRA. Information about the commodity, including production practices, pest management strategies, modes of transport, and its intended end use are also essential elements.

If a Permit to Import is issued, it will include a description of any specific phytosanitary measures and any additional declarations that are required. The importer must ensure that the consignment is in compliance with all requirements.

Phytosanitary risk mitigation measures at origin may include one or more of the following:

  • prohibition
  • visual inspection
  • pest-specific sampling and testing
  • treatment at origin
  • pest-free area, based on official surveys (as per ISPM No. 4 and ISPM No. 6)
  • pest-free place of production (as per ISPM No. 10)
  • production under a systems approach at an approved facility (as per ISPM No. 36 and RSPM No. 24)
  • production under a clean stock program in the exporting country (as per ISPM No. 36 and RSPM No. 24)
  • post-entry quarantine in Canada
  • importation limited to in-vitro plants
  • importation limited to seed
  • preclearance by the CFIA in the country of origin (e.g. Netherlands Dormant Bulbs and Perennials Preclearance Program)

3.4 Prohibitions

Plants for planting that are prohibited entry to Canada from areas other than the continental U.S. are listed on the CFIA website.

3.5 Country of origin

The pest risk associated with any particular plant taxa is closely tied to the country of origin of the plant and the pests of concern present in that country. Each country in which a plant is grown adds an additional layer of risk to the final product. There is currently no international mechanism for tracking all the countries where a plant is grown, allowing for evaluation of these accumulated risks.

In addition, a number of plant pests are cryptic in nature, or do not immediately induce symptom development on the host plants they infest, making their detection difficult at the time of the certification by the exporting country's NPPO. By prescribing a defined period of active growth for plants for planting material, it is expected that a greater number of pests will be identified at origin prior to shipping, therefore reducing the risk of pest introduction into Canada.

The CFIA considers plants for planting entering Canada to originate from the exporting country if the material:

  1. Was propagated and grown only in the exporting country.

    OR

  2. Was imported to the exporting country from a third country and actively grown in the exporting country for at least:
    • 4 weeks (28 days) for plants that are propagated and grown exclusively in greenhouses.

      OR

    • 16 weeks (112 days) for plants that are grown outdoors at any time during production.

Plant material is considered as actively growing when dormancy is broken.

For plants that have not been grown in the country of export for the period of time prescribed above, the exporting NPPO must declare all countries where they have been grown as the countries of origin.

Plants for planting that are prohibited or restricted entry to Canada from a particular country cannot be imported to Canada from a third country regardless of how long they are grown in that third country. Plant material that is imported into the U.S. (or moved into the continental U.S. from Hawaii) in association with growing media may never be exported to Canada, no matter how long it is grown in the U.S., unless it meets the requirements of the Canadian Growing Media Program (directive D-96-20) at the time of entry to the U.S.

Note: The country(ies) of origin must be indicated on the Phytosanitary Certificate that accompanies plant material entering Canada. The country(ies) of origin of a plant for phytosanitary purposes may be different from its country(ies) of origin for the purposes of customs, duty, CITES, etc.

Note: For shipments entering Canada from the U.S., the state of origin must be clearly indicated on the Phytosanitary Certificate. More detailed identification of origin, to the county level, may be required in specific CFIA directives.

3.6 Invasive plants

The CFIA regulates plants that could be considered pests because of their invasive nature and the risk they pose to Canadian ecosystems, agriculture and forestry. For more information, see the CFIA's Invasive Plants Policy.

3.7 Plants with novel traits

Additional requirements may apply to plants with novel traits, including, but not limited to, plants produced by recombinant DNA technology, mutagenesis or wide cross. Please refer to directive D-96-13 for further information.

3.8 Endangered species

Environment Canada sets additional requirements that may impact importation of plants for planting, particularly plant taxa that are considered endangered or threatened, as outlined by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Please refer to Appendix 1 to find out how to obtain additional information.

3.9 Requirements for soil, soil-related matter, growing media and soil-borne plant pests

Soil is internationally recognized as a high-risk pathway for the introduction of quarantine plant pests. Because of this, Canada prohibits the entry of soil from areas other than the continental U.S. and from certain parts of the U.S., as per directive D-95-26.

3.9.1 Originating from areas other than the continental U.S.

Plants from areas other than the continental U.S. must be entirely free from soil. The maximum permitted is a thin film of dust as might be left by dirty wash water. Any thicker film, patch or clump of soil constitutes a non-compliance and is grounds for refusing the material.

Growing media, including soil-free growing media, is considered equivalent to soil and is prohibited unless the plants are produced under the Canadian Growing Media Program (see directive D-96-20).

3.9.1.1 Plants without roots

Plants without roots must simply be free from soil, soil-related matter and growing media. No additional declarations related to soil-borne pests are required.

3.9.1.2 Plants with roots

Plants with roots must be certified by the exporting country's NPPO as free from the following soil-borne pests:

  • Globodera pallida (golden cyst nematode)
  • Globodera rostochiensis (pale cyst nematode)
  • Synchitrium endobioticum (potato wart)

The following methods may be used to ensure that plants with roots are free from these pests:

  • The pest is known not to occur in the country of origin of the material.
  • The material is grown in soil where, based on official soil surveys or other precautionary practices, the pest is known not to occur.
  • The material is grown in sterile, soil-free growing media and produced under conditions that preclude infestation by the pest.

Other methods may be proposed to the CFIA and may be pre-approved on a case-by-case basis.

The Phytosanitary Certificate must bear the following additional declaration:

"Material meets the requirements for soil-borne plant pests as specified in Section 3.9.1.2 of directive D-08-04."

By including this additional declaration on the Phytosanitary Certificate, the exporting country's NPPO certifies that the requirements described above have been met for these pests.

3.9.2 Originating from the continental U.S.

Plants with soil are permitted from most parts of the continental U.S. The Phytosanitary Certificate accompanying plants with soil must include certain additional declarations certifying freedom from soil-borne pests regulated by the CFIA if the plants originated from a state where these pests are present. Appendix 5 indicates which pests are present in which U.S. states and Appendix 6 provides the required additional declarations.

These additional declarations are not required for plants that are free from soil. However, the plants must be entirely free from soil, in the same manner as plants from areas other than the continental U.S.: the maximum permitted is a thin film of dust as might be left by dirty wash water; any thicker film, patch or clump of soil constitutes a non-compliance and is grounds for refusing the material. Plants from which most soil has been removed solely to facilitate shipping generally do not meet this standard; they are considered to be with soil and are subject to the import requirements for plants with soil. If there is any soil on the plants, even only small quantities, the Phytosanitary Certificate must include any required additional declarations for plants with soil.

A Permit to Import is required for some plants originating from the continental U.S. In these cases, the Canadian importer must indicate on the permit application form whether the plants will be with soil or without. It is highly recommended that applicants indicate both on their permit application, even if they are planning to import only plants from which most soil has been removed to facilitate shipping. This will help avoid situations where plants with small amounts of soil are rejected on arrival in Canada because they have been imported under a Permit to Import that includes only plants entirely free from soil.

3.10 Packing material

Plants for planting frequently enter Canada in association with packing material that is intended to protect plants during shipping and maintain moisture.

Plants must not be rooted in the packing material: the packing material must be easily removable from the roots. If the roots have grown into the packing material (i.e. the packing material cannot be easily removed), the material is considered growing media rather than packing material and the import requirements for growing media apply.

Approved packing materials include the following:

  • coconut husk fibres (coir)
  • cork (ground cork)
  • wood shaving, wood wool, sawdust, excelsior (or other very fine wood shavings)
  • paper
  • peat
  • perlite
  • polyacrylamide (water-absorbing polymers)
  • rice chaff
  • vermiculite

Other products or materials may be approved by the CFIA on a case-by-case basis. All of the above materials must be free of pests, soil and soil-related matter. The material must be new and will not be accepted if it has been previously used for growing, rooting or packing plants or plant materials.

Packing cases for shipping any regulated plant commodity must be new and free of soil and soil-related matter.

Peat is the non-viable, incompletely decomposed organic residues of plants, often mosses, accumulated under anaerobic, acidic conditions.

Sphagnum moss and other mosses can only be used as a packing material if they are non-viable and are free of plant debris, soil and soil-related matter, or have been treated according to the requirements in Appendix 3. Sphagnum moss and other mosses used as packing material may be inspected by the CFIA at the time of entry in Canada.

3.11 Plants in association with wood products

Untreated bark, bark chips, wood chips, hog fuel, logs, roots, wood, wood stakes and any other raw wood is generally prohibited entry into Canada from all areas other than the continental U.S. Additional restrictions and declarations may apply for material originating from regions of the continental U.S. that are regulated for specific pests. For further information, please refer to directive D-02-12.

4.0 Specific requirements for plants and plant parts for planting

Note: Please refer to Appendix 2 for a list of NAPPRA plant material.

4.1 Plants with roots, without soil

This includes all propagative plant material with roots (including bulbs, tubers and other below-ground plant parts) that is free from soil, soil-related matter and growing media (other than under the Canadian Growing Media Program).

The following table provides the import requirements for plants with roots, without soil.
Originating from the continental U.S. Originating from outside the continental U.S.
  • A Permit to Import is not required unless specified in directive D-94-14. In this case, the importer must obtain the Permit to Import prior to importation.
  • The USDA must issue a Phytosanitary Certificate, which must accompany the consignment. Additional declarations attesting to freedom from regulated pests, including soil-borne pests (see Section 3.9.2), may be required depending on the commodity and state of origin.

    OR

  • Greenhouse plants imported under the United States Greenhouse Certification Program may have a United States Department of Agriculture - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) Export Certification Label, in lieu of a Phytosanitary Certificate (see Appendix 4).
  • The importer must obtain a Permit to Import prior to importation.
  • The exporting country's NPPO must issue a Phytosanitary Certificate, which must accompany the consignment. The Phytosanitary Certificate must attest to freedom from soil-borne pests as described in Section 3.9.1.2. Additional declarations attesting to freedom from other regulated pests may be required depending on the commodity and country/region of origin.
  • Aesculus spp.: The importation of Aesculus spp. into Canada is prohibited.

4.2 Plants with roots, with soil

This includes all propagative plant material with roots (including bulbs, tubers and other below-ground plant parts) with, soil, soil-related matter and/or growing media (other than under the Canadian Growing Media Program).

Note: Plants with growing media from areas other than the continental U.S. may only be imported under the Canadian Growing Media Program. See directive D-96-20 for details.

The following table provides the import requirements for plants with roots, with soil.
Originating from the continental U.S. Originating from outside the continental U.S.
  • A Permit to Import is not required unless specified in directive D-94-14. In this case, the importer must obtain the Permit to Import prior to importation.
  • The USDA must issue a Phytosanitary Certificate, which must accompany the consignment. Additional declarations attesting to freedom from regulated pests, including soil-borne pests (see Section 3.9.2), may be required depending on the commodity and state of origin.

    OR

  • Greenhouse plants imported under the United States Greenhouse Certification Program may have a United States Department of Agriculture - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) Export Certification Label, in lieu of a Phytosanitary Certificate (see Appendix 4).
Prohibited.

4.3 Epiphytes, aerial plantlets, and cuttings without roots

Epiphytes, aerial plantlets, leaf/stem cuttings without roots, and other plants and plant parts which have not been produced in association with growing media, soil or soil-related matter are exempt from additional declarations for soil-borne pests.

To be considered without roots, plants and plant parts must not exhibit any roots or root initials at the time of export.

Additional declarations attesting to freedom from soil-borne pests are not required provided the plants or plant parts have never been grown in association with growing media, soil or soil-related matter.

Examples of epiphytes include: Dendrobium, Polypodium, Tillandsia and many of the Bromeliaceae.

The following table provides the import requirements for epiphytes, aerial plantlets, and cuttings without roots.
Originating from the continental U.S. Originating from outside the continental U.S.
  • A Permit to Import is not required unless specified in directive D-94-14. In this case, the importer must obtain the Permit to Import prior to importation.
  • The USDA must issue a Phytosanitary Certificate, which must accompany the consignment. Additional declarations attesting to freedom from regulated plant pests may be required depending on the commodity and state of origin.

    OR

  • Greenhouse plants imported under the United States Greenhouse Certification Program may have a United States Department of Agriculture - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) Export Certification Label, in lieu of a Phytosanitary Certificate (see Appendix 4).
  • The importer must obtain a Permit to Import prior to importation.
  • The exporting country's NPPO must issue a Phytosanitary Certificate, which must accompany the consignment. Additional declarations attesting to freedom from regulated plant pests may be required depending on the commodity and country/region of origin.
  • The plants and plant parts must be free from growing media, soil and soil-related matter.

4.4 Plants in vitro

Plantlets must originate from mother plants which are free of any plant pathogens regulated by Canada. In vitro plants are exempt from additional declarations for soil-borne pests.

Plantlets must be propagated in vitro in a sterile medium under sterile conditions that preclude the possibility of infestation with any pests of quarantine concern to Canada. They must be produced and shipped in sealed, aseptic, transparent containers.

The following table provides the import requirements for in vitro plants.
Originating from the continental U.S. Originating from outside the continental U.S.
  • A Permit to Import is not required unless specified in directive D-94-14. In this case, the importer must obtain the Permit to Import prior to importation.
  • The USDA must issue a Phytosanitary Certificate, which must accompany the consignment. Additional declarations attesting to freedom from regulated plant pests may be required depending on the commodity and state of origin.

    OR

  • Greenhouse plants imported under the United States Greenhouse Certification Program may have a United States Department of Agriculture - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) Export Certification Label, in lieu of a Phytosanitary Certificate (see Appendix 4).
  • The importer must obtain a Permit to Import prior to importation.
  • The exporting country's NPPO must issue a Phytosanitary Certificate, which must accompany the consignment. Additional declarations attesting to freedom from regulated plant pests may be required depending on the commodity and country/region of origin.

4.5 Fresh decorative branches

Fresh decorative branches must be free of soil and soil-related matter.

The following table provides the import requirements for fresh decorative branches.
Plant taxa Originating from the continental U.S. Originating from outside the continental U.S.
  • Chaenomeles spp. (flowering quince)
  • Cydonia spp. (quince)
  • Malus spp. (apple and crabapple)
  • Prunus spp. (stone fruit)
  • Pyrus spp. (pear)
  • Vitis spp. (grapevine)
  • A Permit to Import is required. The importer must obtain the Permit to Import prior to importation.
  • The USDA must issue a Phytosanitary Certificate, which must accompany the consignment.
  • Additional declarations attesting to freedom from regulated plant pests, or that the product was produced under the U.S. Fruit Tree Certification Program, are required.
Prohibited.
  • Dieffenbachia spp.
  • Dracaena spp.
  • Rutaceae spp.
  • A Permit to Import is not required.
  • A Phytosanitary Certificate is not required.
  • A Permit to Import is required. The importer must obtain the Permit to Import prior to importation.
  • The exporting country's NPPO must issue a Phytosanitary Certificate, which must accompany the consignment. Additional declarations attesting to freedom from regulated plant pests may be required depending on the commodity and country/region of origin.
Rhamnus spp. (syn. Frangula spp.) Prohibited. Prohibited.
Salix spp. (willow)
  • A Permit to Import is not required.
  • A Phytosanitary Certificate is not required unless the product originates from an area regulated for Phytophthora ramorum (see directive D-01-01).
Prohibited.

4.6 Pollen for propagation

The following table provides the import requirements pollen.
Plant taxa Originating from the continental U.S. Originating from outside the continental U.S.
  • Chaenomeles spp.
  • Cydonia spp.
  • Malus spp.
  • Pinus spp.
  • Pyrus spp.
The consignment must be accompanied by a Phytosanitary Certificate issued by the USDA. The species must be clearly indicated. Prohibited.
Prunus spp. Prohibited. Prohibited.
other taxa A Phytosanitary Certificate and a Permit to Import are not required. A Phytosanitary Certificate and a Permit to Import are not required.

4.7 Houseplants from the U.S.

Houseplants imported from the continental U.S. and Hawaii may be exempted from regular documentation requirements because the risk of introducing quarantine pests into Canada via these commodities is considered lower. Houseplants are usually tropical or semi-tropical ornamental plants that are grown or intended to be grown indoors. Examples of eligible and non-eligible plants are provided in Appendix 7.

In order to qualify for the exemption, the houseplants must be for personal use and must accompany the importer at the time of entry into Canada. The total number of plants must not exceed 50 houseplants.

Eligible houseplants originating from the continental U.S. do not require a Permit to Import nor a Phytosanitary Certificate. Houseplants originating from Hawaii do not require a Permit to Import; however, the plants must be completely free from all soil, soil-related matter and growing media, and must be accompanied by a Phytosanitary Certificate issued by the USDA or its designate.

Please note that any species-specific requirement or prohibition take precedence over the houseplant import requirements outlined in this directive. The houseplant exemption does not apply to plants originating from areas that are regulated for Phytophthora ramorum (see directive D-01-01 for more information).

Note: This exemption does not apply to houseplants from origins other than the U.S.

5.0 Inspection requirements

Plants for planting are subject to inspection and audit sampling on arrival in Canada to verify compliance with CFIA requirements.

The CFIA's NISC may issue a Notice to Importer which can be used to inform the local CFIA inspection office that a shipment of plants for planting has arrived in their region and is available for inspection at destination. The importer is required to contact the local inspection office and arrange for shipment inspection. The local inspection office will determine whether any particular shipment will require inspection prior to release, or whether it can be released without inspection. The shipment may not be opened or moved into the production area until it has been released by a CFIA inspector.

Some packaging and plant preparation practices may enable more efficient inspection, sampling and verification, which in turn can help minimize delays at the port of entry, damage, and subsequent loss to the importer. Examples may include:

  • Plants with roots without soil: Woody stem plants are wrapped or packaged in an approved moisture-retaining packaging that can be readily removed by CFIA staff for inspection.
  • Plant material (bulbs, tubers, etc. ) are packaged in transparent plastic bags, membranes or boxes with plastic window openings of a kind that can be readily opened by CFIA staff so as to minimize damage.
  • The wax used to prevent drying of plant tissues is transparent.

Water-retaining coating applied on roots must not be so thick that it would impede inspection. Packing material must be readily distinguishable from growing media.

For further information, please contact your local CFIA office or visit the CFIA's website.

6.0 Non-compliance

Shipments that do not meet the requirements set in this directive may be refused entry, removed from Canada or destroyed. The importer is responsible for any and all costs relating to treatment, disposal, removal or re-routing, including costs incurred by the CFIA to monitor the action taken. Notification of non-compliance to the NPPO of the exporting country may be issued by the CFIA as per directive "D-01-06: Canadian phytosanitary policy for the notification of non-compliance and emergency action."

7.0 Appendices

Appendix 1: Environment Canada requirements

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

Import and export of certain plant species must comply with requirements under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES sets controls on the international trade and movement of animal and plant species that have been, or may be, threatened due to excessive commercial exploitation. Environment Canada is the lead agency responsible for implementing CITES on behalf of the Canadian federal government. For further information, please visit the CITES website.

Appendix 2: Not Authorized Pending Pest Risk Analysis (NAPPRA) plant material

Not Authorized Pending Pest Risk Analysis (NAPPRA) plant material

Appendix 3: Approved treatments for sphagnum moss

1. Dry heat

The following table provides the requirements for dry heat treatment of sphagnum moss.
Sample Temperature
°CF)
Exposure Period
Minutes (Hours)
large: more than 2.5 kg (5 lbs) 110-120 (230-249 )
121-154 (250-309)
155-192 (310-379)
193-220 (380-429)
221-232 (430-450)
960 (16 hrs)
120 (2 hrs)
30 minutes
4 minutes
2 minutes
small: less than 2.5 kg (5 lbs) 120 (250) 30 minutes

Note: The exposure period may not begin until the appropriate temperature has been reached.

2. Steam heat

The following table provides the requirements for steam heat treatment of sphagnum moss.
Pressure
kPa (psi)
Temperature
°CF)
Exposure Period
Minutes
104 (15) 117 (245) 30 minutes

Note: The exposure period may not begin until the appropriate temperature has been reached.

3. Methyl bromide fumigation

Important Notice: As a signatory to the Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol, 1987), Canada has entered the phase-out period for the use of methyl bromide for phytosanitary purposes. Exporting countries are encouraged to submit alternatives to methyl bromide fumigation for the CFIA's review.

(i) At normal atmospheric pressure
The following table provides the requirements for methyl bromide fumigation of sphagnum moss at normal atmospheric pressure.
Sample Dosage
g/m3 (oz/1000ft3)
Temperature
°CF)
Exposure Period
Hours
Large compact samples 368 (368) 16 (60) 16
Large loose samples 240 (240) 16 (60) 24
Small samples 160 (160) 16 (60) 3
(ii) Vacuum Fumigation in 66 cm (26 in.) Vacuum
The following table provides the requirements for methyl bromide fumigation of sphagnum moss in vacuum.
Dosage
g/m3 (oz/1000ft3)
Temperature
°CF)
Exposure Period
Hours
128 (128) 4 (40) 16
165 (165) 4 (40) 12
192 (192) 4 (40) 8

Note: The moss must be friable, moist but not wet, and containers should be open. The amount of moss treated at one time must not exceed 30 cm in its smallest dimension.

Appendix 4: United States Greenhouse Certification Program (US-GCP)

The United States Greenhouse Certification Program (US-GCP) is a program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) aimed at American greenhouse growers who export plants of U.S. propagative origin to Canada. The US-GCP allows approved production facilities in the U.S. to certify eligible plant material for export to the Canada with an Export Certification Label (ECL), in lieu of a USDA Phytosanitary Certificate.

Each shipment of plants for planting exported to Canada from the U.S. must be accompanied by either a traditional USDA Phytosanitary Certificate or an ECL. The ECL is used to verify that the plant material in the consignment has been produced in conformance with the U.S. propagative origin to Canada. The US-GCP and meets the import requirements of Canada.

All plant material certified under the U.S. propagative origin to Canada. The US-GCP must meet the following phytosanitary criteria:

  • freedom from all pests regulated by Canada and/or the U.S.;
  • practical freedom from non-regulated plant pests;
  • compliance with any pest-specific or commodity-specific phytosanitary requirements of the CFIA and/or USDA;
  • compliance with Canadian origin requirements; and
  • compliance with specific provincial requirements.

Eligible plants are those commonly known and recognized as indoor foliage and flowering plants and those categorized as bedding plants intended for either indoor or outdoor planting. The majority of eligible plants fall into the following categories: bedding plants, cacti, flowering plants, foliage plants, orchids, potted bulb plants and succulents. Certain plants have been specifically excluded from the US-GCP by the CFIA; a list of these is available on the CFIA's website.

The approved US-GCP facility must maintain care and control over its ECL and is responsible for applying an ECL to the shipping documents accompanying the consignment. The documentation accompanying US-GCP shipments must list the quantity and scientific name of each plant in the consignment. Unless there are specific species requirements, scientific names to the genus level will suffice. The documents describing the consignment must be clearly linked to the ECL by reference to the ECL serial number, and the document bearing the ECL must reference the shipping documents which describe the contents of the consignment.

The U.S. production facility must be approved and in good standing under the US-GCP at the time of shipping. All plants listed on the shipping documents must be covered by the ECL accompanying a consignment. The ECL must conform to the example provided below, and each consignment must have a separate ECL. If the documentation accompanying the shipment does not meet Canadian requirements, the shipment will be refused entry.

Authentication

The ECL must conform to the example below.

The ECL is a white sticker approximately 9.5 cm x 4.5 cm in size. Each ECL is pre-printed with a facility identification number. The first two letters of the identification number represent the state where the approved facility is located. Each ECL is also pre-printed with a unique serial number.

Each label must also be pre-printed with the following:

  • "This shipment of greenhouse grown plants meets the import requirements of Canada and is believed to be free from injurious plant pests";
  • United States Department of Agriculture Animal, Plant Health Inspection Service; and
  • the USDA seal.

Canada does not accept hand-written labels, serial numbers, or identification numbers.

Export Certification Label. Description follows.
Description of image - Export Certification Label

This image shows an example of the export certification label, with "sample" written across it. At the top of the label, the name of the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service appears. At the left is the United States Department of Agriculture seal. At the right is a blank line to indicate the serial number. Below this is the following statement: "This shipment of greenhouse grown plants meets the import requirements of Canada and is believed to be free from injurious plant pests." Below this is a blank line to indicate the facility's identification number; in this example, the line is preceded by the initials "FL".

Note: In this example, the nursery's identification number is prefaced by the two-letter State abbreviation, "FL", standing for Florida. The example is enlarged for clearer viewing.

Appendix 5: Presence of soil-borne quarantine pests regulated under directive D-08-04 in the continental United States

Presence of regulated soil-borne quarantine pests in the continental United States

Note: The additional declarations indicated in Appendix 6 must be included on Phytosanitary Certificates accompanying plant material that originates from U.S. States where these plant pests are present.

Appendix 6: Additional declarations required for plants for planting with soil from U.S. states regulated for soil-borne pests

Phytosanitary Certificates may only be issued if the requirements stated in the relevant additional declaration(s) have been met.

See Appendix 5 for a list of the U.S. states that are regulated for each of the soil-borne pests below.

1. Apple maggot (Rhagoletis pomonella)

Please refer to the requirements for plants with roots described in directive D-00-07: Import and domestic phytosanitary requirements to prevent the introduction and spread of apple maggot (Rhagoletis pomonella spp. (Walsh)).

2. Blueberry maggot (Rhagoletis mendax)

Please refer to the requirements for plants with roots described in directive D-02-04: Phytosanitary Requirements for the Importation From the Continental United States and for Domestic Movement of Commodities Regulated for Blueberry Maggot.

3. Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica)

Please refer to the requirements for plants with roots described in directive D-96-15: Phytosanitary Requirements to Prevent the Spread of Japanese Beetle, Popillia japonica, in Canada and the United States.

4. Golden nematode (Globodera rostochiensis)

Importation of soil from quarantine areas of infested states is prohibited. Contact the United States Department of Agriculture for more information regarding quarantine areas.

For material with soil from infested states, the following additional declaration must appear on the Phytosanitary Certificate:

"The plant material in this shipment was grown in a county or area of a county that has been sampled and found to be free of the golden nematode (Globodera rostochiensis) based on negative results of an official survey."

5. Pale cyst nematode (Globodera pallida)

Importation of soil from quarantine areas of infested states is prohibited. Contact the United States Department of Agriculture for more information regarding quarantine areas.

For material with soil from infested states, the following additional declaration must appear on the Phytosanitary Certificate:

"The plant material in this shipment was grown in a county or area of a county that has been sampled and found to be free of the pale cyst nematode (Globodera pallida) based on negative results of an official survey."

6. Columbia root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne chitwoodi)

Soil from quarantine areas of infested states is prohibited. Contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture for more information regarding quarantine areas.

For material with soil from non-quarantine areas of infested states, one of the following additional declarations must appear on the Phytosanitary Certificate:

"The material was produced and prepared for export in accordance with the conditions of entry specified in Quarantine Directive 82-01 of February 1, 1982."

or

"The soil originated in an area in which, on the basis of official surveys, Meloidogyne chitwoodi, does not occur."

7. Ramorum blight and dieback, sudden oak death (Phytophthora ramorum)

Refer to the requirements for plants with roots described in D-01-01: Phytosanitary Requirements to Prevent the Entry and Spread of Phytophthora ramorum.

8. European brown garden snail (Cornu aspersum, syn. Helix aspersa)

Refer to the requirements for plants with roots described in directive D-09-01: Phytosanitary requirements to prevent the introduction and spread of the European brown garden snail (Cornu aspersum [Müller], syn. Helix aspersa [Müller]) from the United States.

Appendix 7: Houseplants for personal use: examples of eligible and non-eligible plants

Houseplants for personal use (examples of eligible and non-eligible plants)