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Phytosanitary Certificates

Phytosanitary Certificates for Exporting grass seed, forage seed, crop seed, lawn seed, turf seed, pasture seed.

Phytosanitary certificates are issued to indicate that consignments of plants, plant products or other regulated articles meet specified phytosanitary import requirements and are in conformity with the certifying statement of the appropriate model certificate. Phytosanitary certificates should only be issued for this purpose.

Model certificates provide a standard wording and format that should be followed for the preparation of official phytosanitary certificates. This is necessary to ensure the validity of the documents, that they easily recognized, and that essential information is reported.


Importing countries should only require phytosanitary certificates for regulated articles. These include commodities such as plants, bulbs and tubers, or seeds for propagation, fruits and vegetables, cut flowers and branches, grain, and growing medium. Phytosanitary certificates may also be use for certain plant products that have been processed where such products, by their nature or that of their processing, have a potential for introducing regulated pests (e.g. wood, cotton). A phytosanitary certificate may also be required for other regulated articles where Phytosanitary measures are technically justified (e.g. empty containers, vehicles, and organisms).

Importing countries should not require phytosanitary certificates for plant products that have been processed in such a way that they have no potential for introducing regulated pests, or for other articles that do not require phytosanitary measures.

NPPOs should agree bilaterally when there are differences between the views of the importing country and exporting country regarding the justification for requiring a phytosanitary certificate. Changes regarding the requirement for a phytosanitary certificate should respect the principles of transparency and non-discrimination [FAO, 1990].

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