The Ministry of Agriculture gives certifications for exporting plants and plant products and health certificates. A phytosanitary certificate is an essential document for exporting plants and plant-based goods. You must confirm that these items fulfil the export requirements as an exporter. These things, for example, must be free of pests and infectious diseases. In India, the Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine and Storage (PPQS) issues the phytosanitary certificate. Furthermore, the exporter must comply with the regulations set out by the end destination or importing nations. Make sure you set aside time to look over them completely.
Did you know?
A fumigation certificate is required to get the phytosanitary certificate.
Phytosanitary Certificate for Export
The phytosanitary certificate is a government-issued certificate that must be shown when exporting or re-exporting plants, plant products, or other regulated items. PSCs are provided to show that consignments fulfil the importing country's phytosanitary import criteria. The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare provides PSCs to the International Plant Protection Convention's requirements (IPPC).
A phytosanitary certificate is necessary when transporting regulated commodities such as plants, plant products, or other regulated articles. A phytosanitary certificate for export is an official document issued by the exporting country's horticulture, agriculture, food, or water resources department. Only an authorised person from a government agency that the National Plant Protection Agency has authorised can issue it (NPPO). The agency is in place to prevent pests, contaminants, or illnesses from spreading into the country of import.
Purpose of Phytosanitary Certificate for Export
The following is a detailed explanation of the phytosanitary certificate for export:
- A phytosanitary certificate states that a plant, plant product, or other regulated commodity complies with the phytosanitary regulations of the importing nation.
- Exporters may also use the phytosanitary certificate to support certification for re-export to other nations.
- Phytosanitary certificates are provided to show that consignments of plants, plant-based products or other regulated commodities fulfil specified phytosanitary import standards and are in line with the certifying statement of the applicable model certificate. Only for this reason should phytosanitary certificates be granted.
- When there are disagreements between the opinions of the importing and exporting countries based on obtaining a phytosanitary certificate, NPPOs should work out a bilateral agreement. Changes to the phytosanitary certificate requirement should adhere to openness and non-discrimination.
For the following categories of items to be exported, the exporter must acquire a phytosanitary certificate:
- A phytosanitary certificate is required for exporting controlled goods like plants, bulks, and tubers.
- Seeds for propagation, cut flowers and branches, fruits and vegetables, grain, and growth media are among the items imported.
- Certain processed plant products that can potentially introduce controlled pests also require a phytosanitary certificate (such as cotton or wood).
- PSC is required to export contaminated items such as empty shipping containers, cars, or other organisms.
Types of Phytosanitary Certificate
This certificate is divided into two categories, as shown below:
- Phytosanitary certificate for export purposes: The NPPO of the nation of origin issues a phytosanitary certificate for export. A phytosanitary certificate for export certifies that the cargo fulfils the country's phytosanitary criteria.
- Phytosanitary certificate for re-export purposes: The NPPO of the re-exporting nation will provide a phytosanitary certificate if the commodity was not cultivated or treated to alter its nature in that country and only if an initial phytosanitary certificate for export is given.
To maintain the phytosanitary and physical integrity of the consignment, the validity of the PSC before export is restricted to a maximum of 7 days for perishable consignments and 1 month for non-perishable consignments. There should be an assurance that the items are sent immediately after certification.
Time Limit to Apply
The applicant must apply at least 2-3 days before the official date of the consignment's transportation. In the event of seed consignments, such applications must be submitted 8-10 days before the actual shipping date.
Please remember that the criteria mentioned above may not apply to the export of perishable goods such as fresh fruits, cut flowers, and vegetables.
Documents Required for Phytosanitary Certificate
The following documents should be included with the phytosanitary certificate application:
- Importing nations give permits for the export of seeds or plant propagation material.
- A wildlife clearance certificate is required if the export commodity is covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Flora and Fauna.
- Copy of invoice
- Export inspection fee and fumigation charges
- Export license
- Fumigation certificate
- Letter of credit
- Packing list
- Purchase order
- Shipping or airway bill
- Trade agreement
Application Procedure for Phytosanitary Certificate
The following is a step-by-step guide to obtaining a phytosanitary certificate:
- Registration of application: The exporter must submit an application in the appropriate format to the officer-in-charge of the respective Plant Quarantine Station at the designated port. When the application is received, the plant quarantine officer will examine it and, if it is determined to be complete, register it and charge the inspection fee as described above.
Applications for phytosanitary certificates (PSC) about the export or import-prohibited consignments and preserved, pickled, or frozen plant products shall be denied.
The officer-in-charge of the designated PQ station will issue a quarantine order for the applicant to deliver the product for inspection after receiving the inspection costs. If a rejected application is cancelled, if an application is rejected, you will lose the inspection fee.
- Inspection of consignment: According to the quarantine order issued, the exporter must submit the consignment either to the PQ station's office, scheduled for an inspection at his premises, or submit the containers at any other allowed location on the designated day and time of inspection. For the opening, sampling, repackaging, and sealing, the exporter or agent must supply the appropriate transportation, labour, and other facilities.
- A sampling of seed for propagation: The International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) Rules, 1976, will be followed while sampling seed for propagation. The Bureau of Indian Standards will check a sample of pulses, grains, oilseeds, and other foods for human use.
- Laboratory testing: The sample will be drawn to the proper size for extensive laboratory testing by the Plant Quarantine officer assigned to the inspection. The samples of grain, spices, pulses, nuts, dry fruits, cut flowers, groundnut, fresh fruits and vegetables, turmeric, coffee beans, etc., designed for eating will be visually inspected using the lighted magnifier, particularly for live insect infestation. X-ray examination is commonly used to evaluate pulses.
- Fumigation and Treatment of consignment: If a live bug infestation is found, the exporter needs to organise for fumigation of the consignment at a permitted site by an authorised pest control operator under the observation of the PQ officer. After degassing, there will be an examination of the consignments to confirm that they are free of live infestation.
- Issuance of phytosanitary certificate: If the cargo is confirmed to be free of quarantine pests during the inspection, the phytosanitary certificate will be granted to the exporter. PSCs are provided in the re-export format prescribed by IPPC in the case of re-exported consignments.
Phytosanitary Certificate Online Registration
The merchant who wants to get a phytosanitary certificate must go to the Plant Quarantine Information System's home page.
- The applicant must first go to the PQIS home page and then click the "Sign up" option in the login box.
- The following information will be presented on the screen: Name of the exporter and location of the office address.
- An importer or exporter can enrol with any Plant Quarantine Station; they can submit up to five addresses for their business locations.
- Choose a client type (importer or exporter)
- DGFT will provide you with an Import Export Code.
- Please include your phone number and email address.
- Select the Plant Quarantine Station where the merchant wants to register after supplying the necessary information. After filling out the registration form, hit the submit button.
- The request will be delivered to the appropriate Plant Quarantine Station after submission. After checking the information, Plant Quarantine Station will activate the account. Following activation, the applicant will get an email with the subject "your account has been activated."
- After logging into the system, select "Apply Online'' to apply for a phytosanitary certificate.
- Complete the phytosanitary certificate application. By clicking the "Save" button, the applicant could save the application for subsequent submission or submit it by clicking the "Submit" button. You will be given an application number; keep it safe for future use.
- If the consignment is deemed free of quarantine pests after the process mentioned above (consignment inspection and sampling laboratory testing), phytosanitary certificates (PSCs) will be granted to the exporter.
The importer requires a phytosanitary certificate of goods for the items to be cleared via customs before the shipments arrive at the port. The products' shipper must contact the relevant authorities and file for the certificate. Before applying for the relevant certificate, most applicants must first register with the department. To be qualified for export, the exporter's facility may need to be examined by an authorised inspector to ensure high sanitary requirements. Most government agencies now require shippers to register for health and phytosanitary certifications through the internet. However, a manual paper document can be submitted for approval in some instances.
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