Phytosanitary Export Certification Introduction

The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development, through cooperative agreement with the USDA, provides official inspection and certification services to Michigan firms that export plants and plant products to foreign countries.  Each foreign country establishes its own phytosanitary requirements based on protecting its agriculture and natural resources from the risk associated with entry, establishment, and spread of harmful insect pests, plant diseases and noxious weeds.  Information on the phytosanitary requirements of a particular country can be found at:

1. USDA PExD online database.  The information is a good general resource and is available at no charge to the public.  However, it should not be considered legally authoritative.  Occasionally, important changes in foreign regulation are not immediately brought to the attention of the USDA.  In the case of unusual or high value shipments, exporters may wish to verify regulations through their importer.  Exporters may request that an Authorized Certification Official (ACO) access information from this database.

2. Import Permits - Sometimes import permits are required by foreign countries.  An import permit is an official document that specifies entry requirements for restricted plants or plant products.  Import permits may also occasionally be granted to allow entry of otherwise prohibited plants or plant products.  Import Permits are issued to importers in the country of destination by that country's agricultural officials; and, list specific phytosanitary requirements that must be met.  If an import permit is not in English, it is the responsibility of the exporter to provide a notarized translation.

3. Other Sources - Official documents from a foreign country may include import permits, special authorizations, or recent correspondence from the plant protection service of the foreign country.  Unofficial sources of information are not valid.  Information from exporters or importers cannot be considered official.