seeds and plants export import Indian law

This article is written by Anirban Ghosh, a graduate of New Law College, Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Pune. Presently working in Calcutta High Court in Civil and Criminal matters. He is pursuing Diploma in Entrepreneurship Administration and Business Laws from NUJS, Kolkata and wrote this article as a part of an activity in the iPleaders Club, a career development and mentorship platform. Over to Anirban.Anirban Ghosh on import export of seeds and plants in India

When we go for a vacation outside India we do a lot of shopping. When we return back home, the articles bought outside India need to be declared to the Customs. But what if we want to bring or import some plants or seeds of a particular type? Is it the same norm or rules as we follow as far as usual goods are concerned or is there some specific procedure or law to be followed for procurement or import/export of plants? Yes, this is a specifically regulated matter.. Activity of importing and exporting any plant or seeds in any way is governed by the Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine and Storage under Department of Agriculture and Cooperation.

 

Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine and Storage

The main purpose of this department is to

a) protect our plant life from destructive pests by preventing their entry, establishment and spread and thereby increasing agriculture productivity in order to improve the economy of our country

b)  to facilitate export certification of plants and plant products for safe global trade  in agricultural commodities and thereby fulfilling our legal obligations under the international agreements

c) to adopt safe quarantine practices to protect our environment.

Laws which govern Quarantine services:

a) The Destructive Insects and Pests Act, 1914 and amendments

b) The Plant Quarantine Order 2003 amendments

c) The International Plant Protection Convention

d) WTO SPS agreement

Procedure for import of plants and seeds in India

a) Import of seeds/plants materials for sowing, planting and propagation

The Importer or his agent shall apply for permit for import seeds / plant materials for sowing, planting and propagation at least seven days in advance to the permit issuing authority (Schedule-X)of the designated port of entry as notified vide clause 3(13) of Plant Quarantine (Regulation of Import into India) Order, 2003 that all consignments of seeds and plants for propagation shall be imported only through Regional Plant Quarantine Stations of Amritsar, Chennai, Kolkara, Mumbai or New Delhi (Schedule-I).

The import permit shall be issued only for the commodities as listed in Schedule-VSchedule-VI & Schedule-XII.

The importer or his agent shall apply for permit in PQ Form-02 in duplicate along with following enclosures:

(i) Demand Draft / Pay Order for Rs.300/- (Rupees Three hundred only) drawn in favour of “Pay and Accounts Officer, Department of Agriculture and Co-operation (Ministry of Agriculture)” of the concerned area of jurisdiction from any Nationalised Bank.

(ii) Catalogue / invoice

(iii) Registration Certificate issued by National Seed Corporation or Director of Horticulture / Agriculture (as the case may be)

(iv) The importer should apply for certification of post-entry quarantine facility to the Inspection Authority in PQ Form-18 well in advance and obtain the Certificate of approval of post-entry quarantine facility in PQForm-19, issued by inspection authority or any officer authorised by Plant Protection Advisor to the Government of India and submit the same along with an undertaking in PQ Form-20 by the importer to grow the imported plants and plant materials under the approved post-entry quarantine facility (applicable in respect of seeds and planting materials that require post-entry quarantine)

The application received shall be registered and permit issued in PQ Form-04 of PQ Order 2003 in five copies for concerned port of entry and an orange and green tag shall be issued in PQ Form-05 to facilitate identification of plant propagative materials upon arrival. The importer is advised to send the exporters copy along with the orange and green tag to the exporter in advance to facilitate the incorporation of the import permit number in the phytosantary certificate issued at the country of origin and to affix the orange and green tag on the consignment for easy identification and the importers copy shall be retained by the importer and duly submitted to the concerned plant quarantine authority at the time of import.

The importer shall note that the permit issued is valid for a period of six months from the date of issue and valid for multiple port access and multiple part shipments provided the exporter, importer and country of origin are the same for the entire consignment.

The importer shall also note that the permit issued is valid for a period for six months from the date of issue and the validity may be extended on request by the importer for further period of six months after payment of Rs.200/- as revalidation fee. The importer should forward the request with valid reason for seeking extension before the expiry of the permit.

The importer shall note that the import permit issued is not transferable and no amendments to the permit shall be issued except for change of point of entry if valid reasons are furnished.

For import of commodities not covered under the Schedule-V, Schedule-VI and Schedule-XII, import permit will not be issued. Pest Risk Analysis is mandatory for import of new commodities into India. Hence, for import of new commodities the importer should apply for Pest Risk Analysis Request Form as reproduced in Appendix-9 to the Plant Protection Adviser to the Govt. of India.

The tissue culture plant species other than listed in Schedule-VI, that are obtained from mother stock tested and certified to be virus free, shall be allowed to be imported subject to testing by appropriate inspection authorities specified in Part-II of Schedule-XI of PQO 2003.

seeds and plants export import Indian law

b) Import of seeds/plant material for consumption:

The importer or his agent shall make an application for import of seeds/plant material for consumption in PQ Form-01 of PQ Order 2003 in duplicate at least seven days in advance to the permit issuing authority (Schedule-X) of the concerned port of entry as notified vide Schedule-ISchedule-II and Schedule-III of Plant Quarantine Order, 2003 along with a demand draft / Pay order forRs.150/- (Rupees one hundred and fifty only) drawn in favour of the “Pay and Accounts Officer, Department of Agriculture and Co-operation, Ministry of Agriculture” of concerned area of jurisdiction from any Nationalised bank.

The import permit shall be issued only for the commodities as listed in Schedule-V, & Schedule-VI.

Import permit not required for the commodities listed in Schedule-VII.

The importer shall note that the permit issued is valid for a period of six months from the date of issue and valid for multiple port access and multiple part shipments provided the exporter, importer and country of origin are the same for the entire consignment.

The import permit is issued in five copies in PQ Form-03 of PQ Order 2003. The permit is valid for six months and can be further extended for another six months if valid reasons are furnished prior to the expiry of the permit after payment of Rs.100 towards revalidation fee.

The importer shall note that the import permit issued is not transferable and no amendments to the permit shall be issued except for change of point of entry if valid reasons are furnished.

For import of commodities not covered under the Schedule-V, Schedule-VI and Schedule-VII, Pest Risk Analysis is mandatory for import of new commodities into India. Hence, for import of new commodities the importer should apply Pest Risk Analysis Request Form as reproduced in Appendix-9 to the Plant Protection Adviser to the Govt. of India.

We do find that in the procedure for issuance of Import Permit for seeds and plant material it is mentioned that permit is issued only for commodities as listed in Schedule-V and Schedule-VI or even Schedule-XII for seed/plants for sowing and propagation category.

 Schedule-V states about list of plants and plant materials restricted for import, permitted only by recommendation of authorized institutions with declarations and special conditions. The list mentions about 17 different types of plants. The list have five headings which are as follows:   i) plant species and variety ii) category of plants and plant materials iii) additional declarations required to be incorporated in PSC iv) special conditions of import  v) responsibility of authorized institution

If we take the example of Tobacco the different details given in the list are:  i) Nicotianna spp ii) seeds for sowing iii)  Freedom from a) Blue mould b) Broomrape  c) Tobacco cyst nematode iv) post entry consignment for a period of one growth season  v) subject to the recommendation, supervision ,monitoring and testing by Central Tobacco Research Institute, Rajamundry.

Schedule-VI states about plants and plant materials permitted to import on additional declarations and special conditions. The list mentions about 571 different types of plants. This list also have five headings which are as follows: i) plant species ii) category of plant material  iii) country of origin  iv) additional declarations to be incorporated in Phytosantary Certificate v) special conditions for import.

As for example the different details given in the list for Tamarind are: i) Tamarindus spp  ii) seeds for sowing  iii) Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius, New Zealand, Philippines, Sri Lanka iv) Nil  v) freedom from quarantine weed seeds .

Schedule XII mentions about quantities of seeds permitted for trial purpose/accession to gene bank of National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources. The list got details about 19 different types of plant seeds.

In the Plant Quarantine Information System we can find the rules and procedure to be followed for import of plants/seeds by mail or shipping. The procedure for export of plants/seeds is given in clear detail. Operational guidelines for regular importers and exporter are also mentioned.

We can easily understand that even the idea of importing or exporting of plant/seeds requires procedural rules to be followed where quarantine system is necessary to verify that plants/seeds are not affected by any pest, disease. We need to be careful about this.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Hlo Sir,

    I am from Himachal Pradesh and I want to order some Apple plants and Budd woods from USA. so I want to know what kind of license do I require and what is the process to import plants and Budd woods of Apple. I am ordering for the first time so I don’t know the process and what documents are required for ordering.

  2. Hlo Sir,

    I am from west Himachal Pradesh and I want to order some Apple plants and Budd woods from USA. so I want to know what kind of license do I require and what is the process to import plants and Budd woods of Apple. I am ordering for the first time so I don’t know the process and what documents are required for ordering.

  3. HFL is the best portal for imported flowers online. You can buy imported flowers online from Happy Flowers Limited. It’s a lively platform which provide all kind of colorful & fresh imported flowers, definitely you would like them. We offer all types of fresh exotic & imported flowers at very reasonable price with guaranteed.

  4. Hi Sir

    I am from west bangal and i want to order some catus and succulent seed from Europe so what kind of license do i required to order seeds. actually i am ordering for the first time so i don’t know what document are required for ordering seeds from foregin country so please help me sir

  5. Hello Sir,

    I want to order Asparagus Seeds from USA. As per schedule Vi, point no 38, the phytosanitary requirement mentioned is Nil and under special condition requirement it is mentioned as free from Quarantine weed seeds.

    My query is do i need to obtain phytosanitary certificate and what does quarantine weed seed mean. My supplier is sending the goods by ordinary post to Goa will it come directly or do i have to collect it at Mumbai port.

    Regards,
    Moksha Kotian
    8308847798

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