Importing commercial plants and plant products

Regulations and entry requirements apply for importing commercial plant and plant products into South Australia.

Certification requirements for importing plants and plant products

Appropriate certification must accompany regulated imported commercial host plants and plant products. The certificates must state that the products meet all the requirements stipulated in the Plant Quarantine Standard (PQS) to ensure they are pest free.

There are 2 types of plant health certification, Plant Health Certificates (PHC) and Plant Health Assurance Certificates (PHAC). In some cases a Declaration of Source document can be used in lieu of a PHC or PHAC. The Declaration of Source document allows the business to confirm that produce did not originate in high-risk areas.

A confirmed detection of Citrus Canker in Darwin has prompted PIRSA to implement quarantine movement controls for host materials, including:

  • fruit
  • plants
  • associated planting media
  • machinery and equipment

from the Northern Territory into South Australia in order to protect South Australian citrus growers. The detections have not occurred in growing areas, or on the commercial varieties of citrus grown in orchards. PIRSA remains in close liaison with the Northern Territory Department of Primary Industries and Resources on activities being undertaken to minimise any potential risk of disease spread. Go to the Citrus Canker webpage for more information

In 2017 Tomato Potato Psyllid (TPP) was detected in Western Australia. As a result South Australia has import controls in place on plant material, fruit and vegetables and associated planting media, machinery and equipment coming into the state from Western Australia. Go to the Tomato Potato Psyllid page for more information.

Plant Health Certificates (PHC)

Plant Health Certificates (PHC) issued by Biosecurity Inspectors in South Australia (fees apply).

Apply for a Plant Health Certificate (PDF 140.9 KB)

Plant Health Assurance Certificates (PHAC)

Plant Health Assurance Certificates (PHACs) issued by businesses accredited to prepare and certify their own produce for interstate movement using either of the following systems:

Plant Health Assurance Certificate template (PDF 65.2 KB)

Declaration of Source

A Declaration of Source document can be used in lieu of PHC or PHAC, this confirms that the material was not grown or originate from a risked areas.

Verification requirements for plants and plant products

Commercial host plants and plant products must be inspected and cleared for import into South Australia. Clearance is mandatory. Penalties apply for failing to comply.

Commercial plants and plant products can be cleared by:

  • Accreditation - Import Verification Compliance Arrangement (IVCA), or
  • Direct inspection - Biosecurity SA officers inspect and clear the. plants and related products.

Request direct inspection and clearance of machinery and equipment (PDF 391.3 KB)

Request direct inspection and clearance of fruit, vegetables, plants, or flowers (PDF 335.5 KB)

Fees for using this service are listed on page 5 of the Plant Health Regulations 2009 or email or phone (08) 8207 7814.

Import Verification Compliance Arrangement (IVCA)

Accredited businesses clear their plant and plant products for entry to South Australia.

Import Verification Compliance Arrangement manual (PDF 2.2 MB)

Annual return for a Compliance Agreement (PDF 162.1 KB)

Accreditation fees are listed on page 5 of the Plant Health Regulations 2009 or email PIRSA.PlantHealthMarketAccess or phone (08) 8207 7814.

Annual Importer registration

Importers who bring plant and plant products into South Australia must register each year.

Apply for importer registration (PDF 236.5 KB)

Importer registration and renewal fees are listed on page 5 of the Plant Health Regulations 2009 or contact us by email or phone (08) 8207 7814.

Importation of Grapevine, Soil and Plant Diagnostic Material from Interstate

The importation of diagnostic material including grapevine, soil and plant material from interstate for laboratory analysis or research purposes is regulated under the Plant Health Act 2009 and the South Australian Plant Quarantine Standard.

Diagnostic material must either be dispatched to a CA12 Accredited laboratory within South Australia, or a Plant Health Import Certificate (PHIC) must be obtained from PIRSA for every consignment.

The PHIC option can be costly, as there is a fixed price for each PHIC and in addition, any certification including any Plant Health Certificate or Plant Health Assurance Certificate issued by interstate authorities will also be charged. Under the PHIC option, a Direct Inspection by PIRSA is also required on arrival at the destination laboratory in SA. Direct Inspections are charged at an hourly rate and can normally only take place within business hours with at least 24 hours’ notice. Consignments cannot be released until inspected by PIRSA.

Using a CA12 Accredited laboratory will often mean there will be less documentation required which can result in lower costs for both interstate based inspection services and PIRSA certification and inspection services. No Direct Inspection is required either, as a CA12 laboratory can do this under their PIRSA Accreditation.

If you own a laboratory in South Australia and wish to become accredited under the CA12 Operational Procedure please contact Biosecurity SA - Plant Health by either emailing or by phoning (08) 8207 7814.

View a list of laboratories currently accredited under CA12 (Laboratory Accreditation for Importation of Grapevine, Soil and Plant Diagnostic Material).

Transporters manifest requirements

Transporters carrying plants and plant products into South Australia must provide a manifest for every consignment providing the date, time of arrival and other required information prior to the product entering SA. Penalties apply for not providing a manifest with the required details.

Send completed manifests to or fax (08) 8124 1467.

Related information

Page Last Reviewed: 15 Feb 2017
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