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  • What is a Phytosanitary Certificate?

    To facilitate agricultural exports, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA) assists the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine (USDA APHIS PPQ) in providing assurance that U.S. plants and plant products meet the plant quarantine import requirements of foreign countries. This assurance is in the form of a phytosanitary certificate, issued by the USDA APHIS PPQ or its State cooperators.

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  • Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

    APHIS, www.aphis.usda.gov, helps to facilitate agricultural trade for both importers and exporters, and its Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) unit is central to the successful flow of healthy commodities into and out of the United States. PPQ is responsible for ensuring that healthy seeds, plants, bulbs, timber, flowers, vegetables, fruits, and a multitude of other agricultural commodities can be exported without risk to agriculture and natural resources.

    Click here to visit the APHIS Plant Export page.

    Click here to visit the Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance and Tracking System (PCIT) page.

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  • New Jersey Department of Agriculture Services

    The NJDA assists New Jersey farmers and exporters by providing phytosanitary inspection and certification for plants and plant products being shipped to foreign countries. The phytosanitary certificates verify that the products have been inspected and are pest and disease free. NJDA issues two kinds of phytosanitary certificates--those for domestic plants and plant products, and those for foreign plants and plant products offered for reexport.

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  • Fees

    Recent changes in federal regulations requires an additional administrative fee to be paid directly to the United States Department of Agriculture. The fee will be $3 (three dollars) when an electronic certificate is issued though PCIT and $6 (six dollars) for a traditional paper certificate. In 2011 and subsequent years the fees will be $6 for PCIT issued certificates and $12 for paper certificates.

    State inspection fees shall continue to be $50.00 for each federal phytosanitary certificate of a commercial shipment and a $20.00 fee for each federal phytosanitary certificate of a non-commercial or low value commercial shipment. This fee must be paid to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry at the time of the inspection.


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  • Phytosanitary Requirements Database

    Because of the sheer quantity of certificates that USDA APHIS PPQ issues--paperwork for roughly 260,000 shipments each year--and because many countries have vastly different entry requirements for agricultural products, PPQ developed a data base to track the phytosanitary requirements for each country. This data base, called EXCERPT, allows authorized PPQ officers, State and county officials, and even industry members to access export information. So, if a U.S. exporter wanted to ship red oak logs to Portugal, information in the EXCERPT data base would explain that the logs need to be fumigated with methyl bromide prior to being shipped.

    The data base also lists the status of endangered plant species, the commodities that are not eligible to be exported to specific countries, and any changes in other countries' entry requirements. EXCERPT identifies ports that are authorized to certify for export those endangered and threatened plants protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). For example, PPQ officials at San Francisco, a CITES-approved port, can certify cacti for export.

    With the availability of such extensive export information, U.S. exporters usually do not run into any complications with trade. However, in cases where U.S. goods arrive at a foreign nation and are denied entry, PPQ will try to negotiate with foreign plant health authorities on behalf of the U.S. exporter.


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  • Contact

    For further information contact the Nursery Inspection Program Manager, New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry, PO Box 330, Trenton, NJ 08625-0330, (609-406-6939).

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