What You Need to Know about a Plant Import Permit
The issuance of a Plant Import Permit is critical because it gives legal authorization to bring/import plant material from other countries into Trinidad and Tobago. With the importation of plant and plant products into the country, these items can pose a threat to the natural environment, our food security and economy. In this regard, the term “Plant Quarantine”, includes a group of measures taken by countries to prevent the introduction and spread of insect pests, diseases, and weeds.
The Plant Quarantine Service (PQS) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries (MALF) regulates trade through the issuance of plant import permits. Persons requesting this document can therefore submit an electronic application via the e-permits and Licenses module on the TTbizlink – Online Applications (www.ttbizlink.gov.tt) website.
Plant and Plant Products also include a range of goods from live plants, all seeds for propagation, cut flowers and foliage, peas, beans, fruits, vegetables and lumber.
PQS also facilitates exports from Trinidad and Tobago by ensuring that the conditions of the importing country are met and issues phytosanitary certificates to exporters where required. The Plant Quarantine Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries is the Government’s PQS agency authorized to issue Plant Import Permits and Phytosanitary Certificates.
- Plant and Plant Products Purchase Online
Persons accessing Amazon, eBay or any other online market facility are advised that you are required to apply for a plant import permit following the same application path. Therefore, the Ministry strongly advises that before committing to any online purchase please engage the “seller” to ensure that a Phytosanitary Certificate can be issued for the intended purchase. If these requirements are not met, the items may be seized and destroyed.
The same guidelines also apply to the travelling public, as passengers transiting the airport must abide by the rules and regulations of meeting the documentary requirements – Import Permit and Phytosanitary Certificate to ensure compliance.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries reminds persons that is important to declare all agriculture items and avoid placing plant or plant products in your luggage without a plant import permit issued by T&T and a Phytosanitary Certificate from the exporting country.
Finally, receiving or sending plant and plant products in any form into Trinidad and Tobago by mail or courier also requires a plant import permit and phytosanitary certificate. Unauthorized items from outside Trinidad and Tobago (online or other) will be confiscated at the border, destroyed and may lead to fines and imprisonment.
- Note: Plant Protection Act.
- (1) Subject to this Act, no person shall import into Trinidad and Tobago any fruits, planting material, plant pest, pathogens, plant products, soil, vegetables or any other prescribed articles (hereinafter referred to as “restricted articles”) unless he first obtains a permit in accordance with the provisions of this Act or the Regulations.
(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and is liable—
(a) on a first conviction to a fine of five thousand dollars or to imprisonment for two years or to both and;
(b) on a second or subsequent conviction to a fine of ten thousand dollars or to imprisonment for two years or to both.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries is asking for the cooperation of the public on this issue and we wish to thank everyone for your continued support.
For further information please contact: 642-0718; 280-7938 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org