Industry Advice Notice no. 2005/01: Requirements for Plant Exports to the European Union

​The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) has received advice from the United Kingdom Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) outlining that the following requirements will be implemented for Dicksonia spp. effective immediately.

During the 2004 export season, DEFRA intercepted high levels of live pests (flatworms, centipedes, ants, newts and spiders) on most consignments of Australian tree ferns. Additional fumigation and reinspection was undertaken before DEFRA released consignments.

The European Union Schedules state the following:

Schedule 4A1 Section 41 

Annual and biennial plants, other than Gramineae, intended for planting, other than seeds, originating in countries other than European and Mediterranean countries

Without prejudice to the provisions applicable to plants, where appropriate, listed in Schedule 4A1 (25.5), (25.6), (32.1), (32.2), (33), (34), (35.1), (35.2), (36), official statement that the plants:

  • have been grown in nurseries, and
  • are free from plant debris, flowers and fruits, prior to export, and
  • found free from symptoms of plant bacteria, viruses and virus-like pests, and
  • either found free from signs or symptoms of plant nematodes, insects, mites and fungi, or have been subjected to appropriate treatment to eliminate such pests

Full details of Sched​ule 4A1 are available from the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' web site.

The EU requirements state that ALL plants exported to European Union (EU) countries must be sourced from nurseries which meet specific conditions for export.


The EU requirements state that ALL plants exported to EU countries must be sourced from nurseries which meet the following conditions for export:

  1. A place of production permanently and professionally engaged in the propagation, production or growing on of plants;
  2. Registration of nurseries by the NPPO of the country of export;
  3. Having a person technically experienced in plant production and related plant health matters designated to liaise with the NPPO, who carries out visual observations within the nursery as necessary and at appropriate times and informs the official services of pest findings;
  4. Keeping records and related documents on the premises for at least one year in respect of any plants purchased for propagation, production or growing on, and on those dispatched to others.

Other additional requirements against specific species apply as normal import conditions.

Please ensure that all plants to the European Union meet the requirements for growth in a nursery. All bush harvested plants such as species of Phoenix spp.-Date Palms, Macrozamia spp.- Cycads and Xanthorea spp.- Black boys must have been on-grown in a nursery for twelve months prior to export.

These import requirements must be enforced effective immediately. AQIS will no longer certify goods that have not met the above requirements.

Mike Robbins
A/g National Manager Plant Programs 

Contact Officer: Erika Rogers 
Telephone: 02 6272 3929
Facsimile: 02 6272 3745

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
Thanks for your feedback.
Thanks! Your feedback has been submitted.

We aren't able to respond to your individual comments or questions.
To contact us directly phone us or submit an online inquiry

Please verify that you are not a robot.