Importing Nursery Stock
Nursery stock comprises whole plants, including tissue cultured plants (plants in-vitro), or parts of plants imported for growing purposes, e.g. cuttings, scions, budwood, marcots, off-shoots, root divisions, bulbs, corms, tubers and rhizomes.
- Biosecurity Index
- Entry Conditions
- What about plant species not on the Biosecurity Index?
- Import Health Standard
- Post Entry Quarantine
- Import Permit
- High Value Crops
- MAF Approved Off-Shore Quarantine Facilities
- High Profile Pests
- Steps for Importing Nursery Stock into New Zealand
Only nursery stock for the plant species listed in the Plants Biosecurity Index will be considered for entry into New Zealand.
The Plants Biosecurity Index can be searched by the genus and/or species of the plants to be imported. The search will return the import specification of the species, which will direct you to the appropriate section of the nursery stock import health standard (see Entry Conditions).
All nursery stock must meet the Basic Conditions, as outlined in section 2.2.1 of the import health standard: 155.02.06 Importation of Nursery Stock.
Tissue cultures (plants in-vitro) must meet the Basic Conditions for Tissue Culture, as outlined in section 2.2.2 of the import health standard.
As indicated by the Plants Biosecurity Index, certain genera and species require Special Conditions that are additional to the Basic Conditions. These are outlined in the Schedule of Special Conditions in Section 3.4 of the import health standard.
To import new organisms (species), including genetically modified organisms, as defined in the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996, an application must first be made to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA ) at the following address:
- Manager, New Organisms
Environmental Protection Authority
PO Box 131
A new plant species approved by ERMA, or any species identified within the Plants Biosecurity Index as "Requires assessment" will require the completion of a plant health risk assessment and development of an import health standard to determine phytosanitary import requirements prior to entry.
Each year, MAF BNZ Plant Imports, receives many proposals and applications to import horticultural commodities. We advise that in order for these commodities to be permitted entry into New Zealand, it is necessary for MAF BNZ to undertake an import risk analysis for each commodity so as to develop appropriate phytosanitary measures, in the form of an import health standard. The outcome of such analyses will be the import requirements (schedule) for each commodity, that will list the requirements to be met before biosecurity clearance can be given, this may include a post entry quarantine period.
The phytosanitary requirements for all nursery stock approved for importation into New Zealand have been specified in the import health standard document 155.02.06: Importation of Nursery Stock (2718 KB).
This document states the requirements for nursery stock approved in accordance with New Zealand MAF's obligations under the Biosecurity Act 1993 and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC).
All nursery stock is required to go into post entry quarantine on arrival into New Zealand, unless otherwise indicated in the Schedule of Special Conditions.
If post entry quarantine is required, you must determine prior to import the quarantine facility that you will use. See a listing of MAF registered post entry quarantine facilities.
Information about the requirements for setting up a quarantine facility can be obtained from PBC-NZ-TRA-PQCON: Specification for the Registration of a Plant Quarantine or Containment Facility, and Operator (103 KB).
Tissue cultures are not required to go into post entry quarantine, unless the Schedule of Special Conditions lists this as a requirement.
All nursery stock must be imported under a valid permit to import, unless otherwise indicated in the Schedule of Special Conditions.
To apply for a permit, complete the form, Application for permit to import Nursery Stock.
The completed form should be returned to Plant Imports, where requirements will be checked before an import permit is issued. Allow 10 working days for processing.
- Plant Imports Team
Border Standards Directorate
Ministry for Primary Industries
P.O. Box 2526
- Fax: +64 4 894 0662
See a register of permits issued for the import of germplasm (nursery stock and seed for sowing) into New Zealand:
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES ) regulates the international trade and movement of animals and plant species that have been, or may be, threatened due to excessive commercial exploitation. For more information on species covered under CITES, please refer to the CITES website.
In genereal, the importation of endangered species into New Zealand is regulated under this Convention and must be accompanied by a valid CITES export permit issued by the appropriate management authority in the country of export. The Departement of Conservation is responsible for managing CITES species in New Zealand, including providing information on how to obtain CITES permits.
Information on high profile pests of nursery stock can be found at the links below.
- Pine Pitch Canker - Fusarium circinatum
- Sudden Oak Death - Phytophthora ramorum
- Pierce’s Disease – Xylella fastidiosa
Refer to the flowchart below which gives an overview of the import process for nursery stock:
Page last updated: 2 May 2013