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  • Karen Withers

Is Your Phytosanitary Certificate Expired?

Phytosanitary Certificates (Phytos) are required for nearly all seed exports regardless of destination, species or size of export. Most countries have defined Phyto Time Limits when the seed must be inspected or the Phyto needs to be issued. An inspection thirty (30) days from the shipping date is the most common but many countries have tighter restrictions ranging between 10 days to 30 days.


Phyto Time Limits can be found in the USDA Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance & Tracking System (PCIT). There you can view individual country requirements in the Phytosanitary Export Database (PExD).


Select your country of destination then choose "Definitions".

Within the definition section select "P". You will see a section for "Phytosanitary Certificate". In the example below (Germany - or all EU countries) notes "A phytosanitary certificate or phytosanitary certificate for re-export may not be issued more than fourteen (14) days before the date on which the plants, plant products or other objects have left the country." This means your Phyto must be issued within 14 days of when the seed has shipped.


Another example below (Australia) requires "The official phytosanitary inspection in the exporting country on which the PC is based must take place not more than 28 days before shipment." You must have your product inspected no more than 28 days prior to the shipping date. Shipping date is the date the product has left the USA.


If no inspection or issuance date criteria is defined that country defaults to 30 days between inspection and shipping date. Keep in mind, when certificates are based upon issuance date, the inspection is only valid for 30 days. Watching these dates is crucial especially while juggling the current freight situation and struggling to ship seed on time.

For more information, contact AgCultured Consulting.



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