74-2017 - Indian phytosanitary certificates

​​​4 August 2017

Who does this notice affect?

Importers of plants and plant products that require phytosanitary certification, their agents and accredited persons lodging import declarations using the Approved Arrangement Class 19.2 – Automatic Entry Processing for Commodities (AEPCOMM).


Phytosanitary certificates are required to be presented to the department to enable import of many plant based commodities.

Phytosanitary certificates must meet the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) No. 12: Guidelines for phytosanitary certificates as described in the Minimum Documentary and Import Declaration Requirements Policy.

ISPM 12 states that electronic phytosanitary certificates may be used when data is exchanged using an agreed, secure, government-to-government system (eCert). Currently the department only has an authorised eCert system in place for goods imported from New Zealand. All other phytosanitary certificates must meet ISPM 12 requirements for paper certificates.

The Indian government has begun issuing phytosanitary certificates from an electronic web based system and has advised that system access will be given to the National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) of importing countries, allowing them to view the certificates.

This system does not comply with ISPM 12 requirements for electronic data exchange.

Management of consignments with unacceptable phytosanitary certificates

Phytosanitary certificates that are not endorsed in accordance with ISPM 12 are not considered acceptable. When an unacceptable phytosanitary certificate is presented to the department for assessment, a Documentation direction will be issued requesting a copy that is signed and stamped by an authorised officer of the NPPO. When an acceptable certificate cannot be presented, the goods will be managed as per BICON conditions for unacceptable documentation.

AEPCOMM Accredited persons should not process consignments accompanied by an unacceptable phytosanitary certificate using AEPCOMM.

For further information please contact Entry Management