• Original copy of import permit issued by National Plant Quarantine Service, Department of Agriculture, Sri Lanka.
  • Original copies of Phytosanitary certificate issued by exporting country.
  • Treatment certificates if asked on permit Eg: Fumigation Certificates for fresh flowers, seeds etc.
  • Orange certificate of the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) / Seed Analysis Certificate issued by the official seed certification agency for seeds if the exporting country have no ISTA representation
  • Additional Declarations as per the import permit
  • Certificate of Origin issued by the Chamber of Commerce/ government body
  • Invoice
  • Packing list
  • Airway Bill/Seaway Bill/Bill of Laden
  • Other relevant documents mentioned on Import Permit eg: Non GMO Certificates, Microbial Lab Report, Gurantee Letter etc


  • The importer or his agent shall file an application (PQ Form 01) in cargo immediately upon arrival  to the officer in charge  at plant Quarantine station with following enclosures.
    1. Customs declaration form (duly endorsed)
    2. Import Permit original (Importers copy)
    3. Phytosanitory certificate (original)
    4. Certificate of origin
    5. Airway bill
    6. Invoice
    7. Packing list
    8. Treatment Certificate ex: Fumigation certificate (If required)
    9. ISTA certificate or seed analysis report for seeds
    10. Relevant test reports (Eg : Non GMO)
      The import permit conditions must be fulfilled by the imported consignment and the relevant      additional decorations should be endorsed on phytosanitary certificate
    All the relevant documents are being checked by the authorized officer for the consignment and shall register the application. If some documents are missing a concessionary time will be given to precede the documents.   For Import clearance at Seaport: If documents are not fulfilled according to our requirements then the consignment will be detained, until document clearance procedure is done. At this stage, this information regarding of the retention will be informed to the Sri Lanka Customs and clearing agent / Importer (PQ Form 04). A certain concessionary period of time will be given to the importer to re-submit the correct documents.   If documents are found with following mistake, the consignment will be rejected.
    • Submitting forged document
    • Violation of permit limits & condition
    • Missing of critical information in documents


The importer or his agent will arrange for inspection of the consignment at air cargo import terminal. The PQ officer will verify the identity and integrity of the consignment imported as per the documents received. According to the ISPM 15 wooden pallets should have the logo which stated treated. Permitted packing materials should be used A fee of Rs. 150 (One hundred and fifty rupees) will be charged as import inspection charges per one import permit per consignment. Importer will receive a receipt for the payment. This payment will be credited to the account of Director General of Agriculture. There are 6 categories of consignments I. Live plants, cut foliage and cut flowers II. Seeds III. Dry herbs IV. Invitro cultures V. Microbial cultures and research samples VI. Fresh fruits VII. Animal feed VIII. Others   Live plants, Cut foliage & Cut flowers
  • The total quantity of the consignment will be checked.
  • If pest detected, the whole consignment will temporary hold and samples of the consignment /whole consignment will be handed over to National Plant Quarantine Service for further testing. (PQ Form 02)
  • Subjected to the Recommendation of the Additional Director of the National Plant Quarantine Service release, apply treatments or destruction of the consignment/part of the consignment is done.
  • Time taken: 15 – 30 min
  • ISTA/Seed analysis report is essential for seeds imported for commercial purpose
  • Lot numbers mentioned in the ISTA/ Seed Analysis Certificate should be matched with the existing lots of the consignment.
  • Physical quality and pest detection will be done by the plant quarantine officer.
  • According to the permit conditions whole consignment or samples will be handed over to National Plant Quarantine Service or Samples will be handed over to seed lab or post control test will be done (PQ Form 02)
  • If needed samples will be taken for seed lab testing referring to each seed lot, or each seed lot importer has to pay Rs. 460 to the account of Director General of Agriculture to apply seed lab report.
  • Especially seed potato and maize all consignment will be handed over to the National Plant Quarantine Service for further testing.
  • Time taken: 15 – 30 min
    Dry herbs
  • The consignment is released considering the visual inspection if test reports are in order
  • Time taken: 15 – 30 min
  Invitro cultures
  • Culture media should be clear
  • Time taken: 15 – 30 min
  Microbial cultures & research samples (Bud woods, larva, etc.)
  • A letter from NPPO or government approved document is essential to release the consignment
  • Time taken: 15 – 30 min
  Fresh Fruits
  • Physical inspection or Sample inspection will be done by the plant quarantine officer at the inspection yard
  • Wooden items
  • Samples for consumption (Maize, wheat, mung bean etc.)
Import permit is not issued for these items
  • If wooden item is varnished or polished visual inspection is carried out and released the consignment
  • If the thickness is more than 3 mm, fumigation certificate is essential to release the consignment for wooden items


Reasons for detention:
1. Document errors
    . Additional declaration missing/Incomplete Additional declaration
    . Not submitting required documents
    . Expired documents (Eg; import permit, Phytosanitary certificate, ISTA/Seed Analysis Certificates etc.)
    . Fraudulent documents

2. Pest Detection
3. Soil Contamination
4. Violation of import permit conditions (Eg:Invalid commodities, Exceeding the permitted quantity etc)


If a consignment is found to be free from pests and complies with all the import permit conditions, it will be released on phytosanitoty measures and release order will be endorsed on delivery copy of the custom document.

Rapid release import procedure is followed at the seaport to certain consumable commodities carrying without permit. These type of consignments are registered at the inspection yards and at the same time inspection will be carried out promptly. If no any problem, found regarding quarantine issue the consignment will be released to the consignee. If any issue is found then detention, Re-export or disposal procedure will be carried out.


If a consignment is found to be contaminated with quarantine pest of Sri Lanka and failure to comply with phytosanitory regulations it will be rejected. Detain receipt will be given for detained items on phytosanitory measures by the plant quarantine unit to Customs (PQ Form 03)or relevant decision made will be endorsed in CusDec and will be informed the importer on reasons for the rejection of the consignment. Rejected items will be destroyed or re-exported after keeping 72 hours under quarantine supervision. Non-compliance will be send to the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) of the exporting country to notify on rejected consignment according to ISPM 13.   Destruction The expenses for destruction should be covered by the Importer and destruction process will be done under the supervision of plant quarantine officers at the National Plant Quarantine Service, Katunayake or recommended location.   Re-Export The Importer may re-export to the exported country or any other buyer if the NPPO importing country has no objection to receive the goods.  
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