The following guidelines are intended to facilitate plant and seed import, consistent with safety to crops in particular and the environment in general.

  1. Forms of plant material for import

Seeds, fruits, seedlings un rooted cuttings, rooted cutting long established plant, in-vitro cultures, pollen, fiber, fresh flowers, human consumption material (Ground nut, popcorn, Cashew etc.) animal feeds materials, spices, oil palm seeds, seed potatoes, dry herbs, bulbs etc.

  1. What you cannot import

    i. The Plant Protection Ordinance (Gazette Extraordinary of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, No.  165/2, of Monday, November 02, 1981) lists prohibited/restricted plants.

    ii. Permits to imports prohibited the plants will be given only to appropriate research institutes of Sri Lanka

   iii. Any plant capable of further growth or propagation, and originating in the American tropics or any country in which South American Leaf Blight (Microcyclusulei) occurs; countries of South Amreican leaf blight presents (Brazil, Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republican, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fr. Guiana, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, St. Lucia, Surinam, Trinidad & Tobago, Venezuela)

  •  Examples for some import prohibited material.      

        1.  Rice (Oryzasativa) , except processed rice for consumption
        2.   Coconut
        3.   Rubber
        4.   Planting material of Tea
        5.   Coffee

  •  Examples for some restricted material.

            Maize, Tomato, Lettuce, Potato

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and living modified organisms (LMOs) are not allowed to import into Sri Lanka.

  1. Purposes of imports

      As mother stock, multiplication and export, cut flower production, ornamental purpose, processing, consumption, sale, or for research purpose etc.

  1. Facilities needed to handle the imported screen house, net house suitable storage facilities, and cold storages as the case may be.


  1. Plan well in advance, the importer shall obtain the relevant import permit in advance of the date on which the regulated article is dispatched from the country of origin


  1. Validity period of an import permit

     Normally the import permit is valid only for 3 months period but in some cases it may be change due to the availability of the local production or with recommendation of the another supporting Department or Institution (i.e. Cashew corporation, Department of export Agriculture)


  1. Extension of validity period of an issued import permit

      If there is any delay in transit of the consignment, the importer should request to the Additional Director NPQS        with mentioning the reason before expiry date with the original permit. The validity period of the permit will be extended for the reasonable time period by the letter


  • All packing materials well as accompanying or adhering media shall be subject to the provisions of the Plant Protection Ordinance and regulations made there under as if they themselves were plants;
    Provide that no packaging material or accompanying or adhering media shall contain any soil.


  • No Plant shall be imported into Sri Lanka except through one of the following ports or places of entry :-
    (a)    the port of Colombo ;
    (b)    the port of Trincomalee ;
    (c)    the port of Mattala ;
    (d)    the port of Hambantota ;
    (e)    the port of Katunayake ;
    (f)    the port of Palaly ;


  • all Plant imported into Sri Lanka, shall be examined by an Inspector or Sub-Inspector;
        Provided that, where the Inspector is satisfied that such plants are being imported for consumption, processing, manufacture or for any purpose other than propagation and the material is not that is prohibited or restricted under regulation 2 hereto he may dispense with such inspection.


  • It shall be lawful for the Director of Agriculture or an Inspector or Sub-Inspector, to enter at all reasonable hours into any building or conveyance (including) ships, boats, aeroplanes and motor vehicles) where any plant disease, pest or weed may reasonably be suspected to exist, to inspect and examine that building or conveyance, or any goods, stores, furnishings or cargo within that building or conveyance, for the purpose of determining if any such plant disease, pest or weed exists, therein or thereon.


  • An Inspector or Sub-Inspector may, if he is satisfied that any plant or planting or vegetative material being imported may be infested or infected or in any way carrying a disease, pest or weed, and whether or not such plant or planting or vegetative material, has been imported in conformity with the Plant Protection Ordinance and regulations made thereunder-

    (a)    authorize or carry out its disinfection or treatment;
    (b)    authorize or carry out its immediate destruction;
    (c)    direct it to be taken out of the country within a specified period; or
    (d)    direct it to be detained in quarantine or in any other place approved by the Director of Agriculture, for a period not exceeding twenty-four months;


  • (a) Any package or parcel containing any plant, or planting or vegetative material, shall be delivered to an Inspector or Sub-Inspector by the Principal Collector of Customs or by the Postmaster-General, as the case may be.

    (b) After an examination and treatment, as provided in regulation l0, the package or parcel containing the plant , or planting or vegetative material shall (except where such parcel and its contents has been refused entry under the instruction of an Inspector or Sub-Inspector) be returned to the Collector of Customs or the Postmaster – General, as the case may be.


  • (1) Plants, or planting or vegetative materials, which are prohibited, or whose importation is restricted under the provisions of the Plant Protection Ordinance or regulations made thereunder, if temporarily brought into Sri Lanka or its territorial waters, shall be subject to such inspection, treatment or other disposition as may be deemed necessary by the Director of Agriculture or an Inspector or Sub-Inspector.

    (2) The provisions of paragraph (1) shall also apply to carriers including ships and air-crafts, their
    stores, furnishings, dunnage etc., while such carriers are in Sri Lanka or in the territorial waters of Sri Lanka.


  • No person shall import into Sri Lanka any living insects, birds or other animals in any stage of their development, or any virus, bacteria or fungus cultures, except under the authority of an import permit issued by the Director of Agriculture and in accordance with the conditions laid down in that permit:
        Provided that this regulation shall not apply to animals generally covered by animal quarantine rules.