A phytosanitary certificate is a document, which states that the material is free from quarantine and other injurious pests and that the importation agrees to the plant import rules of the importing country. Phytosanitary certificate issued by any country should conform to the model appended to international Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). It is issued only after thorough examination of the materials. Is necessary, treatments are given to the commodity depending on the conditions imposed by the importing country. Issuance must be done within 14 days prior to shipment of the material. Issue of phytosanitary certificate dispatch of the material considered to violate international standards.


There are three import permit applications

1.Import Permit Application forImportaation of Seeds and Planting Materials

2 Import Permit Application for Importation of fruits

3.Import Permit application for Biological Agents

The importer can submit the duly completed import permit application through e-mail ( or or by post (Additional Director, Import Permit Division, National Plant Quarantine Service, Katunayake, Sri Lanka) or by fax (011- 2253709) or by handing over to the import permit division, National Plant Quarantine Service, Katunayake, Sri Lanka.

The presence of the applicant to the National Plant Quarantine Service office is not essential to submit the application.

Import permits will be issued free of charge.


Guidelines for submitting on application

  • For fruits and Vegetables imported for consumption, the common name is sufficient
  • In case of all other plant materials (including seeds), the botanical name of the plant should be given
  • The botanical name is the scientific name in Latin that facilitates a precise identification of the plant species. It has two components

    (a)    Generic name – Starting with a capital
    (b)    Specific epithet – The second name starting with a simple letter

The botanical name should be printed or typed in italics or underlined, e.g. Zea mays (Zea mays) is the botanical name for maize or corn. The name of a “Horticultural Sport”, “Cultivar” (“variety”) or “Hybrid”, should be written within single quotation marks with a capital initial letter after the specific name. For example, Dracaena ‘Massangeana’ should not be referred to as Massangeana in the application. For the import of vegetable seeds, both the botanical name and the common name (i.e. accepted English name) with the name of variety, strain and/or hybrid should be given. 


  • Specify clearly the quantities required of each cultivar (Variety) and the type of material you wish to import
  • Most tissue cultured products are permitted that they arrive as in vitro plantlets in sealed vessels. Containing clear growth media that should not contain any antibiotics or charcoal
  • Certain plants are not permitted but their seeds are allowed

e.g. Forest plant Seeds, Oil palm seeds (Pre heated)

For forest plant seed – we need no objection letter of Department of Forest

For Oil palm seed – we need no objection letter from Director CRI (Coconut Research Institute) or Apply through Director CRI and need sufficient post entry quarantine facilities at the importers premises (In screen house – mesh size is 28and 30 gauge).


  • Indicate the following clearly in the application form

–    Name and address of the supplier
–    Intended use or purpose
–    Locality and country where the material was produced
–    Means of importation (whether airfreight, sea freight, airmail, accompanied baggageetc.,)
–    Probable dates of shipment and entry into Sri Lanka.
–    Port of entry


  • Put your signature


  • How the Department of Agriculture (DOA) will act on permit applications
  1.  All applications will be processed within two weeks of receipt unless further clarifications are needed
    ii.    Issue of permits may be delayed where application forms are incomplete
    iii.   For the issue of permits to import some items, inspection of the facilities available with the importer may be a prerequisite and the importer will be notified about such requirements.
    iv.    Post-entry quarantine will be done for restricted materials, for which adequate facilities should be provided by the importer.

Your permit application may be refused due to the following reasons
If the material requested is an item prohibited for import into Sri Lanka, Plant Import Permit will not be issued unless the applicant is qualified for importation of such material.


  • How the material should arrive in Sri Lanka
  1.  The consignment must be securely packaged to prevent spillage in transit.
    ii.    Every package must bear information on the crop, variety and seed treatment, if any , name, and address of supplier, name and address of consignee, permit number and the numbers of certificates covering the consignment
    iii.    Packing materials should be those approved by the Department of Agriculture
    iv.    A consignment should not contain any soil (as a Contaminant or a growth medium)