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植物防疫所

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Plant Quarantine Inspections

 Plant Protection Stations perform import inspections for plants to prevent the entry of harmful pests from overseas into Japan, and export inspections based on plant quarantine requirements specified by destination countries in order to prevent similar problems abroad.

 Plant quarantine inspections are required when bringing plants into Japan from abroad or taking plants out of Japan.

 Regulations when Bringing Plants into Japan from Another Country

 In order to prevent the entry of harmful pests from overseas from into Japan along with plants transported as cargo, carried in personal baggage, sent via postal mail or transported by other means, all imported plants must undergo import inspections regardless of quantity, intended usage and so forth.

 In order to prevent the entry of harmful pests into Japan, regulatory classifications are established based on consideration of both the country of origin and lists of plants known to pose a risk of introducing harmful pests. Regulatory classifications are as follows.

 

 Items Whose Import is Prohibited in Japan (Import-prohibited Items)

 In order to prevent the accidental importation of harmful pests, we ban the import of plants from countries/regions which exhibit potential to cause major damage to Japan's agricultural sector and/or other areas, and which may bring in harmful pests that are difficult to detect with sufficient precision during inspections.

 In addition, import is prohibited for the following items regardless of their country/region of origin: 

  • Soil
  • Plants attached with soil
  • Quarantine pests which are injurious to plants and plant products
  • Rice straw or rice husks (excluding those from the Korean Peninsula and Taiwan)

 In addition, certain fruits and vegetables may be banned (import-prohibited items) depending on the country/region where they were produced or the country/region from which they were exported. Banned fruits and vegetable can be confirmed (in English) via the Database for Importing Conditions.

This pamphlet lists common import-prohibited items.

 

Items Requiring Import Inspections

 When not prohibited from import, the following types of plants still require inspection upon importation. Some plants require inspection at the original departure country, special quarantine measures, etc.

 Import regulations differ depending on the country of production, exporting country and plant type. Common items are listed (in English) in the Database for Importing Conditions.

 

Examples of Items Requiring Import Inspections: 

  • Seedlings/saplings, bulbs, seeds 
  • Cut flowers
  • Fruits, vegetables 
  • Grains / cereal grass, beans 
  • Wood materials / lumber 
  • Items used as ingredients for making spices, herbal medicines, etc.       

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Items Not Requiring Import Inspections

 Processed products whose ingredients include plant materials that pose no threat of introducing harmful pests into Japan (attached to plants or still alive) do not require import inspections.
 Please contact one of the Plant Protection Stations for more details.
 

 

Import Procedures when Bringing Plants into Japan from Another Country (Plants Transported in Personal Baggage)

 Import inspections are required for all plants—even plants purchased at duty-free shops, small-sized plants and so forth—to ensure that no harmful pests are entering the country along with them.

 Complete an inspection at the Plant Quarantine Counter before going through customs inspections.

 

Immigration Inspection → Imported Plant Inspection (Plant Quarantine Counter) → Customs Inspection

 

 Please submit any inspection certificates issued by the exporting country (known as "phytosanitary certificates" and issued in tag form) to the plant quarantine officer at the Plant Quarantine Counter.

 If your plant or plants pass the import inspection, you will receive a "plant inspection passed" stamp (shokubutsu kensa gokaku shoin) from the officer. Any plant not displaying this stamp is ineligible for customs inspections.

     Inspection certificates are not required for certain plants. Please contact one of the Plant Protection Stations for more details.

* Persons who bring any plant into Japan without first completing the above inspections may be punished according to the Plant Protection Act.  

 

 Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How long do import inspections take?  Is any inspection fee required?
A1:Although it depends on various factors such as plant type and quantities, most inspections take only a short time.
Also, please note that no inspection fee is required.

 

Q2:What is required regarding import procedures when sending plants as unaccompanied baggage?
A2:Whenever possible, please have the customs agent or overseas moving/shipping company representative submit any inspection certificates (known as "phytosanitary certificates") issued by the exporting     country's plant quarantine authority to the Japanese Plant Protection Station at the time of inspection for unaccompanied baggage (consignments).

 

Q3:What precautions should I take when sending plants to Japan via international mail, international courier service or similar?
A3: In order to ensure proper import inspections of sent items, make sure the shipping agent fills out the declaration form attached to the international mailing/shipping items and clearly indicates the contents of parcels being sent on their outer packaging (example label: "Contains Plants"). Please be aware that importing plants by having them sent in any format other than small packages/envelopes, or including them in personal letters, is prohibited under the Plant Protection Act.

 Plants may be sent via international courier service, airmail, etc. However, because certain courier companies refuse to ship plants that require import inspections, we recommend confirming information about the company you intend to use in advance via their website or other such information source.

 

Q4 : Is it necessary to obtain an import permit from a Japanese Plant Protection Station before importing plants in Japan?
A4: In some countries, import regulations require the obtainment of an import permit(s) from the relevant plant quarantine authority before importing plants. However, because Japan does not have such regulations, it is not necessary to obtain import permits before importing items.

 

Inquiries regarding the contents of this page (English)