Plants

General Information for Travellers

Part of AVA's mission is to safeguard the health of plants in Singapore. Hence we need to minimise any negative impact that exotic pests and plant diseases can have on our plants and the environment. When you travel overseas, you may want to bring back plants, plant cuttings and seeds. Before travelling to Singapore, check the latest import conditions for plants that you may bring in.

Guidelines on Bringing Plants into Singapore


Travellers returning to Singapore bringing in plants require these items:

  • Import permit from AVA
  • CITES permit (for CITES protected species)
  • Phytosanitary Certificate (for live plants, cuttings and bulbs only)

Travellers also need to meet AVA’s plant health requirements including inspection, quarantine and sampling.

Import permit from AVA

You will need an import permit from AVA when you bring plants into Singapore.

You can apply for the opens in a new windowimport permit from AVA by making a declaration through Tradenet. You will need to provide the appropriate HS codes and product codes. For the lists of products codes, see Product Codes for TradeNet.

CITES permit

You will need this permit when you bring in plants that are protected under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora) from overseas. You can apply for this permit from the competent authority of your country of export. See the list of National Contacts and Information on the opens in a new windowCITES website.

See the CITES appendices for the list of plants listed under CITES.

Phytosanitary Certificate

You will need this certificate when you import planting materials from overseas. It certifies the plants or plant products are pest free. It is normally issued by the Agriculture Department from the country of origin of the plant.

You can check the opens in a new windowInternational Plant Protection Convention's List of Contact Points to find out the list of contact points and their respective countries.

Exemptions for Phytosanitary Certificate

With effect from 1 December 2007, this certificate is waived if you are bringing in small quantities of planting materials from West Malaysia.

Type Quantities
Plants 3 plants without potting media per person
Seeds 250 grams per person

You will need a certificate for any quantity in excess of the above.

Non-adherence to procedures

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) or Customs officer will detain your planting materials if you bring in planting materials:

  • without a Phytosanitary Certificate or CITES permit
  • in excess of the exempted quantities
  • without the necessary documents from West Malaysia

If your planting materials are detained, ICA will issue you a receipt. You may claim the plants from AVA if they are not endangered species and are free from pests and diseases. AVA may carry out disinfestation treatments on the imported plants before they are released to you.

Service fee
Service Fee
Inspection and treatment S$12 - S$50
Import permit fee S$11


Requirements for Cut Flowers & Foliages

Non-CITES Listed Cut Flowers & Foliages Without a Potting Medium


You will need these items:


Additional Requirements if you are bringing in from these countries:
  • Anguila, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba
  • Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Bonaire, Brazil
  • Cayman Island, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao
  • Dominica, Dominica Rep
  • Ecuador, El Salvador
  • French Guyana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana
  • Haiti, Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Martinique, Mexico
  • Nevis, Nicaragua
  • Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico
  • St Kitts, St Lucia, St Maarten, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname
  • Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Trinidad
  • Venezuala, Virgin Island
You will need these additional items:
  • Phytosanitary Certificate with additional certification on freedom of the regulated pests (Microcyclus ulei)

Cut Flowers & Foliages from CITES-Listed Plants



Type Requirements
For Cut Flowers & Foliages that are CITES-listed wild species (except Appendix I)
  • CITES export/re-export permit from the exporting country
  • CITES import permit
  • Phytosanitary Certificate from the country of export (for live plants, seeds, cuttings and bulbs only)
  • Meet AVA's phytosanitary requirements which may include inspection, quarantine and sampling
For Cut Flowers & Foliages that are CITES-listed artificially propagated species
  • CITES export/re-export permit from the exporting country, on a Certificate of Artificial Propagation to certify that the plants are artificially reproduced
  • CITES import permit (for CITES Appendix I species only)
  • Phytosanitary Certificate from the country of export (for live plants, seeds, cuttings and bulbs only)
  • Meet AVA's phytosanitary requirements which may include inspection, quarantine and sampling
Appendix I

These species are highly endangered and could be extinct if their trade is not severely restricted. Trade for primarily commercial purposes is generally prohibited. However, Appendix I species which are captive-bred in CITES-registered captive breeding farms are allowed to be commercially traded with proper CITES permits. For Appendix I species, CITES permits are issued only under special circumstances (eg. Zoological Gardens, Bird Park, research institutions, museums etc).

Requirements for Ornamental Plants

Non-CITES Listed Ornamental Plants with Potting Medium


You will need these items:

  • AVA import permit
  • Phytosanitary Certificate from the country of export
  • Additional declaration on the freedom of plant parasitic nematodes in the growing medium

To endorse the pre-departure treatment in the Phytosanitary Certificate:

  • Phytosanitary Certificate from the country of export with declaration that the potting medium is
    • free from plant parasitic nematodes
    • treated with: (a) 3% Carbofuran granules (b) or methyl bromide fumigation at 130gm per cubic metre for 48 metres (c) or steam sterilisation at 121oC for 30 minutes prior to planting

You will also be subjected to post-entry inspection by AVA.

Seeking pre-approval

Write in to AVA to seek pre-approval, if you are bringing in ornamental plants from these countries:

  • Anguila, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba
  • Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Bonaire, Brazil
  • Cayman Island, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao
  • Dominica, Dominica Rep
  • Ecuador, El Salvador
  • French Guyana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana
  • Haiti, Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Martinique, Mexico
  • Nevis, Nicaragua
  • Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico
  • St. Kitts, St Lucia, St Maarten, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname
  • Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Trinidad
  • Venezuela, Virgin Island

Non-CITES Listed Ornamental Plant without Potting Medium


You are allowed to bring in:

  • maximum amount of 3 plants per person

You will need this item:

  • Phytosanitary Certificate

You will be subjected to post-entry inspection by AVA. If you are bringing in directly from Peninsular Malaysia, you can do so without any requirements.

Specific requirements if you are bringing in from these countries/region
  • Anguila, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba
  • Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Bonaire, Brazil
  • Cayman Island, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao
  • Dominica, Dominica Rep
  • Ecuador, El Salvador
  • French Guyana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana
  • Haiti, Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Martinique, Mexico
  • Nevis, Nicaragua
  • Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico
  • St. Kitts, St Lucia, St Maarten, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname
  • Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Trinidad
  • Venezuela, Virgin Island
You will need these items:
  • Phytosanitary Certificate with additional certification on freedom of regulated pests (Microcylus ulei) and endorsement that the plant has been chemically treated.
  • 0.1% a.i. fenamiphos + 0.1% a.i. benomyl + 0.1% a.i. chlorothalonil (other equivalence may also be acceptable) for 20 minutes

Requirements for Plant Products

Plant products from CITES plants includes bulbs, carvings, cuttings, cut flowers and foliages.

Plant Products from CITES-Listed Plants


Type Requirements
For plant products that are CITES-listed wild species (except Appendix I)
  • CITES export/re-export permit from the exporting country
  • CITES import permit
  • Phytosanitary Certificate from the country of export (for live plants, seeds, cuttings and bulbs only)
  • Meet AVA's phytosanitary requirements which may include inspection, quarantine and sampling
For plant products that are CITES-listed artificially propagated species
  • CITES export/re-export permit from the exporting country, on a Certificate of Artificial Propagation to certify that the plants are artificially reproduced
  • CITES import permit (for CITES Appendix I species only)
  • Phytosanitary Certificate from the country of export (for live plants, seeds, cuttings and bulbs only)
  • Meet AVA's phytosanitary requirements which may include inspection, quarantine and sampling

Requirements for Potting Medium & Fertilizers

Compost or Organic Fertilisers


Compost or organic fertilisers derived from plant, plant products, animals and animal products are not allowed unless they are pre-approved by AVA.

Peat Moss, Sphagnam Moss, Coconut Moss & Bark


Requirements for bringing in from these countries/region
  • Anguila, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba
  • Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Bonaire, Brazil
  • Cayman Island, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao
  • Dominica, Dominica Rep
  • Ecuador, El Salvador
  • French Guyana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana
  • Haiti, Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Martinique, Mexico
  • Nevis, Nicaragua
  • Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico
  • St. Kitts, St Lucia, St Maarten, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname
  • Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Trinidad
  • Venezuela, Virgin Island
These requirements will apply:
  • Product to be packed into air permeable bag of maximum weight 2.5kg
  • Phytosanitary Certificate
  • Endorse these statements into the Phytosanitary Certificate:
    • Medium is from an area free from or tested to be free from regulated pest (Microcyclus ulei) and plant parasitic nematodes
    • Medium had undertaken one of the pre-departure treatments  listed below

Pre-departure Treatments
  1. Treatment: Dry heat
  2. Treatment: Steam
Note: Bark of hevea species is not allowed from these countries.
Requirements for bringing in from all other countries:
  • Products are subject to post-entry inspection by AVA and must be packed into air permeable bags
  • Phytosanitary Certificate
  • Endorse these statements into the Phytosanitary Certificate:
  • Peat moss, cocoa moss, sphagnum moss or bark is certified free from or tested to be free from plant parasitic nermatodes
  • Peat moss cocoa moss, sphagnum moss and bark had undertake one of the pre-departure treatments listed below:

Pre-departure treatments
  1. Treatment: Dry heat
  2. Treatment: Steam
  3. Treatment:Methyl bromide

Soil


Pre-arrival requirements:
  • Soil shall be packed into air permeable bag of maximum weight 2.5kg
  • Phytosanitary Certificate from the country of export
  • Endorsing these statements into the Phytosanitary Certificate:
    • Soil is free from or tested to be free from plant parasitic nematodes
    • Soil had been treated with one these measures listed below
    • Subject to post-entry inspection by AVA
Seeking pre-approval

Write in to AVA to seek pre-approval, if you are bringing in soil from these countries:

  • Anguila, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba
  • Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Bonaire, Brazil
  • Cayman Island, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao
  • Dominica, Dominica Rep
  • Ecuador, El Salvador
  • French Guyana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana
  • Haiti, Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Martinique, Mexico
  • Nevis, Nicaragua
  • Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico
  • St. Kitts, St Lucia, St Maarten, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname
  • Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Trinidad
  • Venezuela, Virgin Island

Requirements for Seeds

These requirements apply to seeds without potting medium and for species that are not listed under CITES.

This includes all seeds except:

  • Banana
  • Cocoa, Cassava, Citrus, Coconut, Coffee, Cotton
  • Maize
  • Oil palm
  • Pineapple
  • Rice, Rubber
  • Sugar cane
  • Tea

Maximum amount allowed: 250 grams
Country/Region may be brought in from: Peninsular Malaysia

You will need a Phytosanitary Certificate and subjected to post-entry inspection if you are bringing in seeds from other countries or region.

Additional requirements if you are bringing in from these countries
  • Anguila, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba
  • Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Bonaire, Brazil
  • Cayman Island, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao
  • Dominica, Dominica Rep
  • Ecuador, El Salvador
  • French Guyana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana
  • Haiti, Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Martinique, Mexico
  • Nevis, Nicaragua
  • Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico
  • St. Kitts, St Lucia, St Maarten, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname
  • Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Trinidad
  • Venezuela, Virgin Island
These requirements will apply:
  • Phytosanitary Certificate with additional certification on freedom of the regulated pests (Microcyclus ulei)
  • Endorse these pre-departure treatment into the Phytosanitary Certificate:
    • Treatment Seed Treatment
    • Chemical: 0.1% a.i. or 0.1% a.i. chlorothalonil (other equivalence may also be acceptable)

Requirements for Plant Exhibitions

If you intend to bring plants and plant materials into Singapore for the purpose of Plant Exhibition, you must ensure that the following import requirements are met.

1. Ensure plant materials are free of pests and diseases

Ensure that the plant materials you intend to bring in are free of pests and diseases. This is to facilitate a smooth post entry inspection and clearance of all plant consignments.

2. Comply with Phytosanitary requirements

Different Phytosanitary requirements apply to:

Plants

All imported plants must come with a Phytosanitary Certificate from the country of origin. The growing medium has to be certified free from plant parasitic nematodes through laboratory analysis or appropriate treatment with nematicides.

Plants are subject to post entry inspection within 1 to 2 days upon arrival. You must also pay an import permit fee of S$11 per consignment.

If your plants do not meet the Phytosanitary requirements, you will be subject to an inspection charge of:

  • S$12 for 10 plants or less, and
  • S$50 for 10 plants or more, with a composition sum of up to S$250.

Cut Flowers

Flowers from the American Tropics require Phytosanitary Certificates that are endorsed with the following additional declarations:

  • The flowers are free from Microcyclus ulei (South American Leaf Blight), or
  • The flowers are sourced from regions that are free from Microcyclus ulei (South American Leaf Blight).

Cut flowers from other sources do not require a Phytosanitary Certificate.

3. Obtain CITES permits

This step only applies to the import of CITES listed plants.

The import requirements for CITES plants are as follows:

Obtain:

  • CITES import permit from AVA, and
  • CITES export/re-export permit from country of origin

You can apply for the CITES import permit online via the LicenceOne (AVA e-Licensing) website. Log in with your Singpass ID and submit your application along with a softcopy of your CITES export/re-export permit

CITES listed plants Requirements
Appendix I (Wild) species Import is not allowed
Appendix I (Artificially Propaged) plants Obtain:
  • CITES import permit from AVA, and
  • CITES export/re-export permit from country of origin


You can apply for the CITES import permit online via AVA’s e-Service. Log in with your Singpass ID and submit your application along with a softcopy of your CITES export/re-export permit.
Appendix II (Wild) species
Appendix II (Artificially Propagated) plants Obtain from the country of origin:
  • CITES export or re-export permit, or
  • Written permission, or
  • Certificate of Artificial Propagation

Do note that plants that are brought in without relevant CITES certificates may not be returned to the home country or re-exported to another country. These plants will be surrendered to AVA after the Exhibition. For more details on the CITES Import Regulatory Requirements for Orchids, please refer to Annex 1 of the Requirements for the Import of Plants for the Singapore Garden Festival 2014.

opens in a new windowcites import regulatory

opens in a new windowcites import regulatory 2

4. Register CITES listed plants with AVA

This step only applies to the import of CITES listed plants.

Ensure that your CITES listed plants are registered with AVA at least 1 week before the Exhibition with the following details:

  • Name of participant 
  • Country 
  • Name of plants 
  • Number of plants 

You can register through The Exhibition Secretariat, who will submit the list to AVA on your behalf.

Do note that if your CITES listed plants are not registered with The Exhibition Secretariat or AVA, your plants will be regarded as having been imported in non-compliance to Singapore’s CITES requirements. You may be subject to a composition sum of up to S$2500 and you plants may be forfeited.

5. Additional requirements for plants from West Malaysia

Import of plants from West Malaysia

If you are importing plants from West Malaysia, you can obtain the Phytosanitary Certificates, CITES permits or Certificate of Artificial Propagation from the relevant Malaysian authorities at their offices in Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Penang and Johor Bahru. 

You are required to obtain an export licence from West Malaysia before you export those plants out. The Malaysian authorities will tag the plants for the Exhibition. 

The address for the Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur offices are as follows:

Johor Bahru Kuala Lumpur
Crop Protection And Plant Quarantine Division 
Department of Agriculture 
256 Jalan Abdul Samad 
80100 Johor Bahru, Malaysia 
Tel: 07-2239395
Department of Agriculture 
Plant Protection & Quarantine Division 
Floor 1-3 Wisma Tani, Jalan Sultan Salahuddin 
50632, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 
Tel: 03-20301400

Return of plants to West Malaysia

Follow the steps below to return plants to West Malaysia after the Exhibition.

Step Description
STEP 1: Obtain an import permit from the Malaysian authorities.

You can apply for the import permit electronically via the website of the Malaysian authority. Please note that you must provide a Malaysian address in your application.

You are required to first register with the service provider, and pay a registration fee of RM 200 and a stamp duty of RM 10. In addition, you are required to make a deposit of RM 150 with Department of Agriculture (DOA), Malaysia.

For ease of application, you should apply for import permits through associations in Malaysia that would be participating in the Exhibition.
STEP 2: Obtain from AVA:
  • a CITES re-export permit, or
  • a Certificate of Artificial Propagation (in the form of a Phytosanitary Certificate with the clause that the plants are artificially propagated). AVA will be able to issue the certificate if your plants are covered by relevant CITES certification.
You can apply for a CITES re-export permit online via the LicenceOne (AVA e-Licensing) website. Please note that you will need to log in with your Singpass ID and locate "CITES Permit".

Likewise, you can apply for a Phytosanitary Certificate online via the LicenceOne (AVA e-Licensing) website. Please note that you will need to log in to the LicenceOne (AVA e-Licensing) website and locate the "Phytosanitary Certification".
STEP 3:
  • Meet the Malaysian import requirements:
  • For Appendix I Artificially Propagated Plants, provide the following:
    • Import permit from DOA
    • CITES re-export permit (in the form of a Phytosanitary Certificate from AVA)
    • List of plant materials and tagged with serial numbers
  • For Appendix II Artificially Propagated Plants, provide the following:
    • Import permit from DOA
    • CITES re-export permit (in the form of a Phytosanitary Certificate from AVA)

6. Clarify with AVA, if required

If you have further clarifications, please contact AVA at:
Email: Ong_Ai_Khim@ava.gov.sg
Tel: (65) 6753 0658

Back to Top LAST UPDATED ON Monday, July 17, 2017
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