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KMR Blog - Importing plants to Canada

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is the country’s national plant protection organization, and it regulates how plants enter and leave the country. The first thing to do is to find out if the plant you want to import is on the CFIA’s Horticulture Plant List. This is a list of plants, considered to be low-risk that may be imported as long as you meet the basic requirements.

What are the basic requirements?

When importing plants from foreign countries, an import permit is needed. You need to get one from the CFIA through its online portal and the plant’s seller needs to make sure there is a phytosanitary certificate from the country of export.

What is a phytosanitary certificate?

It is a plant passport. It shows who grew the plant, where it is traveling to, where it originated from, confirming that the plant meets Canada’s requirements. Only a National Plant Protection Organization can issue a phytosanitary certificate. In Canada, the CFIA issues these certificates for people who are exporting plants to other countries. If you’re planning to export a plant, contact your local CFIA office for next steps.

What happens if my plant doesn’t have this paperwork?

Your plant could be destroyed or returned to its country of origin. If you’re buying from an international seller, it’s wise to confirm they are sending a phytosanitary certificate from their country with your plant. An import permit from the CFIA must be issued before your plant leaves its country of origin.

What about bringing plants into Canada from the continental United States?

If you’re driving into Canada from the US with your plants, the Canadian government has a personal exemption that allows you to bring up to 50 houseplants without paperwork as long as they are for personal use. The list of eligible plants is on the CFIA website. Generally, tropical and semi-tropical plants that can’t survive outside in Canada, and have thus been deemed low-risk, are exempt.

How can KMR Global help you?

Whether you live in the US or Canada, if you’ve ever considered importing plants from another country, there are definitely some hoops to jump through to ensure you don’t run into delays and other issues. Luckily, at KMR Global Logistics, it’s our business to dot every “i” and cross every “t” so your precious cargo gets to its destination on time and unharmed. So, if you have any questions about how we can help you with importing or exporting your plants, seeds, or flowers, don’t hesitate to reach out and give us a call today!

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