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Bringing Plants & Plant Products into Singapore

Residents returning to Singapore or travellers entering the country are allowed to bring plants, plant cuttings, and seeds with them. However, the plant pests and diseases that may come with these plants and plant products could adversely affect the local ecosystems, and our native flora and fauna. Before entering Singapore, find out what are the latest import requirements for the plants and plant products that you intend to bring in. The import requirements are the same for commercial traders.

 

Guidelines on bringing plants into Singapore

You need the following items in order to bring plants into Singapore.

  • A phytosanitary certificate issued by the exporting country
  • An NParks-issued CITES import permit (for CITES-protected species)
  • An import permit issued by NParks

You must also fulfil NParks’ specified plant health requirements, which include post-entry inspection, quarantine, and sampling.

Phytosanitary Certificate

You need a phytosanitary certificate to import planting materials, as it certifies that the plants or plant products conform with the current phytosanitary requirements of the importing country. This certificate is normally issued by the authority of agriculture or the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) of the country of origin of the plants and plant products.

You can check the International Plant Protection Convention's list of NPPO’s contact points to find out who you can contact to obtain this certificate.

Plant health import requirements

Check the import health requirements for the following plants and plant products before entering Singapore:

CITES Permit 

You will need a CITES permit to bring in plants that are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES). Find out more about importing CITES-listed plant species here.

Import permit from NParks

You need an NParks-issued import permit to bring plants into Singapore.

The import permit, also known as the cargo clearance permit, can be obtained for S$11 each via Singapore Custom’s TradeNet system. All import health requirements have to be fulfilled before the permit is approved. The permit is valid for two weeks.

You can apply for this permit by submitting a declaration via TradeNet. You need to provide the appropriate HS codes and product codes in your declaration. For the lists of product codes, see here.

You can also search for a list of HS codes and Product codes here.

 

Travellers' allowance

You do not need to obtain the phytosanitary certificate if you are bringing in small quantities of plants and planting materials from West Malaysia.

Type  Quantities 
Plants.  Three non-CITES listed plants, without potting media, per person 
Seeds.  250 grams per person

You will need a phytosanitary certificate to bring in any quantity in excess of the above.

Non-adherence to procedures 

The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) or Singapore Customs officer will detain your plants if:

  • You do not have an accompanying phytosanitary certificate or CITES permit (for CITES-listed species)
  • You are importing more than three non-CITES plants or 250 g of seeds from West Malaysia that qualify as phytosanitary certificate exemptions

 

Requirements for entry of planting materials 

The requirements for entry of various planting materials into Singapore may differ. Please refer to the conditions below to prepare the documents needed to bring in your planting materials.

Bringing in non-CITES listed cut flowers

To bring in non-CITES listed cut flowers without a potting medium, you need:

  • An NParks-issued import permit
  • A post-entry inspection to be conducted by NParks (subject to our discretion)
Additionally, you need a phytosanitary certificate certifying that the cut flowers are free of regulated pests (Microcyclus ulei), if you are bringing them in from the following countries: 
  • Anguila, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba
  • Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Bonaire, Brazil
  • Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao
  • Dominica, Dominican Republic
  • 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 Islands

Bringing in CITES-listed cut flowers

To bring in CITES listed cut flowers without a potting medium, you must fulfil the following requirements.

Type  Requirements 
For cut flowers that are CITES-listed wild species (except those listed in Appendix I*) 
  • A CITES export/re-export permit issued by the exporting country
  • A CITES import permit issued by us
  • A phytosanitary certificate issued by the exporting country (applies to imports from countries in the South American Tropics with additional treatment/lab test endorsement)
For cut flowers that are artificially propagated CITES-listed species
  • A CITES export/re-export permit from the exporting country, or a certificate of artificial propagation, to certify that the plants have been artificially propagated
  • A phytosanitary certificate issued by the exporting country (applies to imports from countries in the South American tropics with additional treatment/lab test endorsement)
  • Fulfil NParks' phytosanitary requirements, which may include inspection, quarantine, and sampling
  • A CITES import permit (for CITES Appendix I* species only)

*Species listed in CITES Appendix I are highly endangered and could be extinct if trade is not regulated. Hence, trade for primarily commercial purposes is generally prohibited. However, Appendix I species which are artificially-propagated in CITES-registered nurseries can be commercially traded after traders have obtained the relevant CITES permits. CITES permits for Appendix I wild species are issued only under special circumstances (e.g. for use in zoological gardens, bird parks, research institutions, museums, etc.).

 

Requirements for entry of ornamental plants and foliage

Bringing in non-CITES listed species

To bring in non-CITES listed ornamental plants and foliage with a potting medium, you will need the following items.

  • An NParks import permit
  • A phytosanitary certificate issued by the exporting country, declaring that the growing medium is free of parasitic nematodes, and endorsing that the potting medium has been treated with or undergone one of the following treatments:

(a) 3% Carbofuran granules

(b) Methyl bromide fumigation at 130 grams per cubic metre for 48 hours

(c) Steam sterilisation at 121oC for 30 minutes prior to planting

Your plants are also subject to post-entry inspection by NParks.

Seeking pre-approval

Pre-approval is required if you are bringing in ornamental plants from the following countries. You may write to us here to obtain pre-approval.

  • Anguila, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba
  • Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Bonaire, Brazil
  • Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao
  • Dominica, Dominican Republic
  • 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 Islands

If you are bringing in ornamental plants from the above countries/regions, you must also produce a phytosanitary certificate confirming that the plant is free of regulated pests (Microcylus ulei), and endorsing that the plant has been chemically treated with 0.1% a.i. fenamiphos; 0.1% a.i. benomyl; and 0.1% a.i. chlorothalonil (other equivalents may also be accepted) for 20 minutes.

To bring in non-CITES listed ornamental plants and foliage without a potting medium, you must fulfil the following conditions

  • Obtain a phytosanitary certificate issued by the exporting country

Your plants are also subject to post-entry inspection by NParks.

 You must also fulfil some additional requirements if you are bringing in non-CITES listed ornamental plants without a potting medium from the following countries/regions:
  • Anguila, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba
  • Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Bonaire, Brazil
  • Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao
  • Dominica, Dominica Republic
  • 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 Islands
If you are bringing in ornamental plants from the above countries/regions, you must also produce a phytosanitary certificate confirming that the plant is free of regulated pests (Microcylus ulei), and endorsing that the plant has been chemically treated with 0.1% a.i. fenamiphos; 0.1% a.i. benomyl; and 0.1% a.i. chlorothalonil (other equivalents may also be accepted) for 20 minutes.

 

Requirements for entry of plant products

The following requirements must be fulfilled if you are bringing in plant products originating from CITES-listed plants. Examples include bulbs, plant carvings or cuttings, cut flowers, and foliage.

Type  Requirements 
For plant products derived from wild CITES-listed plant species (except Appendix I) • A CITES export/re-export permit from the exporting country
• A CITES import permit issued by NParks
• A phytosanitary certificate from the exporting country (applies to import of live plants, seeds, cuttings, and bulbs only)
• Fulfil NParks’ phytosanitary requirements, which may include inspection, quarantine, and sampling
For plant products derived from artificially propagated CITES-listed plant species • A CITES export/re-export permit from the exporting country, on a certificate of artificial propagation, to certify that the plants are artificially propagated
• A CITES import permit issued by NParks (for CITES Appendix I species only)
• A phytosanitary certificate from the exporting country (applies to import of live plants, seeds, cuttings and bulbs only)
• Meet NParks’ phytosanitary requirements, which may include inspection, quarantine, and sampling

 

Requirements for entry of potting mediums and fertilisers

Compost or organic fertilisers

Compost or organic fertilisers derived from plants, plant products, animals, and animal products, are not allowed unless you have obtained pre-approval in written form from NParks. Drop us a message on our online feedback form to enquire about pre-approval.

Import of organic fertilisers of plant origin

For the import of organic fertilisers of plant origin, importers must obtain prior approval, which includes a risk analysis, from NParks. Write to us here for the approval.

The following information are required by NParks in order to conduct an import risk analysis.

  • Information on the plant materials used
  • List of endemic pests and diseases associated with these plant materials
  • Details of the fertiliser manufacturing process

Peat moss, sphagnum moss, coconut moss, and bark

You must fulfil certain requirements if you are bringing in these items from the following countries/regions: 
  • Anguila, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba
  • Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Bonaire, Brazil
  • Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao
  • Dominica, Dominica Republic
  • 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 Islands

 The requirements that you must fulfill are as follows:

  • Product must be packed in an air-permeable bag weighing a maximum of 2.5 kg.
  • Obtain a phytosanitary certificate containing the following endorsed statements:
    • The medium originates from an area free from, or tested to be free from, regulated pests (Microcyclus ulei) and parasitic nematodes.
    • The medium has undergone either one of these pre-departure treatments:
      • Dry heat.
      • Steam.

Please note that bark from the hevea species originating from these countries cannot be brought into Singapore.

The requirements for bringing in peat moss, sphagnum moss, coconut moss, and bark from all other countries are as follows.
  • Products are subject to post-entry inspection by NParks.
  • Products must be packed in air-permeable bags.
  • You must obtain a phytosanitary certificate endorsing that:
    • The products are free from, or tested to be free from, plant parasitic nematodes.
    • The products have undergone either one of the following pre-departure treatments:
      • Dry heat
      • Steam
      • Methyl bromide

Soil

 You must fulfil the following requirements in order to bring in soil.
 
  • The soil must be packed in an air-permeable bag weighing a maximum of 2.5kg.
  • Obtain a phytosanitary certificate from the exporting country, endorsing that:
    • The soil is free from, or tested to be free from, plant parasitic nematodes.
    • The soil has been treated with either one of these measures:

(i) Treatment: Dry Heat Temperature: 121°C

Duration: 2 hours

Other Conditions: Soil to be spread in layers not more than 13 mm

Or

(ii) Treatment: Steam Temperature: 121°C

Duration: 30 minutes

Other Conditions: Soil to be spread in layers not more than 50 mm

Or

(iii) Treatment: Methyl Bromide

Dosage: 240 gm per cubic metre

Duration: 24 hours

Other Conditions: Soil to be spread in layers not more than 30cm

  • The soil is subject to post-entry inspection by NParks.

Seeking pre-approval

A written pre-approval is required if you are bringing in soil from the following countries. You may write to us here to obtain approval.

  • Anguila, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba
  • Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Bonaire, Brazil
  • Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao
  • Dominica, Dominica Republic
  • 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 Islands

 

Requirements for entry of seeds

You must fulfil the requirements for bringing in non-CITES listed species of seeds without a potting medium, unless they are seeds from the following plants:

To bring in seeds of non-CITES listed species without a potting medium, you must fulfil the following conditions.

  • Obtain a phytosanitary certificate issued by the exporting country.

The seeds may be subject to post-entry inspection by NParks.

Traveller’s allowance

Travellers entering Singapore are allowed to bring in seeds weighing a maximum of 250 grams or less from Peninsular Malaysia without need for documentation.

An additional requirement applies to you if you are bringing in seeds from the following countries.
  • Anguila, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba
  • Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Bonaire, Brazil
  • Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao
  • Dominica, Dominica Republic
  • 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 Islands

To bring in seeds from the above countries, you must obtain a phytosanitary certificate stating that the seeds are free of regulated pests (Microcyclus ulei), and confirming that the seeds have been treated with 0.1% a.i. or 0.1% a.i. chlorothalonil (other equivalents may also be accepted).

 

List of accredited nurseries from Malaysia

Malaysia’s Department of Agriculture (DOA) has accredited nurseries located in West Malaysia as part of the Malaysian Phytosanitary Certification Assurance (MPCA) scheme for export of plants and plant products to Singapore.

Import of plants and plant products obtained from MPCA-accredited nurseries does not involve obtaining a phytosanitary certificate.

 

Participating in the Bio-security Assurance Arrangement (BSAA)

Bio-security clearances and approvals are required before import of the following plants and plant products is allowed. These documents will accompany your application for an import permit.

Import of insects and micro-organisms of agricultural importance

If you are bringing in insects and micro-organisms of agricultural importance, you must participate in a Bio-Security Assurance Arrangement (BSAA) with NParks

Importers must obtain prior approval from NParks to import the following.

  • Insects of agricultural importance.
  • Micro-organisms of agricultural importance.
 

Import of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)

Before importing genetically modified organisms (GMOs), importers must obtain a letter of recommendation from the Genetic Modification Advisory Committee of Singapore (GMAC).

The guidelines on the release of agriculture-related GMOs is available here

Information on Singapore’s biosafety guidelines for research on GMOs is available here.

Post-entry inspection

Imported plants and plant products may be subject to inspection by NParks. Importers whose consignment has been flagged for inspection can make an inspection booking online via the Intelligent Food Approval & Safety Tracking System (iFAST).

Fees and charges

Fees for import permit and CITES permit.

Description Fee
Import permit. S$11 per consignment.
CITES permit

A minimum of S$60 per consignment (up to five species)

Each subsequent species is charged at S$12 within the same consignment

Last updated on 19 September 2019

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