Import inspection and clearance


1. Registration of Application

The importer or his agent shall file an application in PQ Form-15 in triplicate in respect of each cargo immediately upon arrival or in advance in case of perishable consignments to the officer-in-charge of plant quarantine station at the notified point of entry along with following enclosures :

(a) Import permit original (Importer's copy) (b) Phytosanitary certificate (original) issued at the country of origin or PSC- Re-export format, in case of re-exported consignment along with attested copies of PSC issued from the country of origin (c) Customs bill of entry (duly endorsed) (d) shipping/airway bill (e) Invoice and Packing list (f) Fumigation certificate (if required) (g) Certificate of Origin and (h) Bill of lading

On receipt of the application the PQ officer shall scrutinize the application and if found complete in all respects shall register the application and assess the inspection fees. On payment of inspection fees by the importer as per the rates prescribed under Schedule-IX(A) & (B) of PQ Order, 2003 in the form of demand draft/ pay order drawn in favour of the 'Pay and Accounts Officer, Department of Agriculture & Cooperation' of concerned area of jurisdiction, the plant quarantine officer shall issue a quarantine order specifying name of inspecting staff, date, place and time of inspection of the consignment.

2. Inspection/Sampling /laboratory testing

The importer or his agent shall arrange for inspection/sampling of the consignment on the scheduled date & time at the prescribed place by the nominated plant quarantine officer as per the quarantine order issued.

Sampling of seed for propagation shall be in accordance with the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) Rules, 1976 and of cereals, pulses, oil seeds, dry fruits etc., and for consumption plant materials as per Bureau of Indian Standards (IS: 2814/1978 and IS: 3714/1978). The importer or his agent shall associate with inspecting officer while undertaking inspection. The PQ officer deputed for inspection shall draw appropriate size of sample for detailed laboratory testing. Commercial import of consignments of seeds of coarse cereals, pulses, oil seeds and fodder seeds / stock material of fruit plant species for propagation shall only be permitted based on the recommendations of EXIM Committee of Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, except the trial material of the same as specified in Schedule-XII of Plant Quarantine Order .

3. Fumigation & treatment of consignment

In the event of live insect infestation is noticed, the importer or his agent shall arrange for fumigation of consignments by an approved pest control operators at his own cost under the supervision of PQ officer. The importer or his agent submits an undertaking for supervision of fumigation operations in the Appendix-6 along with remittance of supervision charges as per the rates prescribed under Schedule-IX(B).

It shall be responsibility of the importer or his agent

(a) to file an application for the quarantine inspection of imported seeds, plants and plant products or other regulated articles in PQ Form-15 along with copes of relevant documents and fees as prescribed under Schedule-IX payable by a demand draft to the competent authority.

(b) to provide information on any plant and plant product and other articles covered under this Order and which are imported by him or are in his possession to the Plant Protection Adviser or any officer duly authorized by him.

(c) to bring the consignments to the concerned plant quarantine station or to place of inspection, fumigation or treatment as directed by Plant Protection Adviser or the officer duly authorized by the PPA in this behalf.

(d) to permit drawing of appropriate samples for inspection and laboratory investigation and extend necessary facilities towards the same.

(e) to open, repack and load into or unload from fumigation chamber and seal the consignment

(f) to remove them after inspection and treatment according to the directions issued by Plant Protection Adviser or any officer duly authorized by him.

(g) to arrange deportation or destruction of the consignment at the cost of importer as may be deemed necessary by the Plant Protection Adviser or an officer authorized by him.

4. Release/Detention of consignment

A release order is issued in PQ Form-16 to customs, if a consignment on inspection is found to be free from exotic pests. However in case of consignments found infested with live pests the same shall be permitted for clearance only after fumigation and re-inspection. A detention order is issued in PQ Form-17 in respect of consignments that are found infested/infected with quarantine pests or imported in contravention with PQ regulations for arranging deportation failing which the same shall be destroyed at the cost of importer.

The various steps involved in import inspection and clearance of plants and plant material imported as Air and Sea cargo is outlined in flow chart