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PLANT BIOSECURITY

Plant Biosecurity requirements are implemented in accordance with the following biosecurity legislations such as Plant Quarantine Act of Bhutan 1993, Seed Act of Bhutan 2000 and Pesticides Act of Bhutan 2000. These legislations are enforced by BAFRA to protect the health of plants, life of humans, and animals including the environment from risks of entry, establishment and spread of exotic pests and diseases, and also to increase market access and facilitate sustainable economic growth.

These covers following biosecurity and regulatory information;

  1. Import of plant and plant products 
  2. In-country movement permit
  3. Registration of nurseries
  4. Inspection and monitoring

 

  • Import of plant and plant products 

Any importer or any person wishing to import a plant and its products into the Kingdom of Bhutan should apply for an Import Permit from the BAFRA prior to importation. The importer must fulfil the following pre-import conditions:

  • Duly filled application for Import Permit may be submitted to the nearest BAFRA field office (s).
  • The applicant must also submit the following applicable documents along with the application:

Personal purpose 

Commercial purpose

Government institution or agencies 

Citizenship Identity Card

Valid trade license

A letter of recommendation from the head of organization

Application fee of Nu. 100/-

Application fee of Nu. 300/-

Application fee of Nu. 100/-

 

  • BAFRA shall issue and regulates import of plant and plant products based on the following criteria: 

Categories  

Criteria for approval and entry into Bhutan

Seed/Germplasm 

  • Released varieties notified by the National Seed Board. 
  • Phytosanitary Certificate from competent authority of the export country
  • GMO free certificate (for notified varieties)
  • Pest Risk Analysis (if required)

Fresh fruits and vegetables 

  • Phytosanitary Certificate from competent authority of  the export country 
  • Pest risk analysis 

Wood and wood products 

  • Phytosanitary Certificate from competent authority of  the export country
  • Treatment certificate 
  • Pest risk analysis 

Soil

  • Approval from the Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests 
  • Sterilization certificate

Biological control agents

  • Applicant must be a research institution
  • Pest risk analysis 

Agrochemicals

  • Approved list of Agrochemicals notified by National Pesticide Board  
  • The status of application can be tracked online in the BBFSS portal using the application number. 
  • The importer shall fulfill the requirements prescribed in the import permit prior to importation.
  • The consignments are subject to inspection and verify documents upon arrival at point of entries. 
  • In the event of non-compliance, the consignment may be subjected to necessary testing and post-entry quarantine at the cost of the importer. 
  • In-Country Movement Permit

Any individual who intends to move plant and plant products within the country from the area declared as quarantine zone shall apply for in-country movement Permit from the nearest BAFRA field office. 

  • The application form can be accessed from  http://www.bafra.gov.bt/application-forms-for-permits/  
  • The application must be submitted at least one week before the movement of the consignments.
  • BAFRA shall issue a movement permit upon physical inspection and fulfillment of phytosanitary requirements.
  • In the event of non-compliance, the consignment may be subjected to necessary treatment at the cost of the applicant. 
  • The consignments must be accompanied by the movement permit and must be declared at all internal checkpoints. 

 

 

  • Registration of nurseries

 

  • All nursery operators in Bhutan are required to be registered with BAFRA. The operator (s) who intends to start nursery business must submit duly filled application form along with technical clearance. 
  • The technical clearance can be obtained from the following Departments

Scope  

Technical Department  

Horticulture, medicinal and aromatic plants, ornamental and field crops

Department of Agriculture

Forestry species

Department of Forest and Park Services

Feed and fodder species

Department of Livestock

  • The details on registration service of BAFRA can be availed from …….(link to registration of nurseries services…)

 

  • Inspection and monitoring
  • BAFRA is mandated to inspect and monitor registered nursery operator (s) to ensure ongoing compliance to the Seed Act of Bhutan 2000 and its Regulations 2018.
  • All imported seed, agrochemicals, plant and plant products made available in the domestic market shall be subjected to inspection. 
  • BAFRA inspects and certifies fruits, vegetables, non-wood forest products to ensure compliance to relevant Acts, and mandatory technical regulations. 
  • BAFRA also issues export certification based on its inspection and testing activities, more information on this can be accessed from (…link to…export certificates).
  • BAFRA also certifies based on standards, more information on this can be accessed from (…link to…certification services).
  • Import Permit  

(Plants and Plant Products/Biological Control Agents/ Soil /Agrochemicals)

The process for obtaining import permit includes;

  1. Applicant shall submit duly filled import application form at least one week in advance to the nearest BAFRA field office along with following documents:
  1. A copy of valid Trade License (for commercial) 
  2. A copy of Citizenship Identity Card (for Personal) 
  3. A letter of recommendation from the head of organization if importation is meant for government institution or agencies
  1. BAFRA shall assess the application for grant of Import Permit based on:
  1. Permitted list of released varieties 
  2. List of regulated pests and diseases for Bhutan 
  3. Status of pests and diseases of the exporting country 
  4. Regulated articles accompanying import consignment 
  5. Permitted agro chemical list
  1. Upon fulfillment of the requirements, BAFRA field office shall process the application through an online system within three working days for the approval by the head office.
  2. The Officer at HQ will assess the application processed for the approval and convey the status of approval or rejection through online system within five working days and where Pest risk Analysis (PRA) is required, the decision shall be conveyed within the reasonable time frame
  3. The applicant can track the status of permit in the BBFSS portal using the application number. 
  4. The importer shall fulfill all the conditions prescribed in the Import Permit from the competent authority of the exporting country with the following phytosanitary declarations:
  1. Import Permit
  2. Phytosanitary Certificate
  3. Treatment certificate/GMO free certificate and other documents as wherever applicable.
  1. Import Permit shall be issued with a validity of 3 months and fee shall be levied as prescribed in the Plant Quarantine Rules and Regulations of Bhutan 2018.
  1. Nu. 300 for commercial purpose
  2. Nu. 100 For personal Purpose
  3. Nu 100 For Government institutions or agencies.


  • Plant and Plant Product Quarantine 
  1. The importer shall declare the consignment upon arrival and inspection shall be carried out by the Plant quarantine officials at the point of entry to assess the identity and integrity of the consignment. 
  2. The officer on duty shall inspect the consignment for regulated pests, signs and symptoms of pests and diseases or organism and if the consignment complies with the requirements, it will be released.
  3. If the consignments are found with pests or signs and symptoms of pests and diseases, a representative sample may be drawn for examination from the consignment and conduct a test for post entry quarantine decision.
  4. The consignment with risk which can be reduced to negligible level, the officer on duty shall conduct appropriate treatment for required duration at the appropriate station and analysis by relevant agencies at the cost of importer.
  5. Consignment with quarantine pest or disease or associated quarantine risk shall be detained for removal or seizure and destruction or re-export at the cost of importer upon serving detention notice.

SEARCH FOR INFORMATION


SERVICES

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LINKS UNDER BAFRA

1. CODEX (Bhutan)
2. Bhutan Biosafety Clearing House (BBCH)
3. Regulated Plant Pests and Diseases
Database
4. Bhutan Biosecurity and Food Safety
System (BBFSS)
5. Laboratory Information Management
System (LIMS)
6. SPS Portal

Archives

 

Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Post Box: 1071, 

Thimphu, Bhutan, Tel: +975-02-327031/325790 Fax: +975-02-327032/335540