Georgia Department of Agriculture

Export Certification Programs

Agriculture is Georgia’s #1 industry with cash receipts for all agriculture segments totaling $7.8 billion in 2008. Georgia is among the nation’s top 10 producers of peanuts, pecans, onions, cotton, blueberries, and peaches. While Georgia’s nursery and turfgrass industry is not in the nation’s top 10, the 2008 cash receipts exceeded $290 million. The ability to export plants, fruits, and vegetables is important to all our agriculture segments.

International Exports:

Most countries require official certification that shipments of fresh fruits, vegetables, and live plants are free from certain pests.  These pests will vary from country to country.  This document is called a Federal Phytosanitary Certificate. If you intend to send any plants, fruits, vegetables, untreated wood items or lumber, please contact your local USDA Plant Protection and Quarantine office or the Tifton Office (229-386-3464) to determine if a Federal Phytosanitary Certificate is needed. The cost of a Federal Phytosanitary Certificate is $106.

Please contact the Plant Protection office at least 5 business days before you intend to ship. This will give our personnel sufficient time to determine what documentation, treatments, and type of inspection the country requires. Applications may be made through the USDA Certificate Issuance and Tracking System Phytosanitaryor faxed to the Tifton office at (229 386-7052).

Interstate Exports:

Although some states such as Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada have restrictions on fresh fruits or vegetables from Georgia, most states do not require any pest-free certifications. We recommend that you review the state’s regulation summary on the National Plant Board website or contact the Plant Protection office prior to shipping.

Several states regulate nursery stock and turfgrass from Georgia. In some cases, a simple certification letter is sufficient to satisfy the quarantine requirements (such as freedom from Japanese beetles) while other states may require that a State Phytosanitary Certificate accompany each shipment.

Additionally, Georgia is part of the USDA Imported Fire Ant quarantined area. If you are shipping nursery stock or turfgrass out of the Federal quarantined area, the plants must have been grown or treated with specific insecticides to ensure they are free from imported fire ants. 


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