Mandatory import permits for cut flowers from 1 September

Who does this notice affect?

Importers, approved arrangements, freight forwarders and brokers that deal with imported cut flowers and foliage.

What has changed?

From 1 September 2019, shipments of cut flowers and foliage from Kenya, Colombia and Ecuador, produced using a systems approach, will not be allowed entry to Australia without a valid import permit

Flowers and foliage treated prior to export by an approved method, such as methyl bromide fumigation, can still be sent to Australia without a permit.

We have introduced the requirement for import permits to reduce the high volume of live pests of biosecurity concern arriving in Australia with cut flowers and foliage. The use of permits will also allow us to quickly respond to individual importer non-compliances.

Under the permit, importers are required to have in place extra control measures, such as additional inspection points along the supply chain. Importers granted a permit will also be required to work closely with their supply chain to ensure they only send pest-free flowers to Australia.

A single import permit will be granted for each country. Importers can apply for multiple countries within the one application.

Permits will initially be granted for a short period to allow us to assess the effectiveness of the permit conditions at reducing the biosecurity risk.

All shipments arriving at the Australian border under the import permit will be inspected by our biosecurity officers to confirm that they are free from live pests of biosecurity concern.

We will only agree to issue further permits if we can see that compliance is improving, and the number of shipments arriving with live pests of biosecurity concern under the current permits is reducing.     

Further information

To apply for an import permit visit

For importing enquiries please phone 1800 900 090 (when prompted press 1 and then 1 again) or email