Crop Production & Export Programs
Phytosanitary Certification and Export Program
To ensure export movement, our department’s specialists inspect plants and plant products destined for foreign countries. Phytosanitary export certificates (phytos) are issued in accordance with destination country requirements. Various interstate and intrastate shipments of regulated commodities are also inspected and permits, California State Phytosanitary Certificates, or certificates of quarantine compliance are issued. These inspections by our specialists, and associated documentation, facilitate domestic and international trade.
The United States Department of Agriculture hosts the Phytosanitary Export Database (PExD) System. PExD contains phytosanitary import requirements of U.S.-origin commodities to foreign countries. Exporters can access the public version of PExD to look up export requirements for specific commodities.
Plant health agencies in each of the 50 states regulate the shipment of agricultural commodities (including nursery and greenhouse stock) and other articles in an effort to minimize the spread of harmful insects, diseases, and other pests. The Federal & State Quarantine Summaries are designed as a reference tool for those involved in the buying, selling, and interstate transportation of agricultural commodities and other articles which may harbor pests.
You may need to obtain a State Phytosanitary Certificate from your local Agricultural Commissioner's office to move agricultural commodities or certain articles to other states. Look up requirements.
Phytosanitary Field Inspection Of Seed
Aphytosanitary field inspection of seed may be required in order to export seed to a foreign country. The purpose of the inspection is to determine the presence or absence of pests of phytosanitary concern. Fields are inspected for noxious weeds, nematodes and plant diseases. Plants showing signs of disease are sent to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Plant Diagnostic Lab for analysis. The requirements for exporting seed to a country may be found in the USDA’s Phytosanitary Export Database (PExD) or a current import permit. In Fresno County frequent field walks are done for the following commodities: alfalfa, lettuce, tomato, onion, cotton, and melons.
Requests for Phytosanitary Field Inspection of Seed must be submitted on the Field Inspection Request Form.
The form should be submitted to CDFA near the time of planting because inspections are required at certain stages of growth depending on the commodity. Please contact the department at 559-600-7510 and ask for the Quarantine Office for more information.
In 2021, Fresno County Inspectors issued a total of 17,613 phytosanitary certificates for 89 unique commodities destined for 96 countries around the world. In addition, 1,403 acres of export seed fields of alfalfa, lettuce, onion, and radish were certified.