Germac – Germplasm Advisory Committee

The Germplasm Advisory Committee (Germac) consults with industry, key agencies, and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) on New Zealand's germplasm import programme.


Germac's role in importing

Germac was established in 2010. It's the consultative forum between plant germplasm import industry groups, and MPI. 

Germac works collaboratively to:

  • encourage open communication between industry, MPI and key agencies about import regulations
  • provide input into strategic direction, policy development, priority setting and the cost-effective delivery of the germplasm import programme.

Germac also helps establish industry strategy, policy, standards, specifications and codes of practice.

Germac members

Germac members include representatives from MPI and:

  • Environmental Protection Authority
  • Horticulture New Zealand
  • New Zealand Flower Growers Association
  • New Zealand Grain & Seed Trade Association
  • New Zealand Winegrowers
  • Nursery and Garden Industry New Zealand (NGINZ)
  • Pipfruit New Zealand
  • Plant and Food Research
  • ZESPRI International Ltd.

The chairman is John Liddle from NGINZ.

Germac may invite other individuals or groups on an observer basis to contribute to working groups, or to address specific issues.

Germplasm important to New Zealand's primary sector

Plant germplasm has played an important part in the development of New Zealand's primary sector based economy. Our export produce is likely to have come from stock imported here to optimise variety as well as plant health and vitality.

Post Entry Quarantine Review

The revised facility standard for post-entry quarantine for plants was issued on 1 March 2016:

MPI has also prepared a guidance document and an example operating manual to help facility operators to understand and meet the requirements of the revised standard:

Changes to levels of quarantine after revised PEQ standard takes effect

The new PEQ (post-entry quarantine) standard comes into force on 8 March 2017. There will be no change in the level of PEQ for most imported nursery stock.

  • All ornamental plant species currently eligible for quarantine in a Level 1 or Level 2 facility will remain in the same level of quarantine.
  • High value crops from offshore MPI accredited facilities are currently held in either Level 2 or Level 3 PEQ (known as level 3B under the revised standard). The same levels will apply once the new standard comes into effect.
  • All species currently imported into a Level 3 PEQ facility will be expected to enter the same level of quarantine (that is, Level 3B) when the revised standard takes effect. Both Level 3 facilities that are currently allowed to import whole plants already comply with the revised requirements, so this will not have any effect on ongoing imports.
  • For all species, the level of PEQ will be reassessed when the import health standard is next updated, or (for material from accredited offshore facilities) when the offshore facility is next audited. For example, as part of the current review of the Citrus schedule in the nursery stock IHS, MPI is considering whether Level 2, 3A or 3B is the most appropriate level of quarantine.

Implementation of the revised standard

The following timeframes have been allowed for compliance with the revised standard:

  • Any new facilities must comply with the standard from 8 March 2016.
  • All existing facilities must comply with the revised operational requirements by 8 March 2017.
  • Facilities that are in use will have 12 months from the biosecurity clearance date of consignments that are in being held in a facility on 8 March 2016 to comply with the revised physical and structural requirements.
  • Existing facilities that are not active (not holding quarantine material) on 1 March 2016 must comply with all physical and structural requirements of the revised standard by 1 March 2017.

A general update on the implementation of the revised Facility Standard: Post Entry Quarantine for Plants was issued and circulated to interested parties in early December 2016.

If you have any questions about the revised standard, email plantimports@mpi.govt.nz

Find out more

Better Border Biosecurity (B3) is a multi-partner, cooperative science collaboration that researches ways to reduce the entry and establishment of new pests in New Zealand.

Who to contact

Germac is interested in hearing from anyone who has suggestions on how to improve the importation of propagative material into New Zealand.

If you have suggestions or questions about germplasm imports, email germac@mpi.govt.nz

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