New rules for importing seeds and plant material


The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has recently changed the biosecurity rules applied to commonly imported seeds and plant material, including capsicum (e.g. chilli, bell peppers) and Cape gooseberry seeds, and plant material of dahlia, chrysanthemum, and petunia.

The new rules are now in place, and imported seeds and plant material will need to meet with the new rules before they can enter New Zealand.

The changes have been made to target the Potato spindle tuber viroid disease. This is one of the most destructive diseases of potatoes worldwide, and can cause severe yield losses in some varieties of potato and tomato.

Import rules such as these are put in place to prevent new pests and diseases entering New Zealand that may threaten New Zealand’s environment, economy, or human health.

Under the new rules, both home gardeners and commercial growers are only able to bring into New Zealand seeds and plant material sourced from businesses that are certified to be free of the targeted diseases. This means you will be prevented from bringing seeds and plant material into the country that have been personally collected or purchased from sources which cannot provide official certification. Seed and plant varieties which are already present in New Zealand can still be used.

For more information on the changed import rules for seeds and plant material visit Importing Plants and Forest Products or email

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