Post-entry quarantine facilities at the Plant Health and Environment Laboratory

If you are importing plants into New Zealand they may need to be held in post-entry quarantine (PEQ) before being released to you. The Plant Health and Environment Laboratory (PHEL) provides PEQ for plants.

Post-entry quarantine for imported plants

Plants being checked by scientists in PEQ glasshouse
Plants being checked by scientists in PEQ glasshouse.

If you are importing plant material, such as nursery stock or seed for sowing, you may need to book them into a PEQ facility. PEQ requirements are listed for different plant species in the relevant import health standard (IHS).

Download the nursery stock IHS [PDF, 3.9 MB]

Download the seeds for sowing IHS [PDF, 1.7 MB]

Book PEQ space

If you plan to import plant material that needs to be held in a level 3B facility, you will need to book PEQ space.

About PEQ and the PHEL facility

Most plants need to be tested for pests and diseases to get clearance for import. The required tests are listed in the IHS.

MPI may allow a lower level of quarantine if the plant material was imported from a high-health source. These plants may still need to be tested for pests and diseases.

Tests for pests or diseases will be required if plants show symptoms during routine PEQ inspections.

Tests and charges

Download our tests and charges [PDF, 335 KB]

Terms and conditions [PDF, 79 KB]

Quarantine periods

Glasshouse unit with plants
Glasshouse unit with plants.

Plant material will be held in PEQ for at least the period stated in the IHS and the permit to import. The PEQ period can be longer if plants grow slowly, pests or diseases are detected, or plants need treatment.

Common plant quarantine times are:

  • 3 months for Solanum (potato)
  • 9 months for Vaccinium (blueberry) tissue culture
  • 16 months for Vaccinium (blueberry) dormant cuttings
  • 16 months for Fragaria (strawberry) and Rubus (blackberry/raspberry).

Nursery stock IHS [PDF, 3.9 MB]

Seed for sowing IHS [PDF, 1.7 MB]

PEQ manuals

MPI's PEQ manuals list the test methods for different plants, based on IHS requirements.

Find the PEQ testing manual for your plant

The PHEL facility is registered as a:

  • level 3B transitional facility for imported plants and plants in tissue culture
  • physical containment level 2 (PC2) facility for microorganisms and cell cultures
  • PC2 facility for plants.

For more information on facility levels:

What plants does the PEQ facility hold?

The PEQ facility can hold any high-value crop. This includes strawberry (Fragaria sp.), kiwifruit (Actinidia sp.), blueberry (Vaccinium sp.), blackberry and raspberry (Rubus sp.).

Subscribe to updates

PHEL provides email updates on current PEQ activities.

To subscribe to updates, email

Who to contact

To ask about PEQ bookings and facilities:

Last reviewed: