Australian quarantine laws and what they mean for collecting house plants

Australian quarantine laws and what they mean for collecting house plants

Feb 26 , 2020

Header - Quarantine rules

I just learned that this 2020 is the International Year of Plant Health. Australia has some pretty strict bio security laws, and for good reason, as these help protect our plants, agriculture, animals and overall way of life. I’m going to chat a little about some of the laws you should be aware of, but please remember, these help preserve our beautiful country and should be respected, not bemoaned!

Importing plants into Australia
Did you know it’s prohibited to bring any live plant into Oz, in person or via mail, without an import certificate? Sadly, obtaining these is a very expensive process and the quarantine treatment that the plant must be subjected to is so extreme that it more often than not kills the plant. This is one of the reasons plants cost more here in Aus - unlike our friends in Europe or America for example, we can’t easily import those rare tropical beauties from countries in Asia where they grow plentifully. I’ve heard more sad stories than successful ones about importing plants into Aus so unless you’re an expert, you’re best off buying from within our shores and avoiding this option.

Importing seeds into Australia
The same applies for seeds. There is a current scam on eBay where sellers based across Asia are representing their location as being based in Australia and selling Anthurium Clarinervium or Crystallinim seeds for less than $10. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And if you buy seeds online and then notice on the packet that they’ve been shipped from outside Australia, dispose of the seeds by burning them immediately. The going price by reputable sellers for these seeds, by the way, is $100.

Importing plants from one Australian state to another
Australia also has interstate quarantine restrictions. If you buy plants online, you’ll notice the term “non-quarantine states” which refers to the states that can receive/import plants easily from other states. The quarantine states of WA, Tasmania & NT however require a plant to be chemically treated and subjected to an inspection by the state authorities prior to be being released.

For our Q state friends, there are a few plant concierge businesses around such as Home of Houseplants who works with many online plant shops to facilitate the importation process.

The laws vary by state and are regularly updated so be sure to check your local state government website for the latest information.

Hopefully this helps make it just a tad easier to understand!


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