Obtaining a Phytosanitary Certificate
What is a Phytosanitary Certificate
Phytosanitary Certificate is a document (certificate) that certifies that plant and plant products contained in a given shipment are free from regulated pests, and conforms with other phytosanitary (plant health) requirements as specified from the importing country. It is issued on a consignment basis by a designated competent authority after inspection and/or treatment of contents of a shipment. In Uganda the designated authority is the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) - Department of Crop Inspection and Certification.
For Uganda there are mainly three (3) categories of products that are traded across borders, for which a Phytosanitary Certificate is required.
- Fresh Produce - including fruits, vegetables, flowers and cuttings
- Grains - Cereals (maize, rice etc), pulses (legumes) and oilseeds (sesame, soya beans etc)
- Semi-processed agricultural products - coffee, tea, tobacco and cocoa
For shipments that included any of the above products, the Exporter MUST apply for inspection and hence issuance of a Phytosanitary Certificate by the MAAIF
Pre-Export Registration Requirement
To facilitate preparation of Exporters and issuance of Phytosanitary certificates at time of shipment, pre-export assessment and registration Exporters is required. To do this;
- Register with UEPB or UNCCI. Application form for UEPB can be obtained below.
- Obtain an introductory/recommendation letter to MAAIF
- Apply for registration with MAAIF - Crop Inspection and Certification Department
- Prepare and have your Packhouse inspected by the designated MAAIF Inspector
- Fix any identified Non-Conformities and apply for re-inspection
- Obtain Export Number
Obtaining a Phytosanitary Certificate at time of shipment
In order to obtain Phytosanitary Certificate the Exporter is required to fulfill the following;
- Apply for Inspection with MAAIF
- Present the consignment for physical inspection as specified location
- Obtain a Phytosanitary Certificate
- Declare the goods and present documents at border of entry/exit
- Fees - the official fee for a Phytosanitary Certificate is Ug. Shs. 5,000 (Five Thousand Uganda Shilling)
- Legal Justification - The Plant Protection and Health Act, 2016
- Time Required - The time required depends on Exporter's readiness. Application for inspection can be done physically (at Department of Crop Inspection and Certification offices in Namalere) or online. The Exporter is advised to allow for at least one (1) day for inspection.
- For the cases of grains and tea, inspection is done in bulk and not per consignment.
- Fumigation - Especially with grains, the Exporter may be required to fumigate using a prescribed method or fumigants. This can be done by a MAAIF Certified Fumigator ONLY. In such a case, a Fumigation Certificate will be required before inspection and issuance of a Phytosanitary Certificate