Importing Orchids into Canada
These instructions are being provided to Canadian orchidists with the intention of minimizing importation challenges at the border. We recognize that this information will not prevent all of your importation problems but if you follow these instructions, your problems if any, should be minimal.
If you plan on purchasing orchids at shows outside Canada, please read the instructions carefully. Note that many plants for sale at major foreign shows will have originated in countries other than where they are being sold such as in the continental USA. In the case of the continental USA, if the orchids have been grown there for at least 12 months, they will be considered from the USA but if they have been very recently imported for sale at the show, re-export documentation may be difficult to obtain. Be certain that you can obtain the necessary export documents for any purchase before buying plants.
Also, if you plan to purchase from a California or Oregon vendor, note that a Phytosanitary certificate with additional declarations will be needed in order to certify the stock free of a dangerous disease of trees, Phytophthora ramorum.
Note that no Permit to Import or Phytosanitary Certificate is required for Sphagnum/Peat moss that has been dried or treated but this product must not have been used previously for growing plants and it must be free of pests and soil.
Those wanting to exhibit living orchids at shows outside Canada should contact the organizers for guidance as to what permits are required to enter their country. There also may be specific requirements as to permitted potting medium or only cut flowers may be permitted.
Please review the following documents:
- Import/Export Checklist - Planning to purchase orchids at the World Orchid Congress in Singapore or elsewhere? (September 2011)
- Canadian CITES Permit Requirements as of Sept 2011.
- Bringing Orchids Back To Canada from the Singapore WOC.
- New Orchid Import requirements from the Western USA, 2010 There are several large orchid shows in California over the next few months. Your COC President has been working with the CFIA to ensure that import requirements for orchids being brought or shipped back to Canada by hobbyists and commercial vendors are available. If you are planning a trip to California, Washington and /or Oregon in the foreseeable future and intend to bring back orchid plants then reading and following the new directive is a MUST. The French version is in translation and will be posted as soon as available. Please note this covers only the phytosanitary requirements. The CITES requirements have not changed.
- Warning - Importing Orchids from California and Oregon
- Importing Orchids into Canada - Basics
- Importing Orchids into Canada - for Hobbyists
- The Whys and Wherefores of Phytosanitary Documentation
- Travellers Bringing Orchids into Canada
The COC attempts to outline government policy but it is your responsibility to verify the latest policies and it is the government that has final say on those rules - not the COC.
Prospective orchid importers wishing to apply for a Permit to Import can use the following lists to select the genera/hybrid genera which are most likely to be imported over the life of a permit. One is not bound to import all that is listed so the permit application can be generous with the selection of possible genera for importation. Chances are that what is eventually imported will fall within such a list.
Applicants might wish to consider when appropriate, to list both the 'new' intergeneric epithets as well as their synonyms. This way both Sophrolaeliocattleya and its sometime synonym, Laeliocattleya, or Colmanara and its sometimes syn. Odontocidium, would be covered.
These lists cover everything that could possibly be imported genus-wise together with the correct spelling.
Disclaimer: The details provided by the COC are for informational purposes only. The Canadian Orchid Congress does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or application of any information presented.
- CITES Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
- Canadian Food Inspection Agency
- Application for CFIA Import Permit
- Automated Import Reference System (AIRS)
- CFIA Plant and Plant Products Imports
- Frequently Asked Questions About Permits to Import
- Application, procedures, issuance and use of a permit to import under the Plant Protection Act (D-97-04)
- List of propagative plant material and other commodities that require an import permit if originating from the continental US (D-94-14)
- Prohibited plants & plant material from countries other than the continental US
- Containment Standards for Facilities Handling Plant Pests
- For questions related to importing plant products, please contact the Plant Health Import Permit Office at 613-773-7361 or by email at email@example.com