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Plant Inspection, Certification and Quarantines


All locations that sell plant material are subject to inspection. Inspectors check that plants are healthy and look for pests, including insects, diseases and weeds. They verify that plants brought into New Mexico from other states are safe. They must be in compliance with various quarantines and are certified appropriately by their state of origin. Similarly, they certify plants grown in New Mexico for export to other states. It assures the destination states that New Mexico plant materials are also pest-free.

Phytosanitary and Origin Certification

If you intend to ship plants or plant products out of the state or country, you may need a federal or state phytosanitary certificate (PC) and/or a certificate of origin (CO).

Plant products being shipped to another state, Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands, may require a state phytosanitary certificate, depending on the requirements of the destination state or territory.  Certificates of origin, which certify the state or county of origin, can be required by both destination states and countries.

In order to obtain a state phytosanitary certificate or a certificate of origin, NMDA must receive a completed Application for Phytosanitary and Certificate of Origin. This is a fillable pdf application that must be completed, printed and scanned or photographed then sent to

If you are requesting a phytosanitary certificate, an inspector will then contact you to arrange an inspection of your shipment. Plan to provide at least two full business days’ notice for inspection and preparation of certificates. There is a nominal charge for the inspector’s travel and time to perform this type of inspection, as well as a small fee for the certificate itself. Fees must be paid in full upon delivery of the certificate.

NMDA issues federal phytosanitary certificates for shipments to other countries through the USDA Phytosanitary Certificate and Issuance Tracking System (PCIT).  If you do not already have an account set up in this system, please visit the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service page for articles and  PCIT Quick Reference Guides .

For questions, please contact the Export Certification Specialist at (575) 339-5016.


Japanese Beetle Exterior Quarantine 
Infested nursery stock and grass sod are one of the primary ways this pest moves into new areas. This quarantine helps prevent Japanese beetles from becoming established in New Mexico. See also the National Plant Board’s Japanese Beetle Harmonization Plan.

Cotton Boll Weevil Quarantine
There are restrictions on the movement of most raw cotton products. Restrictions also cover the machinery associated with growing and harvesting cotton. Those restrictions affect areas that have not “functionally eradicated” cotton boll weevil.

Pecan Weevil Exterior Quarantine
Pecan trees in soil from the southeastern US, including east Texas, cannot be shipped into New Mexico. All other pecan trees must be accompanied by a certificate of origin or treatment.

Pecan Weevil Interior Quarantine
The Pecan Weevil Interior Quarantine restricts the transportation of pecan weevil from quarantine areas to non-quarantined areas by establishing quarantine areas, restrictions and treatment options on regulated articles, disposition protocol, and fees

Pepper Weevil Interior Quarantine and Plowdown 
Pepper fields in the regulated area must be plowed down every year by February 1. This is to reduce overwintering populations of pepper weevil.  Residues from pepper processing plants cannot be transported out of the regulated area.

Pink Bollworm Permanent Plowdown
All cotton plants in New Mexico must be plowed and buried by February 1 of each year. This reduces overwintering populations of pink bollworm.

Red Imported Fire Ant Interior Quarantine
Within New Mexico the county of Dona Ana is quarantined to stop spreading imported fire ants.  Shipments of nursery stock,sod, soil, baled hay and straw must be certified. Soil moving equipment originating in Dona Ana County must also be certified free of the pest. In the case of nursery stock this is verified by the presence of a shield-shaped stamp from USDA. This stamp must appear on boxes and/or shipping documents which accompany these items.

Imported Fire Ant 
A USDA shield-shaped stamp with the abbreviation of the originating state in the center must be present. The seal must be on each box or on the shipping documents. This indicates that the plants have been treated to control imported fire ants. It must be included with shipments from the southeastern portion of the U.S.. This includes southeast Texas, as well as Orange County and portions of Riverside and Los Angeles Counties in California.

Phytophthora ramorum (Sudden Oak Death)
Nurseries in regulated areas must have paperwork. California, Oregon and Washington shippers that host or associated plant nursery stock require paperwork carrying a Federal shield. This proves that they are not infested with this disease.

Federal Noxious Weeds
Plants listed under this regulation cannot be shipped into New Mexico without an NMDA-approved permit.

View all Plant Protection & Quarantine Statutes and Rules.

Questions? Call 575-646-3207