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D-01-02: Import Requirements for Packages of Flower Bulbs Purchased in the Netherlands by Travellers Returning to or Visiting Canada

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Effective date: June 2, 2014
(4th revision)


This directive outlines the plant protection import requirements for packages of flower bulbs intended for personal use, purchased in the Netherlands by travellers returning to or visiting Canada.

This directive has been revised to make minor administrative changes. The requirements presented in the directive have not changed.

Table of contents


This directive will be updated as required. For further information or clarification, please contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).


Approved by:

Chief Plant Health Officer

Amendment record

Amendments to this directive will be dated and distributed as outlined in the distribution list below.


  1. Directive mail list (CFIA regional offices, CFIA Plant Health Risk Assessment Unit, United States Department of Agriculture)
  2. Provincial government, industry (determined by author)
  3. National industry organizations (determined by author)
  4. Internet


The CFIA regulates the importation of flower bulbs to Canada because of pests that could be associated with the flower bulbs. Flower bulbs purchased as souvenirs are popular with travellers coming from the Netherlands. In order to facilitate the importation of small quantities of pre-packaged flower bulbs, a certification procedure has been developed jointly by Canada, the U.S. and the Netherlands. This system uses a common sticker, issued by the National Plant Protection Organization of the Netherlands, for packages of flower bulbs that comply with the import requirements of both Canada and the U.S. The requirements for the entry to Canada of these packages are specified in this directive.


This directive is intended to inform travellers from the Netherlands intending to bring flower bulbs to Canada and is also intended for use by the Canada Border Services Agency and CFIA inspection staff.


This directive supersedes all previous versions of D-01-02.

D-01-06: Canadian phytosanitary policy for notification of non-compliance and emergency action. CFIA, Ottawa.

Definitions, abbreviations and acronyms

Definitions for terms used in the present document can be found in the Plant Health Glossary of Terms.

1.0 General requirements

1.1 Legislative authority

Canadian Food Inspection Agency Fees Notice, Canada Gazette, Part 1 (as amended from time to time)

The Plant Protection Act, S.C. 1990, c. 22

The Plant Protection Regulations, SOR/95-212

1.2 Fees

The CFIA charges fees in accordance with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Fees Notice. For information regarding fees associated with imported products, please contact the CFIA's National Import Service Centre (NISC). For any other information regarding fees, please contact any local CFIA office or visit our Fees Notice website.

1.3 Regulated pests

The list of pests regulated by Canada is available on the CFIA's website.

1.4 Regulated commodities

Bulb packages, i.e. small retail packages of dry flower bulbs for personal use (non-commercial), excluding Allium spp.

1.5 Exempt commodities

The following commodities are regulated under D-08-04: Plant protection import requirements for plants and plant parts for planting:

  • Mail and courier importations of packages of flower bulbs
  • Bulk or commercial shipments of flower bulbs
  • Loose bulbs not packaged commercially
  • Allium spp. bulbs

1.6 Regulated area

Bulbs originating from the Netherlands, destined to all parts of Canada.

2.0 Specific requirements

2.1 Requirements

Packages of flower bulbs imported into Canada from the Netherlands must meet the following conditions:

  • The flower bulbs must originate from areas free from pests regulated by Canada.
  • The flower bulbs were grown in or imported to the Netherlands and were found free from regulated pests. Bulbs imported into the Netherlands that are eventually exported to Canada must meet Canadian import requirements, including additional declarations for soil-borne pests on the original Phytosanitary Certificate issued by the country of origin.
  • For re-exports, the country of origin and the original Phytosanitary Certificate number must be filled in on the Certificate of Inspection sticker.
  • Flower bulbs must be free from soil and soil-related matter (e.g. clay, silt, sand, gravel, rock, soil minerals, humus, compost, manure, muck, and plant litter) as soil, sand and soil-related matter are prohibited entry from the Netherlands into Canada.
  • When the flower bulbs are shipped in packing material, only the packing materials specified in directive D-08-04 are permitted. Materials used for packaging and shipping the plants must be free from pests, soil and soil-related matter and must not have been used to grow plants.
  • The scientific name (genus and species) of the flower bulbs contained in the package must be written on the Certificate of Inspection sticker. If the contents are a mix of flower bulbs, a separate content sticker indicating the scientific name of all the packaged bulbs and the country of origin (ISO code) must also be used. The Certificate of Inspection sticker must partially cover this separate content sticker.
  • The packages of flower bulbs must accompany the traveller at the time of entry as part of baggage or personal effects.

2.2 Required documentation

Note to traveller: You must declare on the U.S./Canada customs form that these bulbs are in your possession.

A Permit to Import is not required.

The packages must be labelled with the "Certificate of inspection" sticker (see Appendix 1) issued by the National Plant Protection Organization of the Netherlands. The sticker is valid for six weeks. Only original stickers will be accepted. This sticker will be regarded as a valid and official substitute for the Phytosanitary Certificate for this purpose.

The date of issue must be indicated on the sticker.

The sticker must certify that the flower bulbs in the package meet all of the following requirements:

  1. Came from a consignment of bulbs for export covered under an official Phytosanitary Certificate issued by the National Plant Protection Organization of the Netherlands.
  2. Were grown in the Netherlands.
  3. Were imported into the Netherlands from: space covered by an official phytosanitary certificate nr.: space
  4. Were inspected during the growing season and at the time they were packed, and were found to be free from injurious plant pests.
  5. Were grown on land which, on the basis of official surveys/testing in the preceding spring, was free from quarantine pests of the U.S./Canada.
  6. Are free from soil and soil-related matter.
  7. When in packing material, the packing material is (of the type) approved under (the provision of Nursery Stock, Plant and Seed) Quarantine No. 37/approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

3.0 Non-compliance

Material may be inspected upon arrival in Canada. Packages of flower bulbs will be refused entry and disposed of if they do not meet all requirements or are found to be contaminated with soil or infested with any pests of concern. The importer is responsible for any and all costs relating to disposal or removal. The CFIA will advise the NPPO of the Netherlands of any non-compliance with any conditions outlined in this directive as per directive "D-01-06: Canadian phytosanitary policy for notification of non-compliance and emergency action".

4.0 Appendices

Appendix 1: Certificate of Inspection sticker

Click on image for larger view
Image - Certificate of Inspection Sticker. Description follows.

Description of Certificate of Inspection sticker

The image shows a rectangular label titled "Certificate of Inspection", followed by "National Plant Protection Organization of the Netherlands". It is then addressed to the Plant Protection Service of the United States of America or Canada. The body of the label begins with a space to indicate the botanical name of the flower bulbs in the package. The rest lists the points certified by the label, which can be found in the numbered list in Section 2.2 of this directive. At the bottom of the label, there is a space to indicate the date of issue, and a statement that this certificate is valid until six weeks after the date of issue. At the bottom right of the label, there is a round grey emblem showing the logo and name of the Netherlands National Plant Protection Organization, in English and Dutch: "Ministry of Economic Affairs, Netherlands Food and Consumer Products Safety Authority". Above the emblem are the numbers "12345670". Below the emblem is written "Director NPPO". The watermark "Sample" is written diagonally across the label. The background of the label shows rows of pink logos.