In Kenya, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) is the regulatory body mandated to regulate importation and exportation of plant and plant products in the country. The process involves issuance of relevant import/export documents, inspection of imported materials, certification of export material and inspection of containment facilities.

1)    Importation of all plants and plant products are classified into three categories according to the Importation Order Book that contains all import requirements for plant and plant products:

a)    Importation under permit.
Importation of these materials pose a low risk of introducing harmful pests and diseases hence only a plant import permit is required. The materials are handed over to the own upon importation and inspection at the point of entry.

b)    Importation under quarantine.
Importation of these materials has a risk of introducing harmful pests and diseases.  Some pests and diseases occur mainly in latent form thus cannot be detected during inspection at the point of entry hence the need for containment. Most of these requests require approval from the Kenya Standing Technical Committee on Import and Export (KSTCIE) which is chaired by the Ministry of Agriculture and has a secretariat at KEPHIS. Before importation a containment facility to be used in holding the imported quarantine material should be inspected and approved by KEPHIS before a plant import permit is issued. The permit is issue with a Quarantine label (Q label) which should be affixed to the exterior of the consignment during shipment. Upon importation, the material is inspected and forwarded to the approved quarantine facility for further observation. The containment facility is inspected regularly by KEPHIS to check for quarantine pests and adherence to approval conditions.

c)    Prohibited.
Importation of these materials have a very high risk of introducing harmful pests and diseases which will have adverse effect on crops and or plants of major importance to the country. Importation of these materials is not allowed unless under special permission or approval from KSTCIE.
Note: Condition for importation depends on the part of the plant being imported and country of origin.

2)    Importation of regulated articles.

These are non-plant materials or products which are likely to carry harmful pests and diseases or they are of phytosanitary concern by themselves. For instance soil, biological control agents, GMOs, RNA/DNA, pathogens and pests for research purpose etc. These materials require special approval from KSTCIE. Before approval, the importer is expected to provide a dossier about the product which is evaluated and a risk assessment undertaken. Approval for plant GMOs is obtained from National Biosafety Authority (NBA). A detailed risk assessment and a duly completed application form are submitted. KEPHIS is involved in the process. A biological import permit is issued for the importation of GMOs, bio-control agents, and pests and pathogens for research purpose.
Note: A plant import permit application form which is available on KEPHIS website should be filled to facilitate issuance of Import Permit.
All plant and plant product exported from the country require a phytosanitary certificate. Export conditions are usually provided by the importing country and this is contained in their plant import permit.  A Plant Import Permit is required from the importing country to facilitate inspection and issuance of Phytosanitary certificate. Trade in CITIES material requires prior approval from Kenya Wildlife Service before issuance of an import permit.

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