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Information: Materials for the packaging of plants

Effective 8 August 2019

The following information relates to material used as packaging around live plants, corms, bulbs, tubers and plant cuttings.

The department prefers that plants are imported bare rooted; however packing material can be used to help decrease the risk of damage to the plant during transport to Australia

The following packaging materials are acceptable media for transport of plant material to Australia as long as they are not contaminated with live insects, soil, faeces, contaminant seed, other plant material, animal debris or other biosecurity risk material:

Buckwheat hulls (Fagopyrum esculentum)

Plastic foam


Sawdust *

Cellulose wadding

Shredded clean paper


Synthetic material

Damp paper

Wood shavings *

Granulated cork

Wood wool *



Peat moss

Sphagnum moss

(*Note: Leaching of tannins from these materials during transit may be detrimental to the health and survival of plants.)

Plants should not arrive established in the packaging media as this may cause severe damage to the plants when packaging is removed on inspection.

All packing material must be removed at time of inspection.

Part of the packaging material may be kept temporarily as loose packaging and be placed back around the roots of the plants after inspection. This material may remain around the plant to help prevent desiccation of roots during fumigation. Packaging must not prevent penetration of the fumigant. Packaging can only be kept to protect the plant during fumigation if there is no contamination or biosecurity risk material present on inspection.

Any packaging retained for the fumigation treatment must be removed and disposed of prior to plants being established in post entry quarantine.

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