Plant Protection Act Law and Legal Definition

The Plant Protection Act (“Act”) is a U.S. federal statute that was enacted on June 20, 2000 to prevent the importation, exportation, and spread of pests injurious to plants, and to provide for their control and eradication and for the certification of plants. The provisions of the Act are codified at 7 USCS §§ 7701 et seq.

This Act consolidates related responsibilities that were previously spread over various other laws such as the Plant Quarantine Act, the Federal Plant Pest Act and the Federal Noxious Weed Act of 1974.

7 USCS § 7711 of the Act contains provisions regulating the movement of plant pests. The section reads as below:

(a) Prohibition of unauthorized movement of plant pests. Except as provided in subsection (c), no person shall import, enter, export, or move in interstate commerce any plant pest, unless the importation, entry, exportation, or movement is authorized under general or specific permit and is in accordance with such regulations as the Secretary may issue to prevent the introduction of plant pests into the United States or the dissemination of plant pests within the United States.

(b) Requirements for processes. The Secretary shall ensure that the processes used in developing regulations under subsection (a) governing consideration of import requests are based on sound science and are transparent and accessible.

(c) Authorization of movement of plant pests by regulation.

(1) Exception to permit requirement. The Secretary may issue regulations to allow the importation, entry, exportation, or movement in interstate commerce of specified plant pests without further restriction if the Secretary finds that a permit under subsection (a) is not necessary.

(2) Petition to add or remove plant pests from regulation. Any person may petition the Secretary to add a plant pest to, or remove a plant pest from, the regulations issued by the Secretary under paragraph (1).

(3) Response to petition by the secretary. In the case of a petition submitted under paragraph (2), the Secretary shall act on the petition within a reasonable time and notify the petitioner of the final action the Secretary takes on the petition. The Secretary's determination on the petition shall be based on sound science.

(d) Prohibition of unauthorized mailing of plant pests.

(1) In general. Any letter, parcel, box, or other package containing any plant pest, whether sealed as letter-rate postal matter or not, is nonmailable and shall not knowingly be conveyed in the mail or delivered from any post office or by any mail carrier, unless the letter, parcel, box, or other package is mailed in compliance with such regulations as the Secretary may issue to prevent the dissemination of plant pests into the United States or interstate.

(2) Application of postal laws and regulations. Nothing in this subsection authorizes any person to open any mailed letter or other mailed sealed matter except in accordance with the postal laws and regulations.

(e) Regulations. Regulations issued by the Secretary to implement subsections (a), (c), and (d) may include provisions requiring that any plant pest imported, entered, to be exported, moved in interstate commerce, mailed, or delivered from any post office--

(1) be accompanied by a permit issued by the Secretary prior to the importation, entry, exportation, movement in interstate commerce, mailing, or delivery of the plant pest;

(2) be accompanied by a certificate of inspection issued (in a manner and form required by the Secretary) by appropriate officials of the country or State from which the plant pest is to be moved;

(3) be raised under post-entry quarantine conditions by or under the supervision of the Secretary for the purposes of determining whether the plant pest--

(A) may be infested with other plant pests;

(B) may pose a significant risk of causing injury to, damage to, or disease in any plant or plant product; or

(C) may be a noxious weed; and

(4) be subject to remedial measures the Secretary determines to be necessary to prevent the spread of plant pests.