Shipping herbarium specimens to EU countries

Shipping herbarium specimens to EU countries:
(A summary of what I found out during my recent experiences with UPS.)

Mark your boxes and documents with “dead, dried plant material for scientific use only”. The DEAD part is really important. You don’t need a phytosanitary certificate for herbarium specimens. Clearly state the taxa included in the shipment. If possible, seal your specimens in a bag, and indicate that material has been frozen previous to shipping, and indicate on a label that specimens are sealed and have been frozen.

EU Council directive 2000/29/EC of 8 May 2000 covers the importation of plant products to EU. Plants covered under part M4 require a phytosanitary certificate, but this is only applicable to living plants and their seeds, not dried herbarium specimens. In some cases the translation to local languages might have missed this (this is now being corrected in The Netherlands).

Wood samples still might need a phytosanitary certificate, it depends on the species.

Note that in the US you can’t receive a phytosanitary certificate for herbarium specimens.

References and sources:
EU COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2000/29/EC of 8 May 2000 on protective measures against the introduction into the Community of organisms harmful to plants or plant products and against their spread within the Community,

All the specimens we shipped in the last couple of months have now been allowed into EU. Good luck!!!

/Lena Struwe, CHRB, Rutgers University
June 30, 2010

Dr. Lena Struwe
Associate Professor
Dept. of Ecology, Evolution, & Natural Resources/ Dept. of Plant Biology & Pathology
Rutgers University
237 Foran Hall, 59 Dudley Road
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8551, USA
phone: (732) 932-9711 ext. 235, fax: (732) 932-9441
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