Trade Facilitation Unit - Phytosanitary Guidelines for the Importation of Christmas Trees, Wreaths, Garlands and Holiday Greens (for Commercial Purposes ONLY)

Christmas Trees can carry invasive pests and diseases that harm Bahamian agriculture, horticulture, forestry and our environment, causing millions of dollars in damage. To prevent the entry of those pests and diseases into the Bahamas, all Christmas Trees, wreaths, garlands, and bulk greens of the genera Abies, Pinus, Picea and Pseudotsuga imported for commercial use are subject to the following import requirements:

  1. An import permit from the Department of Agriculture must be obtained that specifies The Bahamas' import requirements.
  2. A phytosanitary certificate issued by the National Plant Protection Organization of the exporting country in accordance with International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 12 (ISPM 12). The phytosanitary certificate must include the following where applicable:
    1. Sufficient detail to enable identification of the consignment and its component parts. Information must include country/place of origin;
    2. The scientific name of the tree species;
    3. Full details of any treatments applied; and
    4. A certifying statement, or a variation that is compliant with ISPM 12.
    5. Only certify if an Import Permit (IP) is presented.
  3. Trees should be stored in a manner that prevents contact with soil and mixing of trees ready for export with those awaiting inspection or shaking, or those for other destinations. Separation and storage of the trees should be sufficient to prevent infestation or reinfestation of the trees following shaking or inspection.
  4. Date of inspection must not be more than 14 days prior to shipment.
  5. The commodity meets the following packaging and shipping requirements:
    1. Origin must be clearly stated on the shipping label or bill of lading.
    2. A typed list/invoice should accompany each consignment with the name of the collector/shipper and the scientific names (genus, species, and if possible, variety). Foreign language names and regional names are not acceptable.
    3. If different commodities within a consignment originate in different countries or places, or are mixed, blended or bulked, all countries or places should be indicated; and
    4. If wood packaging is used, this should be treated, certified and comply with ISPM 15 on wood packaging materials.
    5. The consignment was found to be clean, free from sand, soil, earth, and other growing media, foreign matter or debris, and living organisms such as parasitic plants, pathogens, insects, snails, and mites (extraneous matter).
  6. Upon arrival in the Bahamas, the consignment must be inspected to verify that they are free of live insects, plant or animal debris, soil and other phytosanitary risk material. If phytosanitary risk materials are identified during inspection, then the consignment will be withheld. Depending on the phytosanitary risk, the consignment may be:
    1. Treated or
    2. Re-exported or
    3. Destroyed. These options are subject to fees, and conditions may apply.
  7. After inspection, if the consignment is not contaminated with phytosanitary risk material they can be released.

The same guidelines also apply to wreaths, garlands, and bulk greens for commercial purposes.

Destructive wood boring insects have been found in artificial Christmas trees that have real wood trunks with bark attached. Artificial Christmas trees with real wood trunks must have an import permit and be made of kiln dried wood to be allowed into the Bahamas.

Additional Declarations:

100% of the trees must be manually or mechanically shaken.

  • Manual Shaking: Each individual unbound tree must be lifted or raised not less than 18 inches above ground level with the butt of the tree struck onto a solid surface with sufficient force to dislodge any hitchhiker pests and other contaminants. The tree should be shaken after each strike using a minimum of three strikes and continue until most of the dead needle fall is eliminated.
  • Mechanical Shaking: Each individual unbound tree must be mechanically shaken for a period of time sufficient to dislodge any hitchhiker pests and other contaminants until all dead needle fall is eliminated.