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National Plant Quarantine Service
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Facilitate the international movement of healthy plants and plant products for the development of national agriculture and related industries.

  • Prevention of introduction, establishment and spread of dangerous alien pests within the country.
  • Involvement in domestic pest control programmes
  • Development of treatment technologies to eradicate pests of quarantine importance.
  • Promotion of export of healthy plants and plant products.

This service has the responsibility of enforcing the implementation of Plant Protection Act No.35 of 1999 and Regulations made thereunder in relation to plant quarantine activities. It also conduct research and development activities in plant quarantine of the country.



In 1869, a rust disease Hemileia vastatrix wiped out the coffee plantation in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Subsequently Indonesia passed legislation banning coffee imports including sacs used for packing coffee from Sri Lanka and it was the first plant quarantine law in the Asian region.

In Sri Lanka, British scientists of the Department of Agriculture at Peradeniya commenced plant quarantine activities in 1880s. This was necessitated because; Sri Lanka became a centre for identification of pests affecting crop plants.Regional countries have sent here the samples for scientific studies. After the establishment of Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) at Gannoruwa, Peradeniya, all the plant quarantine activities were carried out jointly in the Divisions of Entomology and Plant pathology of the same Institute.In early 1980s with the help of Australian government, a separate unit for Plant quarantine activities was established in Gannoruwa within the premises of CARI. A Chief Plant Quarantine officer was appointed assigning all the responsibilities of plant quarantine in Sri Lanka.In 1994, the present National Plant Quarantine Service complex was established at Katunayake with the financial help of the Japanese Government.

Plant protection laws in Sri Lanka
1901 - Insect Pest and Quarantine Ordinance
1907 - Plant Pest Ordinance
1909 - Water Hyacinth Ordinance
1924 - Plant Protection Ordinance
1999 - Plant Protection Act

The Plant Protection Act No. 35 of 1999 was passes by the Parliament in July 1999. Since new regulations are not yet enacted, those made under the old Ordinance are still in operation. The regulations made by the Minister of Agriculture and notified in the Gazette of 1981.11.12 including 19 regulations covering almost all aspects of import plant quarantine are with respect to the import and export of plant and plant products.


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