The Plant Industry Unit is responsible for conducting statutory programs for the inspection and regulation of movement of plant materials and plant pests to prevent, detect and control the spread of plant pests and noxious weeds. Included among these programs are: nursery and nursery stock dealer licensing, nursery inspection and certification, post entry plant quarantine, state and federal phytosanitary certification, permits to move live plant pests and noxious weeds, biological control facility permits, permits for transport and planting of Ribes spp. plants under the white pine blister rust quarantine regulations, the Japanese beetle harmonization program participating nursery certification, and agricultural burn permit inspections. The Section administers the RI Organic Certification Program as a USDA-accredited organic certification agency, certifying organic crops and livestock producers and handlers to the National Organic Program Standards.
Inspection and control programs of apiaries and deer damage, similar to those listed above, are also administered by the Plant Industry Section.
This section also includes the Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey program (CAPS) which is a cooperative program with the USDA APHIS PPQ Agency for safeguarding food and environmental security from exotic pests that may threaten agricultural production and natural resources' ecological systems. Staff will assess both the agricultural and natural environment to determine sites that may be at high risk against these pests. At high risk sites, staff will implement an insect survey protocol to determine if the pests exist and could potentially threaten food production or the natural environment.
For information on requirements for offering for sale or movement of plants,
click to view the Nursery Licensing, Inspection & Certification FAQ Sheet.
Nursery stock inspection provides the basis for certification and compliance with laws and regulations governing the movement of plants domestically and internationally. In addition, state phytosanitary certification is conducted for shipments of plants domestically, and federal phytosanitary certification allows international export of plant materials. Plant shipments that do not meet certification requirements of the destination state or country may be refused entry or require quarantine or treatment at the destination.
Specific permits are necessary to import specific plants, plant products, and organisms into the U.S. and across state borders. USDA APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine requires permits for importation into and transit though the United States of plants and plant products; and the importation into, transit through, and interstate movement within the United States of plant pests (plant feeding insects, mites, snails, slugs, and plant pathogens), biological control organisms of plant pests and weeds, parasitic plants and Federally listed noxious weeds, and for the importation, interstate movement, or release of genetically engineered organisms considered to be regulated articles, under regulatory authorities. Movement into or within Rhode Island is prohibited for all Federal noxious weeds designated by USDA APHIS in 7CFR Part 360-Noxious Weed Regulations.