Ascension Island Government

Biosecurity Requirements

In order to import certain items to Ascension, importers will either be required to meet certain Import Health Standards (IHSs) or possibly apply for a licence. The table below summarises the IHSs that need to be followed by importers for all imports in these categories and also highlights where a licence to import is required.

If a licence is required, it must be applied for in advance.

For all other imports listed below, it is the importer’s responsibility to ensure that the IHSs are met and any necessary documentation is in place, but they do not need to contact Ascension Island Government in advance.

For other types of import which are not listed below, there are no additional requirements.

A full list of IHSs, guidance and licence application forms can be found in the Documentation section.

Type of Import


Fresh fruit and vegetables
For packages of most fruit and vegetables of less than 50kg the importer needs to make sure the product arrives clean of dirt/soil and pests, that they are labelled and declared either to the shipping company or to customs on arrival at Ascension. For imports of fruit and vegetables over 50kg, a certificate will be required from the country of origin to say that it has been inspected on departure and is free of pests.

Anyone importing more than ten boxes of stone fruits (plums, apricots, cherries) must make sure that they are treated to kill fruit flies.

For more unusual types of fresh produce, a licence will be required. To find out which fruit or vegetables need a licence refer to the Import Health Standard in the Documentation tab.

Live plant material
Commercially-packaged seeds and cut flowers that meet the requirements of the import health standard DO NOT require a licence to import. They must be clearly labelled, commercially prepared and packed in original unopened packaging, and in a pest-proof container. All other plant material including whole plants, bare rooted stock, bud wood, cuttings, bulbs, tissue culture and non-commercially packaged seeds need a licence to import. In addition to meeting the requirements of the import health standard, the conditions of a licence may require further measures tailored to reduce the specific risks the type of plant may boast.

Live animals
All live animals need a licence to import. This is likely to be granted for cats, dogs and freshwater fish as long as the licence conditions are met. Licences for any other animals are unlikely to be issued, and the import of primates and parrots is prohibited.

Compost and peat
Any compost and peat supplied in commercial plastic packaging must be in the original unopened bags and free of any pests. Any compost or peat supplied in loose bags requires a licence to import and must be treated to kill pests. Compost from South Africa carries the risk of spreading foot and mouth disease so all imports from this country need a certificate saying the compost comes from a disease free area.

All imports of soil and manure require a licence to import and strict conditions need to be met to allow the import of this high risk material.

Timber products DO NOT require a licence to import. All timber must be free of any signs of external pests, soil and mud contamination and any bark or leaves. All poles, piles, rounds and sleepers must be treated prior to shipment and proof of that treatment provided.

Vehicles, machinery and tyres
Vehicles, machinery and tyres DO NOT require a licence to import. All vehicles, machinery and tyres must be thoroughly cleaned before shipment and be free of all pests, leaves, seeds, mud and other debris. They must be dry with no standing water that could harbour insect larvae.

Sawdust, woodchip, bark, straw and hay
Sawdust, woodchip, bark and hay DO NOT require a licence to import. All sawdust, woodchip, bark, straw and hay must be free of pests, seeds and any other material such as animal faeces and soil. It should be packaged for shipment so that no pests can enter during transit and the packaging must be original and unopened.