FAQs – potato cyst nematode control area and related permits

To facilitate the management of Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN), an Order declaring Control Areas in Victoria for the purpose of preventing the spread of the pest Potato Cyst Nematode has been enacted under the Plant Biosecurity Act 2010.

This means that the removal of any PCN host material from the Control Area is prohibited unless a current permit has been issued by Agriculture Victoria.

Agriculture Victoria identifies and regulates land within the Control Area using land parcels and the parcel numbers which identify each of these. Please read through the following Frequently Asked Questions to determine if you need to apply for a permit, and if so, how to apply for a permit.

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If you own and/or operate any land that is part of the PCN control area and wish to remove PCN host material from this land, you must apply for and obtain a permit from Agriculture Victoria.

PCN host material includes the following:

  • all PCN host plants and their products, including—
    • any plant or plant product of the Solanaceae family (excluding above-ground fruit); and
    • any root vegetables; and
    • any bulb; and
    • any seedling; and
    • any nursery plant or tree.
  • any earth material, meaning soil, gravel, sand or rocks; and
  • any packages or bulk containers, including anything in or by which host plants or plant products are contained, wrapped or packed; and
  • any used equipment, including any vehicle associated with the cultivation, harvesting, handling, transport or processing of PCN host plants or plant products.

Please download the permit application form from the Plant biosecurity permit page and submit a completed one via email to Plant.Standards@agriculture.vic.gov.au.

Alternatively, please contact the Customer Contact Centre at 136 186 to have a form mailed to you and return it by post to:

Attention: Potato Cyst Nematode Permit
Plant Standards
Administration Building, Box 4 Melbourne Markets,
55 Produce Drive, Epping VIC 3076

Agriculture Victoria is currently working to improve the efficiency of the management of PCN. Part of this process has necessitated the change for PCN permits to be issued on a by application basis.

You can apply for a permit at any time but must obtain a valid permit before any planned removals of PCN host material from land that is part of the PCN control area.

Please allow at least 10 business days for your application to be processed.

If you are unsure of whether you currently occupy and/or operate land within the PCN control area, please contact Plant.Standards@agriculture.vic.gov.au or call the Customer Contact Centre at 136 186.

A parcel number is a number assigned to identify a parcel (or area) of land. Your relevant parcel number(s) can be found on your rates notice.

This depends. You will not need a permit unless you are seeking to remove PCN host material from the PCN control area (please see question 1).

For further information, or to inform Agriculture Victoria that you no longer grow PCN host plants (including potatoes), have ceased operation or have since sold your property and no longer require correspondence, please email Plant.Standards@agriculture.vic.gov.au

Seed potatoes cannot be grown on and subsequently removed from land within the PCN control area (i.e. marketed for sale).

Further information

For more information on permits, please contact your local Plant Standards Officer at Plant.Standards@agriculture.vic.gov.au or contact the Customer Content Centre at 136 186.

For more information on PCN, please refer to the potato cyst nematode page.

Page last updated: 09 May 2023