Guidance Document 5

Emerald ash borer (EAB) was first identified in Minnesota in May, 2009. It is a serious pest that has killed tens of millions of ash trees in the USA, causing significant environmental damage with economic costs. For this reason, EAB is considered a regulated pest that involves restrictions at the state level.

A plant pest quarantine for EAB has been established in Minnesota by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). For the most current quarantine area, please check the EAB Status map.

No regulated articles are legally allowed to be transferred outside of a quarantine area (untreated or treated) unless they are accompanied by a MDA Certificate. Certificates  are only available when a Compliance Agreement (CA) is signed between the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the entity (company, city, county, agency, or organization) that is interested in moving the regulated article.

For more detailed information on the EAB quarantine and Compliance Agreement, see Questions & Answers about the EAB quarantine & Compliance Agreements

An MDA certificate allows for the movement of regulated material that has been treated and is considered safe to move out of a quarantine area. 

The following is an explanation of the use of the MDA Certificate.


Usage of the MDA Certificate


The MDA Certificate is issued to a firm under an active Compliance Agreement which allows for the movement of treated regulated articles to be exported out of a quarantine area during all 12 calendar months. Treatment methods and requirements are outlined in the Compliance Agreement attachments A1-A8. The MDA Certificate verifies the plant product has been treated to given standards which will mitigate the spread of pests. The MDA Certificate will be assigned to an entity after a Compliance Agreement has been signed, and all relevant procedure has been completed. Certification inspections by agency officials must be carried out prior to beginning treatment operations of regulated articles, or whenever a malfunction or alteration in the facility system warrants a certification inspection. Certification will be granted by agency officials on the basis of the ability of the facility to meet treatment requirements, in addition to the extent of the facility’s export safeguards to prevent re-infestation of treated wood.


Once the facility is approved for meeting the treatment standard, the facility is required to sign a Compliance Agreement with the certifying agency. For Compliance Agreements with the State of Minnesota, an MDA Certificate will be included in the Compliance Agreement, which must be attached or displayed with every shipment in the manner prescribed for the particular situation of the facility. For instance, bulk products will require the MDA Certificate on the delivery ticket, and packaged products will require the MDA Certificate on each separate bundle.


Treated regulated material will require the MDA Certificate to be attached after treatment. It can be attached to the bill of lading, invoice, load ticket or separate packages of treated material. If treated material is comingled with un-regulated material, it must all be regarded as regulated, with the Certificate attached to the lot.


The Certificate must accompany each load of regulated articles to its final destination. All regulated materials travelling with a Certificate must be treated prior to export out of a quarantine area.


All uses of the MDA-issued Certificate must be thoroughly documented, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Lot Number
  • Treatment Completion (m/d/y/time)
  • Treatment Facility (name or number)
  • Shipment Date (m/d/y)
  • Consignee (company name/address)
  • Inspected by (full name of in-house staff)
  • Quantity of certificates used

MDA will provide an electronic spreadsheet with these parameters (see attachment A; Certificate Usage Record).


General Requirements

For information about MDA approved receiving facilities, see Compliance Agreements for the EAB Quarantine.

Certificates may not be altered, counterfeited, obtained improperly or used improperly.

Certificates are non-transferable to any other location or person. Therefore, when certificates are used by a third party (e.g. a distributer), the name and address of the MDA Certificate holder shall be printed directly adjacent to the MDA Certificate; either above, below or beside it. Certificates must be accompanied with the point of origin and final destination clearly indicated on the bill of lading or other shipping documents.

The destination of treated regulated articles may be coded by the company using a unique identifier.

However, in the event of a failed treatment, failed inspection, or revocation of the MDA Certificate, the company must supply the MDA with a complete list of unique identifiers and corresponding company information.

In the event of a failed inspection or revocation of the MDA Certificate, the MDA reserves the right to request information regarding the destination and shipment dates of all woody material, regardless of whether it was treated or not.

MDA Certificate shield
MDA Certificate shield