CLR Infestation Prompts Transport Restrictions From Maui, Hawai‘i Island

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Coffee Leaf rust identified on a farm in Holualoa, according to the Department of Agriculture. (PC: Department of Agriculture)

The transport of coffee is currently restricted from Maui and Hawai‘i Island due to an infestation of leaf rust (CLR), officials announced Friday.

An interim rule was put in place on Nov. 20 by the Hawai‘i Board of Agriculture, which authorizes the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (HDOA), Plant Quarantine Branch (PQB) to restrict the movement of coffee and other CLR carriers from the two islands, HDOA stated in a press release Friday.

CLR is a coffee pathogen that can cause severe defoliation of coffee plants resulting in premature defoliation and greatly reducing photosynthetic capacity. Depending on CLR prevalence in a given year, both vegetative and berry growth are greatly reduced.


There are multiple long-term impacts of CLR, including dieback, resulting in an impact to the following year’s crop, with estimated losses ranging from 30% to 80%.

The interim rule restricts the movement or transport of coffee plants and parts, including green (unroasted) coffee beans, used coffee bags, and used coffee harvesting, processing or transporting equipment, from a CLR-infested area to an area that is uninfested, except by permit issued by the HDOA.

For additional detail about the restrictions, the interim rule may be found at:


A permit may be issued for the transportation of the following:

  • Coffee beans for roasting, or other non-propagative plant parts, that are shipped to an approved facility located in an uninfested area that is located at least two miles away from a commercial coffee growing area, or are subjected to a treatment approved by the PQB chief.
  • Plants from HDOA certified nurseries, green coffee beans for roasting, or other non-propagative plant parts, that are transshipped through an uninfested area of the State with a final destination outside of the State.
  • Previously used equipment for harvesting, processing or transporting coffee plants or plant parts that has been subjected to treatments and/or mitigation measures approved by the chief.
  • Coffee plants and plant parts for scientific or diagnostic purposes at a PQB approved facility, provided the contents and packing materials used for shipping are subjected to a treatment approved by the PQB chief after the contents are unloaded.
  • Coffee plants, beans for roasting, other non-propagative plant parts, used coffee bags, and previously used coffee harvesting, processing, or transporting equipment, that are shipped between infested areas.
  • Limited quantities of coffee plants for propagation from an infested area to a non-infested area, subject to a one-year quarantine in a state-run facility, provided that the board may reduce the quarantine period.

This rule will not affect export (out-of-state) shipments of coffee plants and plant parts, green coffee beans, used coffee bags, or other CLR carriers, provided that they are exported directly from a CLR infested area and are not transshipped through a CLR uninfested area in the State. This interim rule does not affect the movement of roasted coffee.

For a copy of the permit application, go to


There is no fee for the permit. If you need assistance or have questions about the permitting or inspection requirements, please call the PQB at 808-832-0566 or email [email protected].

If you believe you may have a possible CLR infestation, call HDOA’s Plant Pest Control Branch at 808-973-9525.

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