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APHIS issues permits for importation, interstate movement, or environmental release of certain genetically engineered (GE) organisms. Permit applications, which are carefully reviewed by APHIS scientists, provide details about the nature of the GE organism to be introduced and the conditions that will used to prevent the spread and establishment of the organism in the environment. APHIS issues permits for the introduction of GE organisms that pose a plant pest risk, including plants, insects, or microbes.

Apply for a Permit via ePermits
ePermits is a web-based system that allows users to submit import /interstate movement/transit/release permit applications, track applications, apply for renewals and amendments, and receive copies of their permits.  APHIS now accepts permit applications online through ePermits. Applicants are encouraged to use the ePermits system.  Learn more about ePermits.

Guidance for Permits
BRS Permit User's Guide 
The following documents have been superseded by the BRS Permit User's Guide, and are no longer available on the APHIS BRS Website:

  • Sample Application for Release into the Environment
  • Guidance on Crops Engineered to Produce Pharmaceutical or Industrial Compounds
  • Guidance Related to Critical Habitat Analysis
  • Transgenic Insect Permit Guidance
  • January 14, 2004: Letter to applicants for products intended for pharmaceutical, bioremediation or industrial nonfood/feed use

Additional Information and Guidance

Additional Resources

For Additional Information
If you can't find answers to your questions about the permit process here, please contact a BRS biotechnologist by sending your questions to

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