Whether you're a U.S. resident returning from abroad or a foreign visitor traveling to the United States, you should be aware of USDA's guidelines for bringing agricultural items into the United States. USDA restricts or prohibits many of these items from entering the country because they could carry pests or diseases that could threaten human health or devastate the environment, crops, agricultural animals, ornamental plants, and community landscapes. Learn More.
APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program plays a vital role in ensuring the free flow of agricultural trade. PPQ’s efforts include keeping U.S. agricultural industries free from pests and diseases and certifying that the millions of U.S. agricultural and food products shipped to markets abroad meet the importing countries' entry requirements. PPQ also keeps export markets open for American agricultural products by working to eliminate unjustified phytosanitary barriers raised by U.S. trading partners.
International and regional phytosanitary standards are the building blocks of a safe, predictable, and prosperous trade system. Full participation by the United States in standards-setting organizations like the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO) increases the consistency, predictability, and scientific soundness of international and regional import requirements - a benefit to U.S. industries that export products abroad - and promotes cooperation between the United States and other countries to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive pests.