Plant Import Information
Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) regulates the importation of plants and plant products under the authority of the Plant Protection Act. PPQ maintains its import program to safeguard U.S. agriculture and natural resources from the risks associated with the entry, establishment, or spread of animal and plant pests and noxious weeds.
Commodity Import Approval Process
Click on the above link to find information on the fruit, vegetable, plant, and plant product import approval process. The commodity import approval process site provides an explanation of the major steps in the approval process from submission of a commodity import request to approval of the importation of the commodity. This site also explains the stakeholder consultation process for reviewing draft pest risk assessments.
Plant Import Permits
Specific permits are necessary to import specific plants, plant products, and organisms into the U.S. and across state borders. View this page to learn about the specific permits, apply online, and answer questions specific to the type of plant or organism being imported.
Plants and Seeds for Planting
Click on the above link to find information on plant importation and permits; protocols and critical issues; and the revision of the plants for planting regulations.
Fruits and Vegetables
Click here to access the searchable on-line database, known as the Fruits and Vegetables Import Requirements (FAVIR) database which references those fruits and vegetables authorized entry per 7 CFR 319.56 as well as the quarantine 56 streamline revision APHIS published July, 2007. FAVIR allows customers to search, by commodity or country, for authorized fruits and vegetables and their requirements for importation into the United States.
Quarantine treatments allow importation of products while mitigating the pest risk. Importation of agricultural products from other countries gives the American consumer an opportunity to have a wider choice of fruits and vegetables. USDA APHIS assesses the risk of importations based on commodity and pest status. Quarantine treatments are specific to the pest of concern and commodity. USDA APHIS determines type(s) of treatments when a pest of quarantine significance is prevalent in the country and/or for those which are difficult to inspect. Treatments can be chemical or non-chemical. There are various approved chemical treatments: fumigants, dips and spray. The fumigants include methyl bromide, phosphine and sulfuryl fluoride. Non chemical treatments include cold treatment, hot water immersion, vapor heat treatment, steam sterilization and irradiation.
Passenger baggage, cargo, mail and conveyances moving domestically from Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are inspected to prevent pests from spreading to other areas of the United States. Quarantine Policy, Analysis & Support provides policy and guidance to the predeparture program.
These procedures are designed to identify and/or mitigate the risk of exotic pest introductions through action taken in foreign countries. Integrity checks to ensure compliance with the program guidelines may be conducted at the U.S. port of entry. Click on the above link to learn more about the procedures and activities associated with preclearance.
Offshore Plant Health Safeguarding Activities
Smuggling Interdiction and Trade Compliance
The mission of PPQ’s Smuggling Interdiction and Trade Compliance (SITC) Program is to detect and prevent the unlawful entry and distribution of prohibited and/or non-compliant products that may harbor exotic plant and animal pests, disease or invasive species.
Wood Packaging Materials
In a final rule published in the Federal Register on September 16, 2004, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) amended its regulations with the goal of decreasing the risk of introducing plant pests into the United States. USDA has adopted the international standard for wood packaging material (WPM) that was approved by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) on March 15, 2002.
The IPPC standard calls for most WPM to be either heat treated or fumigated with methyl bromide in accordance with the guidelines and marked with an approved international mark certifying that treatment. The final rule, which became effective on September 16, 2005, affects all persons using wood packaging material in connection with importing goods into the United States. Click on the above link to learn about the import requirements for WPM.
View the above link for information about regulated craft industries.
CITES (Endangered Plant Species)
The USDA is responsible for enforcing regulations specific to the import and export of plants regulated by CITES as well as the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Click on the above link to learn about the associated permits along with additional relevant information.
Plant Inspection Stations
Federal regulations require that most imported plants and seeds enter the United States through certain ports of entry where the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) operates special facilities for the inspection and clearance of those items. These are known as Plant Inspection Stations and are operated by the USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program. Currently, PPQ has 17 such Plant Inspection Stations in the United States located at or near major international airports and seaports. Click on the above link to learn more about the inspection stations along with their locations and contact information.
Transit permits are required by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services in advance of arrival for the unloading, landing or other movement of regulated plants and plant products in cargo through the United States. Click on the above link to apply for the permit online, and view additional information relating to the application for a permit.
Quarantine Screening of Restricted Plant Materials
This program prevents the inadvertent introduction of new plant diseases and pests into the United States. Such diseases and pests have the potential to create both economic and environmental costs through disease losses to crop production as well as extensive control measures necessary to limit crop damage.
May 31, 2013