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Regulated Organism and Soil Permits

Under the authority of the Plant Protection and Honeybee Acts, a Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) 526 permit is required for the importation, interstate movement and environmental release of plant pests (plant feeding insects, mites, snails, slugs, and plant pathogenic bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.), biological control organisms of plant pests and weeds, bees, parasitic plants and Federally listed noxious weeds.

PPQ also requires a 526 permit for the importation and interstate movement of soil for the purpose of isolating or culturing microorganisms from the soil. If the organism is imported on/in host material, no separate permit is required for the host material if the host material is not intended for propagation.

PPQ is authorized to inspect shipments and/or facilities at any time to verify compliance with permit conditions. Receipt of a PPQ permit does not relieve the applicant from the obligation to comply with the regulations of other Federal, State, and local agencies (e.g., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the Environmental Protection Agency).

PPQ 526 Permit
The PPQ 526 permit for importation, interstate movement, possession, and/or release into the environment of:


How to Apply for a PPQ Form 526
APHIS offers both the on-line ePermits system and a manual process for application submission. PPQ strongly recommends applicants submit permit applications on-line, via the ePermits system because ePermits efficiently provides applicants electronic access to their applications and permits. View the above link for information on these application options, and the following link to start the application process.


Permit Processing Steps and Timelines
Applications for 526 permits are processed in the order received. PPQ receives over six thousand 526 permit applications per year. The average application processing time is eighty (80) days. The processing time depends on the complexity of the request. On-line application submission using ePermits can save up to thirty (30) days. Click on the above link to view a list of time frames generally associated with each step in the process.

Shipping Labels


Containment Facility Inspections 
A facility inspection may be required before a PPQ 526 Permit is issued. A PPQ inspector will document aspects of the facility to determine if the facility and equipment are adequate for containment of the organism(s). A PPQ containment specialist will evaluate the documentation and determine if the facility is adequate. In most cases, if the application is for the receipt of foreign organisms (i.e. foreign strain, biotype, race, isolate) or a Program Pest (i.e. currently under federal quarantine) the facility must be inspected. Diagnostic facilities are also inspected. The applicant will be informed if their facility must be inspected after review of the permit application. Guidelines are available.

Frequently Asked Questions
View a list of the commonly asked questions and concerns associated with the application process for a permit to move live plant pests or noxious weeds.

Contact Us for Additional Information on Organism Permits
Telephone 301-851-2046, Toll Free 866-524-5421, or E-mail Evaluation and Permitting of Regulated Organisms & Soil



Additional Information

Survey Announcement:  One of the goals and objectives of the APHIS-PPQ- Permit Unit's Quality Management System is to increase our customer service awareness. To address this, we are initiating our Stakeholder/Customer Satisfaction Survey to hear from you. We need your valuable feedback to help us evaluate and improve our customer service. We would like to thank you in advance for completing the survey.