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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA FAQ's and resources about coronavirus (COVID-19).  LEARN MORE

On Hold Shipment Information for Animal Products and Byproducts

On Hold Shipment Information Notification Application 

Apply online:

  • ePermits - Please only use ePermits for the VS 16-79 On-Hold Application if your held shipment is related to a current permit issued through ePermits. [If not, use eFile below.] In ePermits, click on Create/Renew/Amend Application, then Veterinary Services (if prompted), and then choose VS Notification of On-Hold Shipment
  • eFile - Click the Ready to Apply drop-down and choose VS 16-79 On-Hold Application (Step by step instructions)

(Processing of the On-Hold Shipment Notification application usually takes 1-5 business days).

IF AN EMERGENCY ACTION NOTICE (EAN) PPQ 523 HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THIS SHIPMENT, PLEASE CONTACT AN AGRICULTURE QUARANTINE INSPECTION VETERINARY MEDICAL OFFICER (AQI VMO Contacts). DO NOT CONTACT STRATEGY & POLICY (S&P).

The VS 16-79 On-Hold Application is only for shipments of animal products, organisms, and vectors. Request assistance for shipments placed on hold by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) because they do not meet APHIS VS requirements.

IF SHIPMENTS HAVE BEEN PLACED ON HOLD BY DHS, CBP BECAUSE THEY DO NOT MEET USDA VS S&P AGRICULTURE IMPORT REQUIREMENTS, IT MAY BE DUE TO ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING REASON(S):

  1. DOCUMENT REVIEW – Shipping documents may be under review by either the CBP Agriculture Specialist and/or the AQI VMO at the Port of Arrival. Please do not contact S&P at this time. You will be contacted by CBP or the AQI VMO if additional information is required or when document review is complete. NOTE: Any discrepancy identified on accompanying documents may result in the shipment being further detained. (AQI VMO Contacts)
  2. USDA IMPORT PERMIT (VS 16-6) Shipments may require a USDA VS import permit. Please contact S&P at 301-851-3300. *Permit application processing usually takes 2-3 weeks* (Permit Application information)
  3. VETERINARY/ZOO-SANITARY HEALTH CERTIFICATE – Shipments may require a valid ORIGINAL paper health certificate issued by the government of the exporting country. Company or Third-party issued health certificates are not acceptable for importation. Please contact S&P (1-301-851-3300)
  4. PRODUCER/MANUFACTURER/SHIPPER STATEMENT REQUIRED – This shipment requires a statement issued by the producer/manufacturer/shipper as required by a permit or an APHIS Guideline for Importation. *Please Contact S&P (1-301-851-3300)*
  5. DOCUMENT REVIEW BY OTHER PROGRAMS AND/OR AGENCIES – Shipments may require document review by:

___ Division of Agricultural Select Agents and Toxins (301-851-2070)
___ Center for Veterinary Biologics (515-337-6100)
___ U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (800-344-9453)
___ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (301-796-0356)
___ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (404-718-2077)

CONTACTING S&P AND REQUESTING ON HOLD COMPLIANCE ASSISTANCE DOES NOT GUARANTEE REMOVAL OF THE AGRICULTURE HOLD. S&P will try to work with you to try to bring the shipment into compliance, but the shipment will be subject to re-export or destruction if this is not possible. In order to have the Agriculture hold removed, you must satisfy the import requirements for both CBP and USDA.

In the VS 16-79 On-Hold Application, make sure to indicate the correct port at which the shipment is currently held. If unsure about the correct port, contact your broker or CBP. Failure to identify the correct port may subject the shipment to entry decision delays or to re-export or destruction.

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