The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS) regulates the importation of animals and animal-derived materials to ensure that exotic animal and poultry diseases are not introduced into the United States.
Generally, a USDA veterinary permit is needed for materials derived from animals or exposed to animal-source materials. Materials which require a permit include, animal tissues, blood, cells or cell lines of livestock or poultry origin, RNA/DNA extracts, hormones, enzymes, monoclonal antibodies for IN VIVO use in non-human species, certain polyclonal antibodies, antisera, bulk shipments of test kit reagents, and microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi (apply on-line for a VS import permit).
Exceptions to this requirement are human and non-human primate tissues, serum, and blood. We also have information on animal products that do not require an import permit.
For animal products or by-products that have been exported from the United States and are intended to be returned to the United States, please click here
Various other animal materials which require a permit include dairy products (except butter and cheese), and meat products (e.g., meat pies, prepared foods) from countries with livestock diseases exotic to the U.S.
User fees are charged for the services APHIS provides related to the importation, entry, or exportation of animals and animal products. All applications for a veterinary permit to import materials or transport organisms and vectors must be accompanied by payment before processing can begin. Acceptable methods of payment are: check, money order (payable to USDA, APHIS), VISA, MasterCard, American Express, or an APHIS User Fee Credit Account. User fee credit accounts are recommended if there are more than 6 fee activities per year. Please note that all fees are subject to change. View User Fees.
If you have any questions, or require further information related to imports of animal products or by-products, please contact Animal Products Import and Export at (301) 851-3300 option 4, or send an e-mail to APIE@USDA.GOV.
USDA, APHIS, VS, APIE
4700 River Road, Unit 40
Riverdale, MD 20737-1231