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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Import Animal Products

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.  

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.


Visit the APHIS Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) website to learn more about submitting APHIS-required import data in ACE.
APHIS’ Veterinary Services (VS) is excited to announce the launch of the eFile Animal Products, Organisms and Vectors permit application! Formally known as the Veterinary Services Permitting Assistant (VSPA), users can enjoy a new permitting experience, now with the addition of the Animal Products, Organisms and Vectors application to APHIS eFile. Click here to go to the VSPA and get started!

Animal Products That Do Not Require An Import Permit

Approved Facilities

  • Approved Establishments: Visit this site to learn what items must go to an approved establishment, find an approved establishment, or learn about becoming an approved establishment.

    To be safely imported, animal trophies and other animal hides or feathers from certain regions of the world must be sent directly to Approved Establishments for processing or sent to an Approved Warehouse for short term storage before processing at an Approved Establishment, unless they are accompanied by a VS import permit or a foreign government certificate. 
  • APHIS Approved Plants for Import of Meat and Casings into the U.S. for list of approved foreign entities. 

Permits and Applications

  • Permitting and On-Hold Shipment Information: to learn more about the permitting process, to include application instructions, e-Authentication, and On-Hold shipment information.
  • User Fees: Apply to all Animal Product Import related services provided by APHIS. 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.
Animal Products Manual  (click here) The primary purpose of this manual is to serve as a regulatory tool for CBP officers in enforcing APHIS import requirements. It is only posted for public access as a reference.

Find information on Importing Food Products for Human Consumption at the following link.

Importing Food Products for Human Consumption

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