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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

Fungi, Mushrooms and Mushroom Spawn FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. Do I need a permit to import unknown fungi isolated from: plants, insects, soil, or water?
A. Yes, a PPQ 526 permit is required because the fungi may be a plant pest or potential biocontrol organism of plant pests.

Q. I have a colleague in another state who wants some cultures of a plant pathogenic fungus from me. This same fungus already occurs in my colleague's state. Is a permit required to send this fungus to my colleague?
A. Yes, the recipient must have a PPQ 526 permit to receive the fungus. Permits are required for interstate movement and importation of plant pest or potential biocontrol organism of plant pests.

Q. I would like to import mushroom spawn from China or other countries for mushroom production. Do I need a permit?
A. It depends on the species of mushroom. Please provide us with the scientific name (genus and species) and then we can tell you whether a PPQ526 permit is required.

Q. I want to import mushrooms for consumption (eating). Do I need a permit?
A. No PPQ permit is required for mushrooms for consumption. The mushrooms must be free of soil, wood/wood chips, pests and diseases and will be inspected at the U.S. port of entry.

Q. Can my family bring me dried mushrooms from China or other countries when they come to the U.S. to visit?
A. Yes, dried mushroom are enterable to the U.S. They must be free of soil, insects, diseases and contamination from other plant material.

Q. The species of fungus that I want to work with is not a plant pathogen. Do I need a permit?
A. It depends on the species. USDA-APHIS regulates the movement of “plant pests” and the definition of that term in the Code of Federal Regulations is very broad. Additionally, USDA-APHIS regulates biocontrol organisms of plant pests and sometimes those organisms are fungi. Please submit an application for a PPQ526 permit and if we determine that you do not need a permit we will issue you a letter stating that.

Q. I want to import tree seedlings that have been inoculated with truffles. Do I need a permit?
A. You probably don’t need a permit for the truffles but we need to know the species name to give a definitive answer. You might also need one for the tree seedlings. See Plants and Plant Products Permits website for information on import requirements for Plants for Planting.

Q. I would like to import mycorrhizal fungi into the U.S. Do I need a permit?
A. In general the movement of mycorrhizal fungal species for research purposes do not require a PPQ526 permit. However it is strongly encouraged that an application be submitted for importation of these species as shipments are still subject to inspection at ports of entry. A letter obtained through the application process may streamline the inspection process. Unidentified/unnamed species, or organisms listed at the genus level or higher will require a permit

Importation of mycorrhizal fungal inoculum for incorporation into a final product may be denied based on the production technique of the inoculum.

Importation of products containing mycorrhizal fungi may be denied based the production technique of the fungal inoculum or on other ingredients included in the product.

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