USDA regulates the importation and interstate movement of plant pathogens by requiring permits (codified at 7 CFR 330.200 to 330.212). Generally, plant pathogens are recognized as bacteria, fungi, nematodes, phytoplasmas, viroids, viruses, and similar/allied organisms. But for the purposes of this regulation, plant pathogens also include non-genetically engineered infectious substances which can directly or indirectly injure, cause disease, or damage in any plants, plant parts, or plant products.
If the organism is imported on/in host material, no separate permit is required if the host material is not intended for propagation. Most permits for domestic movement and importation are issued for 3 years. The application could be processed in as little as 30 days but there are many factors which cause the review process to take longer. These factors include, but are not limited to: the need for a facility inspection, the need to obtain additional equipment or equipment certifications, or the need for additional information by PPQ or your State Department of Agriculture. All PPQ 526 permit applications are submitted to the destination states(s) for review. The PPQ staff process permits in the order they are received and recommend that you apply for your permit four to six months in advance.