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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Buying and Selling Plants and Seeds Online

Plants and seeds for planting pose a significant risk to U.S. agriculture and natural resources because they can carry insect pests and pathogens. Seeds can also be mixed with noxious weed seeds. To safeguard U.S. agriculture, APHIS regulates the importation of plants and seeds for planting, including plants and seeds purchased through e-commerce sites, to ensure they meet U.S. import requirements and are free of pests of concern.

People and businesses that buy or sell plants and seeds for planting from another country through an e-commerce site must comply with all applicable U.S. import requirements, including obtaining an import permit from APHIS, obtaining a phytosanitary certificate from the national plant protection organization of the country of origin, properly labeling and shipping the plants and seed, and meeting unique requirements for certain plant species and seed types.

Plants

What do I need to know before buying or selling plants online?

Buyer and Seller Responsibilities

Required Documents

Plants with Additional Requirements

Prohibited Plants

Seeds

What do I need to know before buying or selling seeds online?

Buyer and Seller Responsibilities

Required Documents

Seeds with Additional Requirements

Prohibited Seeds


Help

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact APHIS’ Permits Help Desk by phone (301) 851-2046, toll free (877) 770-5990, or email plantproducts.permits@usda.gov.

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