Agricultural Quarantine and Inspection (AQI) User Fees Explained

Last Modified: May 08, 2024

APHIS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) carry out AQI program activities to intercept and keep out foreign agricultural pests and diseases that could affect U.S. agriculture, trade, and the environment. To sustain the program, APHIS charges user fees for AQI services. The fees recover the costs of providing AQI services and overhead and other indirect costs of administering the user fee program.

AQI User Fees

AQI User Fee CategoryCurrent Fee 
(Beginning December 1, 2022) (1, 2)
Beginning October 1, 2024 (1, 3)Beginning October 1, 2025 (1, 3)Beginning October 1, 2026 (1, 3)Beginning October 1, 2027 (1, 3)
Commercial Vessel$825.00$2,903.73$2,981.17$3,059.61$3,139.06
Commercial Vessel- Great Lakes/Cascadia (4)N/A(5)$837.51$850.03$862.54$875.06
Commercial Truck$7.29$12.40(6)$13.45(6)$14.50(6)$15.55(6)
Commercial Truck (Transponder) (7)$291.60$622.00(8)$808.20(8)$870.60(8)$935.40(8)
Commercial Railroad Car$2.00$6.51$7.23$7.97$8.72
Commercial Railroad Car (Prepaid) (7)$40.00$312.48$347.04$382.56$418.56
Commercial Aircraft (9)$225.00$281.39$300.78$320.61$340.90
International Air Passenger$3.83$3.71$3.84$3.98$4.12
International Cruise (Sea) Passenger$1.68$1.25$1.29$1.34$1.39
Treatment Monitoring (10)$237.00$240.60$244.19$247.79$251.38

(1) All fees in U.S. dollars
(2) As specified in the November 1, 2022 Stakeholder Announcement and APHIS’ methodology for determining if a particular fee included a reserve component
(3)As specified in the 2024 Final Rule: User Fees for Agricultural Quarantine and Inspection Services
(4)See reference maps depicting the Great Lakes and Cascadia regions
(5) This geographically limited fee rate does not exist under the current fee schedule; however, certain vessels in this category do currently pay the current commercial vessel fee
(6) Rounded down to the next $0.05 (five-cent) increment to facilitate border operations
(7) One annual payment for unlimited crossings within a calendar year
(8) Prepaid fees are set at 50 times the unrounded fee rate of $12.44, and 60 times the unrounded fee rates of $13.47, $14.51, and $15.59, respectively.
(9) We are delaying implementation of the commercial aircraft user fee for aircraft with 64 or fewer seats until April 1, 2025.
(10) Per enclosure

Authority To Charge Fees

The Government charges user fees for goods or services above and beyond what is normally available to the public.1,2 Section 2509(a) of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade (FACT) Act of 1990 (21 U.S.C. 136a), as amended by the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (Budget Reconciliation Act), authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to prescribe and collect user fees sufficient to cover the costs of providing AQI services.

When Congress enacted the FACT Act, they intended to shift most of the AQI program’s costs away from taxpayers and to the carriers, owners, and importers of the goods whose entry into the United States creates a risk of introducing pests and diseases. APHIS charges user fees to individuals or firms who use AQI program services. We structure the fees to recover both APHIS and CBP's costs to carry out AQI program activities. The U.S. Treasury maintains an AQI user fee account containing all user fees collected for AQI program services, as well as associated late payment penalties and interest charges. APHIS is responsible for distributing AQI funds to APHIS and CBP.

1 User Fee Design Guide, GAO-08-386SP Federal User Fees, A Design Guide

2 Office of Management and Budget Circular A-25, User Charges

How We Calculate AQI User Fees

To calculate each user fee, APHIS uses an activity-based cost model. This cost accounting method determines a fee by identifying the costs to provide a specific service. This is a two-step process:

  1. The program’s costs are allocated to a series of activities.
  2. The costs assigned to those activities are allocated to the fee areas based on the level of effort associated with each fee area.

For example, the costs associated with the cargo inspection activity (which include the costs of providing the service, as well as the administrative and overhead costs associated with providing the service) are allocated to the commercial vessel, truck, railroad car, and aircraft fees based on the level of effort in each of those fee areas. This cost allocation approach avoids cross-subsidization (for example, cargo inspection costs do not get assigned to passengers or treatment users).

User fees require periodic adjustment to ensure they accurately reflect the cost of providing AQI services. These periodic adjustments occur via the rulemaking process in which APHIS publishes a proposed rule in the Federal Register to solicit public comments on the proposed fee changes. Each comment is carefully evaluated by subject matter experts and addressed in the final rule. When revising AQI user fees, APHIS considers a number of alternatives and selects the changes resulting in the smallest increase in user fee revenues while ensuring we safeguard against the entry of pests and diseases and cover the costs of AQI services. This approach also minimizes the use of appropriated funding and any impacts to U.S. output and employment.

Contact Us

APHIS AQI User Fee Policy

Cost and Fee Analysis Division

Local APHIS AQI-Related Questions

Contact the APHIS plant health director in your State or Territory.

APHIS Financial/Payment Information

For financial and remittance submission questions:

Accounts Receivable Team

AQI Accounts Receivable Team

Payment Mailing Address


P.O. Box 979044

St. Louis, MO 63197

Physical Mailing Address (Overnight Mail)


Attn: Gov’t Lockbox, P.O. Box 979044

1005 Convention Plaza | St. Louis, MO 63101

CBP Policy Questions

For U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) policy questions:

CBP’s Agriculture Program and Trade Liaison Process Resolution and Risk Management branch

CBP Agriculture Programs and Trade Liaison

CBP Financial/Payment Information

For CBP financial or payment information and help desk:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Revenue Division

Mailing Address

CBP-CUF & CBP-IUF, Attn: User Fee Team

6650 Telecom Dr., Suite 100

Indianapolis, IN 46278