Agricultural Quarantine and Inspection Program

Last Modified: Marzo 05, 2024

The Agricultural Quarantine and Inspection (AQI) program uses a system of safeguards to facilitate the safe trade of agricultural commodities and protect U.S. agriculture and natural resources from invasive plant pests and animal diseases. APHIS partners with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to carry out AQI activities at all U.S. ports of entry.

Why AQI?

Exotic fruit flies, wood-boring insects, foreign animal diseases, and other invasive pests can spread via global trade and travel. Infestations have staggering costs: billions of dollars lost in production and export markets, millions more for pest and disease management expenses, increased prices for food and other agricultural goods, and often serious damage to our native ecosystem.

At U.S. ports of entry, APHIS and CBP work together to identify and inspect for plant pests and animal diseases associated with the entry of conveyances and their associated cargo and international travelers and their bags. Our actions keep U.S. agriculture and natural resources healthy while keeping international trade and travel moving. Here are some examples of the AQI program's value and impact:

  • By stopping invasive pest threats at our borders, the AQI program protects America's nearly $1.3 trillion agricultural economy.
  • The AQI program makes the import of agricultural commodities possible. In fiscal year 2021, agricultural imports represented $163.3 billion in economic activity.
  • It also protects the sanitary and phytosanitary integrity of U.S. agricultural products and natural resource production, supporting U.S. agricultural exports valued at $172.7 billion in fiscal year 2021. 
  • The AQI program helps support and protect millions of jobs in agriculture and related industries, which represent approximately 10.5 percent of total U.S. employment.
  • It helps protect U.S. agricultural production valued at $389 billion.
  • The AQI program helps protect our Nation's natural resources from plant pests and diseases, including:
    • 823 million acres of forests and woodlands that produce over $200 billion in forest products every year.
    • National forests and grasslands that contribute approximately $14.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy and help to sustain an estimated 223,000 jobs in rural areas.
    • Urban forests and trees that can reduce energy used for heating and cooling by $5.4 billion every year while producing 67 million tons of oxygen.
    • 770 million acres of U.S. rangelands valued upwards at $21.2 billion for livestock forage, carbon sequestration, recreation, and general ecosystem services (such as enhancing plant and animal biodiversity and protecting grassland against development pressure).

What We Do

APHIS and CBP share responsibility for managing the AQI program.

CBP is responsible for port-of-entry inspection, including the pre-arrival analysis, inspection, and clearance of:

  • Commercial conveyances and their cargo arriving at U.S. ports of entry, including ships, trains, planes, and trucks
  • International passengers and their baggage arriving by air, cruise, rail, and bus
  • Preclearance of international passengers at ports of departure outside the customs territory of the United States
  • Private vehicles and their passengers at the borders
  • Pedestrians and their baggage crossing at land borders
  • Private aircraft arriving from international origins
  • Military aircraft and military vessels arriving from overseas
  • International mail and express courier shipments

APHIS is responsible for:

AQI User Fees

APHIS charges user fees for AQI services.

Learn more about AQI user fees