Bridge Collapse: USDA Provides Guidance to Importers of Agricultural Shipments Bound for the Baltimore Seaport

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is providing guidance to importers of agricultural shipments bound for the Baltimore seaport following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. At this time, cargo operations remain suspended at the Baltimore seaport.

Importers of agricultural shipments bound for the Baltimore seaport should follow this guidance:

  • Effective immediately, plant and plant products, including permits issued for the consignments of plant and plant products to the Baltimore seaport, will be allowed to arrive at all North Atlantic ports of entry (including Norfolk/Newport News, VA) for APHIS/ U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspection and/or clearance. While most of the permitted plant materials are already authorized to enter through various ports staffed with CBP Agriculture Specialists and APHIS plant inspection stations, importers who need assistance should call APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine program at 301- 851-2046.
  • Effective immediately, APHIS Veterinary Services’ (VS) animal product and animal by-product permits issued for the consignment of shipments to the Baltimore seaport will be allowed to arrive at all North Atlantic ports of entry for APHIS/CBP inspection and clearance. Impacted permits will not be amended at this time. Importers who have any questions should call VS at 301- 851-3300, or send an email to
  • Live animal imports regulated by VS and traveling to the United States under an import permit (to include germplasm and hatching eggs) must arrive at the port of entry specified on the import permit. If you have an import permit that specifies the Baltimore seaport as the port of entry for the shipment, please immediately contact VS Live Animal Import Permits at, or call 301- 851-3300, Option 2.

For APHIS Core Message Sets, filers should visit our website section on the different entry types and when to file, and especially review the section on entry type 61 (in-bonds). For help with the APHIS Core Message Set filing, please visit our website, send an email to, or call our Help Desk at 1-833- 481-2102.