Shipping Requirements for Importing Regulated Organisms Requiring Red and White Labels

Last Modified: February 10, 2024

Intrastate Movement

A PPQ 526 Permit is not needed for intrastate movement (movement within a state), unless the organism was originally moved into the state under a PPQ 526 permit and the permit requires Federal approval for further movement (listed as a condition in the PPQ 526 permit) or the organism is a Program Pest (i.e. currently under federal quarantine - when in doubt contact the PPQ permit unit). Please contact the PPQ permit unit if you have questions about federal quarantines for specific regulated organisms, telephone (301) 851-2357, Toll Free 866-524-5421, or email at

Interstate Movement

A PPQ 526 Permit is required for the interstate movement (movement across state lines) of any plant pest or noxious weed. Permits are required despite the distribution of the organism within the State.


A PPQ 526 Permit is required for the importation into the United States and territories of a plant pest or noxious weed. Permits are required despite the distribution of the organism with the United States.

Phytosanitary Certificates are not required for plant materials imported under a PPQ526 permit.

Shipping Requirements for Importing Regulated Organisms (Red and White Labels)

A shipping label is a tag that identifies an individual shipment. These labels direct the shipment to a designated port of entry or Plant Inspection Station (PIS) where shipments are then inspected and cleared by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and/or a United States Department of Agriculture (APHIS) inspector. The permittees permit will state in the conditions if a shipping label is required. 

Labels may be issued to the permittee for the importation of regulated articles. Such labels may contain information about the shipment's nature, origin, movement conditions, or other matters relevant to the permit and will indicate that the importation is authorized under the conditions specified in the permit.

Regulated organisms must be shipped in sturdy, escape-proof containers. Imported shipments must have an original, Red and White label (PPQ Form 599) attached to the exterior of each shipping package. Packages without labels on the exterior may be refused entry even if the labels are enclosed. These labels must be addressed to the (PIS) authorized under the permit. Each label is individually numbered with a distinctive barcode. The permittee must request the appropriate shipping labels at the issuance of permit. Shipping labels and detailed instructions for using the labels will be emailed to the permittee as an attached PDF to the email address on record. PPQ 599 shipping labels are only required for importation, not domestic movement.

Additional labels can be obtained through APHIS eFile. Simply log into APHIS eFile, navigate to My Activity and search for your permit. On the permit details page, view and download your labels in the Labels section. If you need additional assistance for red and white labels, please email:

PPQ Form 599 shipping labels require two waybills; one international waybill to direct the shipment to the PIS, and a domestic waybill that will direct the shipment to the permittee from the PIS. A domestic waybill should be placed inside the package. The shipper should place the first waybill on the outside of the package. The delivery address on the waybill must match the address of the PPQ Plant Inspection Station on the Red and White shipping label. If the addresses don’t match, the package may be refused entry by CBP. The information on the waybill will include the following: carrier account number or postage in order to forward the package from the PPQ PIS to the final destination. Your name, permit number, label number, delivery address, and telephone number of the permit holder for delivery following inspection.

Hand Carry

Permitted articles may be hand carried into the United States only if certain requirements are met. First, hand carrying must be requested in the application and authorized in the permit conditions. The permit conditions will list the specific steps that must be taken in order to hand-carry the articles into the U.S. The applicant may request that someone else be allowed to hand carry the organisms but the person must be identified on the permit. The authorized hand-carrier must follow the permit conditions pertaining the hand-carried shipment.

Additional Information