CITES (Endangered Plant Species)

Last Modified: March 29, 2024

The USDA is responsible for enforcing regulations specific to the import and export of plants regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) as well as the Endangered Species Act (ESA). 

If you are in the business of importing, exporting or re-exporting CITES or ESA regulated plants and plant products, USDA regulation 7 CFR 355 requires that you possess a valid USDA Protected Plant Permit. Importers of live plants and seeds must also obtain permits under the USDA's nursery stock regulation. CITES listed plants and plant products must enter the United States through a "Designated Port".

In addition to USDA permits, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issues export and re-export permits for CITES or ESA-protected plants leaving the United States. FWS also requires import permits for wild collected CITES Appendix l species.

There is a fee of $70.00 for the Protected Plant Permit. We require a check or money order made payable to Plant Protection and Quarantine.

Required Permit Applications

Frequently Asked Questions

It can take up to 30 days for a permit to be processed. Please apply 30 days before your first shipment arrives. 

You can apply online for a protected plant permit. 

No. The Protected Plant Permit is valid for two years and covers additional shipments of CITES/ESA material until the permit expires.

Contact Us


For questions about CITES (endangered plant species)


Phone: 301-851-2347

For questions about Protected Plant Permits or PPQ Form 621

CITES and ESA Permits