Back-Catering Frequently Asked Questions

Last Modified: May 09, 2024
  • Those interested in applying for a regulated garbage compliance agreement for back-catering, must submit an ink-signed cover letter (example cover letter) along with additional information requested below, as applicable.   
  • APHIS Regulated Garbage Compliance Agreement Approval Template: ( 
  • A Regulated Garbage Compliance Agreement is required for each individual United States (US) Airport you’re flying into.  For example, if flying into Florida, you must apply for each airport in Florida that you will enter (e.g. Miami, Orlando, Tampa, etc.).  

Along with the USDA-APHIS Regulated Compliance Agreement, you will need to submit a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) detailing how you will adhere to your obligations (Box D of the APHIS Regulated Garbage Compliance Agreement, page 8).  These include that the arriving aircraft must, at a minimum:

  • Depart the United States within 3 hours of the time of arrival
  • Depart from the US airport at which it arrived, directly to a foreign destination
  • Maintain unopened meals in tamper-proof (breakable seal) compartments
  • Maintain separation between unopened meals and regulated garbage at all times
  • Ensure that meals are not removed from the conveyance for any reason

Yes, you must use a US address for the application.  

  • Check the Back-caterer box (page 5)
  • All sections of box A (pages 5-6)
    • Answer “Yes” to questions 1, 5(a,c,d), 11,12
    • Answer “Yes or No” to questions 2,3
    • Answer “N/A” to questions 4, 5(b), 6,7,8,9,10,13
  • All sections of box D (page 8)
  • All other boxes (B,C,E,F,G) should be checked N/A if applying only for back-catering. 



No, they must apply for back-catering.  Use the Regulated Garbage Mailbox to initiate this process (