Contacting the PGQP

Last Modified: March 22, 2024

Our customers include any person, commercial company, state or federal government researcher, arboreta or repositories, and university scientists who wish to import plant parts for propagation of prohibited genera. Some of the material imported into the U.S. through PGQP is for public distribution and destined for conservation at the appropriate repositories in the National Plant Germplasm System. However, PGQP regularly processes proprietary plants, genetically modified plants (GMOs), and even noxious weeds for different importers. At the present time, PGQP is the only legal means for these scientists and companies to import propagative material of certain prohibited genera.

Each potential importer must contact the PGQP crop manager responsible for the specific crop and provide him/her with the name, address and phone number of the foreign contact and the cultivar names or plant designations for each desired introduction. The PGQP crop manager will send a request letter and the proper permits to the exporter to arrange for the importation.

PGQP crop managers have also provided importers who travel on collection trips with the proper permits before the trip. To a limited extent, PGQP has also arranged with APHIS and Customs & Border Patrol (CBP, DHS) for importers to hand carry plant material back to the U.S. and then ship the plant material to PGQP. However, hand carrying plant material is being discouraged by CBP and APHIS in the future. Travelers are encouraged to ship collected plant material from a foreign location to PGQP via international courier services.

Basic information about each introduction at PGQP is publicly available in the USDA-ARS Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) database. Each importer should search this database before requesting introductions to determine if the desired plant introductions are available from the appropriate crop repository or if they are already in quarantine at PGQP. The most complete and current information on the status of any accession at PGQP can only be provided by the appropriate crop manager.

Written correspondence, telephone and FAX inquiries can be made to:

Bldg. 580, BARC-East
9901 Powder Mill Road
Beltsville, MD 20705
Telephone: 301-313-9301
Fax: 301-504-6124

Before the application deadline, each PGQP crop manager operates on a "first come - first serve" basis. PGQP does not charge any fees for any of its services. Since facilities, personnel and resources are limited, a quota system has been developed to ensure that the workload does not exceed the program’s capacity. As the number of accessions scheduled for that year approaches the quota, the PGQP crop manager may ask importers to set priorities. PGQP can not guarantee that requests to import plant propagules received after the application deadline can be filled that year.

CropYearly CapacityApplication DeadlineReceipt Deadline
Bamboo100November 30February 28
Cassava20November 30February 28
Grass Clones100October 31January 15
Grass Seed20November 30April 1
Pome Fruits50September 30January 31
Potato Clones75May 31September 30
Potato Seed50May 31September 30
Rice Seed200October 31January 31
Small Fruits30September 30January 31
Stone Fruit Clones50September 30January 31
Stone Fruit Seed20June 1September 30
Sugarcane75May 31August 30
Sweet Potato30November 30February 28
Woody Ornamentals20November 30April 1