The importation and interstate movement of soil including soil originating from Hawaii and U.S. territories is considered by APHIS to be an extremely high risk activity that requires a permit authorizing such movement. For this reason, a number of safeguarding measures will be implemented as part of the permit issuance process. The permit issuance process is determined by the volume and proposed treatment of soil indicated on the permit application. The process for obtaining a permit for movement of soil is initiated by submitting the completed PPQ Form 525-A online through ePermits, or if paper copy, send to: USDA/APHIS/PPQ/Permit Services, 4700 River road, Riverdale, MD 20737. Once an application is in the ePermits system, the review process is initiated.
3 lbs. or more - non-sterile soil, not including soil intended for extracton of biological organisms:
A permit is required to import or move non-sterile soil interstate from Hawaii, or the U.S. territories that will not undergo treatment at the port of entry into the U.S. Untreated soil from these sources may only be moved to an approved facility. If your facility is not already approved, you will be required to enter into a compliance agreement prior to approval of your permit. Therefore, up to three months may be necessary for review, processing, and approval of your permit application. Alternatively, an applicant may choose to receive soil in an already approved facility in their State. For additional information, see the Soil not treated at the Port of Entry web page.
Applications for soil movements from Foreign or Hawaii and the U.S. territories require a permit and compliance agreement and are processed as follows:
3 lbs or less for sterilization treatments at the port of entry:
Importation or interstate movement of non-sterile soil from all foreign countries, Hawaii and the U.S. territories that will be shipped in quantities of 3 lbs or less for sterilization treatments at the port of entry requires a permit for movement prior to the treatment facility, but does not require a compliance agreement for subsequent movement within the United States.
Applications for movement of 3 lbs or less of soil to a plant inspection station for sterilization treatment are processed by the Permit Unit, Riverdale, MD as follows:
For additional information, see the Soil for sterilization treatments at the port of entry web page.
All soil intended for extraction of biological organisms:
Please refer to the Apply for a PPQ Permit web page for a 526 application. A 525 permit application will not be accepted for this application.
If a permit is issued for soil samples to be treated at a Plant Inspection Station, a condition will specify that the applicant will need to request PPQ Form 508 Green and Yellow labels, and how to obtain them.
If a permit is issued for soil samples to be treated at the applicant's facility, the Permit Unit will mail the PPQ Form 550 Black and White labels to the applicant. A permit condition will specify how to obtain any subsequent request of Black and White labels.