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Integrated Pest Management

APHIS Procedures for Hand-Carrying Biological Organisms

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service-Plant Protection and Quarantine (APHIS-PPQ) on December 15, 2005, rescinded the prohibition on hand-carrying biological organisms and other germplasm, the bonded carrier requirement, and the requirement for inspection at the APHIS-PPQ inspection facility in Beltsville, MD. Current permit holders must request an amended permit from APHIS-PPQ to hand-carry biological control agents (or other organisms) from their place of origin to any port of entry into the United States, and then hand-carry the organisms to any APHIS-approved quarantine facility within the country.

APHIS-PPQ will amend existing permits that specify "No hand-carry" after proper arrangements are made with U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Customs and Border Protection (CPB) port staff (to verify the hand-carrier is listed on the permit) and with the responsible person at the approved quarantine facility indicated on the permit (to verify proper delivery and content). For the process to work smoothly, the traveler must have a permit from APHIS-PPQ that specifically authorizes hand-carry.

The APHIS-PPQ permit unit will work with other federal agencies such as CPB to ensure smooth movement through the port of entry. APHIS is close to a public release of "ePermits," their new Web-based permitting system. For new permits issued under ePermits, hand-carry authorizations will be approved according to arrangements indicated above. Contact PPQ Permits, Registrations, Imports, and Manuals at their general office number (301-734-8646) or by e-mail for more information. Specific questions on biological control permitting should be addressed to the following:


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