Importing Plants, Soil, Plant Pests, and Plant Products

The USDA’s Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) division regulates imports of plants, plant products, soil, and plant pests into the United States.  Plants and plant products include plants for planting, nursery stock, seeds, fruits, vegetables, timber, cotton, and cut flowers.

USDA PPQ import permits require an application from the importer that describes the items to be imported, their origin, destination, storage, intended use, and final disposition.  Often times a USDA PPQ import permit will be issued after the importer accepts certain conditions of import and use, which will vary be item, use, origin or destination.

Not all plants or plant materials require import permits, however the specific items are too numerous to list on this page.  The USDA offers guidance on the specific regulated plants, plant material, soil, and plant pests at the following links:

NC State’s Environmental Health and Safety department has published additional guidance on USDA import permits.

If the items you need to import are covered in one of the above categories, contact for instructions and assistance with the permitting process.  The application and approval process can take up to 30 days so plan accordingly and be proactive.