USDA-APHIS is charged with several critical tasks relating to Imports and Exports, including:
- facilitating international trade
- monitoring the health of animals’ presented at the border
- regulating the import and export of animals, animal products, and biologics
APHIS’ mission is to safeguard the health of our nation’s agricultural resources. Our many animal health experts work closely with other federal agencies, states, foreign governments, industry and professional groups, and others to enhance international trade and cooperation while preventing the introduction of dangerous and costly pests and diseases.
APHIS restricts some animals and animal products from entering the United States because of the animal health situation in the region of origin. In general, restrictions based on the APHIS-recognized animal health status of the region are issued through the regulatory process. A region can be (a) a national entity (country); (b) part of a national entity (zone, county, Province, State, etc.); (c) parts of several national entities combined into an area; or (d) a group of national entities (countries) combined into a single area. The following link provides a list of the USDA-recognized animal health status of particular countries and regions, organized by specific livestock or poultry diseases.
In addition to restrictions issued through the regulatory process, APHIS imposes temporary trade restrictions administratively as outbreaks occur to:
- To immediately establish interim restrictions on importation of some animals and animal products to the United States from regions reporting sporadic outbreaks of animal diseases while information related to the outbreaks is collected.
- To impose restrictions based on zoning arrangements with foreign regions when control zones are established due to disease detection in these regions.
The following link provides access to a list of regions under temporary restrictions and the restrictions applicable to each region.
There are many different processes involved with importing animals and animal products into the United States. Click on the links below to learn more about these processes, including the guidelines and regulations, permits and certification, and associated user fees.
- Live Animals (includes semen, embryos…)
Live Animals: If you have any questions, or require further information related to imports or export of live animals, birds or germplasm, please contact National Center for Import and Export at (301) 851-3300 option 2 or e-mail
Feed, Water and Rest Stations: This page provides the addresses and contact information for all ficilities in the U.S. reguarding feed, water and rest stations of animals.
- Animal Products
- Animal Products that Do Not Require an Import Permit (Guidelines)
Animal Products: If you have any questions, or require further information related to imports of animal products or by-products, please contact National Center for Import and Export at (301) 851-3300 option 1or e-mail AskNIES.Products@aphis.usda.gov.
Find an Approved Establishment: This database contains information on establishments approved by the USDA to: perform taxidermy on hunted trophies, mount trophies ,store and/or process restricted materials, display restricted materials (museums), and irradiate restricted materials.
Animal Product Manual: Provides the background, procedures, and regulatory actions to enforce the regulations governing the import and export of animals, animal products, and animal by-products.
Disclaimer of Liability: In using the Animal Product Manual on this web site, the U.S. Government neither warrants nor assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information or procedure disclosed. The primary purpose of this manual is to serve as a regulatory tool for officers. It is only posted for public access as a reference. It is not the intention of Plant Protection and Quarantine to provide specific regulatory advice, but rather to provide the public with information to better understand the regulatory processes for regulating meat and other animal products and by-products. The changing disease status of other countries and constant flux of import regulations, make it impossible to validate every piece of information in this manual. All of the information available in this manual is within the public domain. Therefore, such information in the manual may be freely downloaded and reproduced.
- Organisms and Vectors
- Biologics Import Requirements: View the process for obtaining an import permit for biologics.
- Pets See our pet travel website.
- Stakeholder Alert for Revisions to Guidelines for Importation 1122 Vitamins and Minerals
- Stakeholder Alert for Non-permitting of Low Risk and Exempted Animal Origin Ingredients and Products
- APHIS VS List of Low Risk and Exempted Animal Origin Ingredients and Products
- Stakeholder Import Alert: Change to VS policy for the Importation of Human and Veterinary Pharmacueticals approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- State requirements and regulations to import an animal or animal product into each U.S. state and territory
- Stakeholder/Import Alert: Change to VS policy for the Importation of Lactose and Lactose Derivatives
- Ruminant Hides from Mexico. (pdf 25kb)
- Commercial Importation of Poultry and Poultry Products from Canada (pdf 16kb)
- APHIS Regulations for Importing Shell Eggs (pdf 99kb)
Animal Products Permitting and Negotiation Services (APPNS) Newsletter