Kentucky Office of the State Entomologist

Export, Import and
E-permitting

Export
(Phytosanitary Certification)

If you ship any plant or plant products out of Kentucky, internationally or domestically, you may need a phytosanitary (phyto) certificate.

USDA ePermits

Permits are required for the importation, transit, domestic movement and environmental release of Organisms that impact plants, and the importation and transit of Plants and Plant Products under authority of the Plant Protection and Honeybee Acts.

Import

To import into the United States you must ultimately go through Customs and Border Protection. Depending on the commodity you would like to import here are some options to get you started:

Phytosanitary Certification

Do I Need A Phytosanitary Certificate?

If you ship any plant or plant products out of Kentucky, internationally or domestically, you may need a phytosanitary (phyto) certificate.

What is PCIT:
The web-based Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance and Tracking (PCIT) system allows you to create and submit applications for certificates to export commodities. You may also view the progress of your applications, print copies of your applications and final certificates, and create templates to simplify the application creation process.

How Do I Use PCIT?:
You must first have only a Level-1 eAuthentication account. The link is to a PDF file.
Feel free to print it out so that you have it available to refer to when going through the registration process.

More help is available at the PCIT SUPPORT page

Where Do I Submit My Applications on PCIT?:
Once registered you can send the applications to the KY: Lexington (State) Duty Station.

Where Do I Submit My Applications on PCIT if I am NOT shipping from Kentucky?:
You should contact your Federal or State Plant Regulatory Office for your state. They should be able to direct you to the correct person in your state to process your application(s).

Do I Have To Create a PCIT Account?:
You must create a PCIT account if you will be exporting on a regular basis. For those that may be exporting sporadically or maybe only one time, our office can create the application for you. You would need to fill out the PPQ Form 572 and email it to Carl Harper.

There is a charge for issuing a Phytosanitary Certificate, please call or write Carl Harper for the issuing fee.

Also, allow up to 7 - 10 days for processing. This includes:
*Completion of the other applications submitted prior to your submission; and
*Review of commodity/commodities being exported (speed of review is dependent upon the number of commodities listed for export); and
*Review of regulations in PExD, any import permits from the ministry of agriculture of the country exporting to, and any other eligible documentation required to certify the commodity/commodities; and
*Inspection of eligible commodities to be exported; and
*Any other item(s) required to certify the commodities listed for export; and
*Processing the application.

Email or call Carl Harper for actual processing times (which is typically a much quicker turn around time).

USDA e-Permit Application Process

"Do You Need A Permit?"

Permits are required for the importation into the U.S. and transit through the U.S. of regulated plants and plant products for consumption or propagation. Plant and plant product permits include plants for planting such as nursery stock, small lots of seed, and postentry; plant products such as fruits and vegetable, timber, cotton and cut flowers; protected plants and plant products such as orchids, and threatened and endangered plant species; transit permits to ship regulated articles into, through, and out of the U.S.; and controlled import permits to import prohibited plant materials for research.

The most common permit that our office deals with is the PPQ Form 526 Permit and if you want to import and/or move interstate plant pathogens, you may need one. All PPQ 526 permit applications are submitted to the destination states(s) for review. The PPQ staff process permits in the order they are received and recommend that you apply for your permit four to six months in advance. There are other permits that USDA issues and you can access those from their webpage as well. However, to apply for any permit you must create a user id and password through USDA's eAuthentication (USDA eAuth) website and use their ePermits website.

Why Do I Need A Permit?:
Permits are required for the importation, transit, domestic movement and environmental release of Organisms that impact plants, and the importation and transit of Plants and Plant Products under authority of the Plant Protection and Honeybee Acts.

How Do I Register To Use ePermits?:
ePermits uses a USDA-wide system for login called USDA eAuthentication. To use ePermits, you will need to register for an eAuthentication account with Level 2 access for most application permit types.

I am already registered through USDA's eAuthentication?:
If you have an USDA eAuth. user id and password, but only have an account with Level 1 Access; you will need log into your profile and apply for Level 2 Access.

If you have an USDA eAuth. user id and password, AND you have the Level 2 Access, you can submit your ePermit application by logging in to your USDA eAuth. account and following the instructions.

Importing a plant or plant product to the U.S.?

More In Depth Information

USDA's Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) regulates the importation of plants and plant products under the authority of the Plant Protection Act. PPQ maintains its import program to safeguard U.S. agriculture and natural resources from the risks associated with the entry, establishment, or spread of animal and plant pests and noxious weeds.

Permits are required for the importation, transit, domestic movement, including interstate, and environmental release of Organisms into the United States.

For the the plant and plant products that you plan to import there are certain criteria that must be followed. You can find out more about the different types of permits based on the commodity/commodities you intend to import into the USA.

Once you get the information you need to request a permit through ePermits by creating an eAuthentication Account.


To import into the United States you must ultimately go through Customs and Border Protection. Below is an option you may want to consider once you get all paperwork together and are ready to import your commodity!

For all commodities that you plan to import but are unsure of the import conditions listed in your permit. It is best to contact an Agriculture Specialist at the port your commodity would be entering into. The Agriculture Specialists work under the umbrella of Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

To find the port you can start with the Locate A Port Of Entry page on the CBP website. Click on the map or the drop down list to select the state the commodity would be potentially coming into from the foreign country. Again, if you know the exact port you are shipping to in the U.S.A. it is best to contact the Agricultural Specialist at that port.

APHIS plays a vital role in ensuring the free flow of agricultural trade by keeping U.S. agricultural industries free from pests and diseases and certifying that the millions of U.S. agricultural and food products shipped to markets abroad meet the importing countries' entry requirements. APHIS makes sure that all imported agricultural products shipped to the United States from abroad meet the Agency's entry requirements to exclude pests and diseases of agriculture.

Page Last Updated: October 9, 2020

Kentucky Office of the State Entomologist