Domestic import, export, and transport of biological materials may require a permit or license from federal agencies prior to shipment. Researchers are responsible for submitting the application and obtaining the permit, and for following all packaging requirements (see Hazardous/Regulated Materials Transportation). The summary below is intended to help researchers determine whether the material being transported requires a permit or license. Most permits are issued to the individual, not to the institution. A copy of the permit must be attached to the package when it is shipped.

Biological Agents Infectious to Humans

The CDC Import Permit Program, or IPP, regulates the importation of infectious biological materials that could cause disease in humans in order to prevent their introduction and spread into the U.S. Materials requiring import permits include:

  • Infectious biological agents capable of causing illness in humans
  • Materials known or reasonably expected to contain an infectious biological agent
  • Vectors of human disease (such as insects or bats)

The regulations (42 CFR § 71.54) require that anyone wishing to import infectious biological agents, infectious substances, or vectors must first obtain a permit issued by CDC. More information and application forms may be found on CDC’s website.

Agricultural Products, Plants, and Soil

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issues permits for the import, transit, and release of regulated animals, animal products, veterinary biologics, plants, plant products, pests, organisms, soil, and genetically engineered organisms. Permits are also required for import of biological reagents containing animal material (this includes tissue culture media containing growth stimulants of bovine origin such as calf serum). Import permits are issued to the individual, not to the facility. More information may be found on the USDA/APHIS website.

Export Controls

Guidance for exporting is handled by the UO Export Controls office. Please refer to the Export Controls website for information.

Other Permits

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues permits under various wildlife laws and treaties at different offices at the national, regional, and/or wildlife port levels. Applicable materials are listed on their website.