Traveling outside of the country? Don't Pack a Pest!

Plants for Planting

Always Declare Agricultural Items

Ask an Agricultural Specialist

Many plants may enter the United States from foreign countries, provided they meet certain entry requirements.

Entry requirements vary by plant, but the following requirements universally apply:

  • Plants and seeds must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate from the country of origin showing the plants meet entry requirements for the United States.
  • More than 12 plants may not enter in passenger baggage. Thirteen or more plants must be inspected by USDA personnel at the nearest plant inspection station. Plants requiring USDA inspection must be mailed directly to a plant inspection station.
  • Twelve or fewer plants will be inspected by CBP Agricultural Specialist at the first port of entry.
  • Twelve or fewer plants that are not prohibited and have no special restrictions do not need a USDA-issued import permit. Special restrictions apply to certain plants and may include requirements such as a permit, post-entry quarantine, treatment, or Endangered Species Act or Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora documentation.
  • Plant roots should be completely free from soil and other growing media. They should be bare-rooted (no soil or other growing media attached to the roots).
  • Select plants that look healthy. Plants must be free of pests, including disease symptoms and insect damage.
  • Wrap plants in damp newspaper or similar material to prevent them from drying out. Roots may be secured in a plastic bag.

United States Department of Agriculture Customs and Border Patrol Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services California Department of Food & Agriculture