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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Import Permit Program (IPP) regulates the importation of infectious biological agents, infectious substances, and vectors of human disease into the United States. Prior to issuing an import permit, IPP reviews all applications to ensure that entities have appropriate safety measures in place for working safely with these imported materials.

Inspecting Permittees. IPP may inspect applicants to ensure that the facilities have implemented the appropriate biosafety measures for the infectious biological agent, infectious substance, or vector to be imported.

Working with Federal Partners. IPP also collaborates with CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, which is also charged with preventing the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the United States and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Other Permits

  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) permits are required for infectious agents of livestock and biological materials containing animal material. Tissue culture materials and suspensions of cell culture grown viruses or other etiologic agents containing growth stimulants of bovine or other livestock origins are controlled by the USDA due to the potential risk of introduction of exotic animal diseases into the U.S. Further information may be obtained by calling the USDA/APHIS at (301) 734-7834 (see
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permits are required for certain live animals, including bats. Please call 1-800-344-WILD for further information (

Exports of Infectious Materials

The export of a wide variety of etiologic agents of human, plant, and animal diseases may require a license from the Department of Commerce. Information may be obtained by calling the Department of Commerce Bureau of Export Administration at 202-482-4811 or through the internet at:

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