Import Permit Program (IPP)

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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. The program ensures that the importation of these agents is monitored and that facilities receiving permits have appropriate biosafety measures in place to work with the imported agents.

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)

[See Do I need an import permit? for more information.]

These items may be imported into the U.S. for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Outbreak surveillance
  • Research and development of diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics
  • To benefit from unique laboratory testing available in the U.S.
  • To support research to better understand the potential threats posed by these agents

Regulatory authority for the program is given to the Secretary of Health and Human Services through the Public Health Service Act, which allows for the development and enforcement of regulations to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable disease from foreign countries into and throughout the U.S. or its possessions. 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.

For more information on the program, please click here.

For instructions on how to apply for an import permit, click here. Note that an inspection may be conducted before a permit is issued, in order to ensure the applicant’s facility has appropriate measures in place to minimize the accidental release of biological agents capable of causing human disease.

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Contact Us

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Import Permit Program
1600 Clifton Road NE, Mailstop A-46
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 404-718-2077
FAX: 404-471-8333
Email: importpermit@cdc.gov

Page last reviewed: June 5, 2019