Frequently Asked Questions

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Do I need a USDA permit?
Your imported shipment may require a USDA permit if your product contains ingredients derived from plants or animals.  Some ingredients in highly processed products do not require a USDA permit for import. But the majority of plant- or animal-derived ingredients do require a permit. It is better to apply for a permit and receive a Letter of No Jurisdiction than to have a shipment delayed or rejected for lack of a proper permit.

How long does the process take?
Successfully obtaining a USDA permit can take 1-6 weeks.  This depends on the complexity of the product and the ingredients involved.  Some applications require significantly more correspondence with USDA than others. Expedited applications can take less time, but they are more expensive to obtain.

Can my permit be revoked?
If USDA discovers that the terms of a permit are being violated – that someone is offering product for importation into the US under a false permit, or offering for importation a product that does not meet the requirements of the applicable permit – then USDA can revoke the permit. 

How long will my permit last?
VS permits are valid for twelve months from the issue date and they can be renewed annually.  PPQ permits are valid for five years from the issue date and they can be renewed when they expire. 

What if my product, formulation, or manufacturing methods change?
If any of the information upon which the permit was issued changes during the period of the permit’s validity, then the permit must be amended.  The amendment process is similar to the process for obtaining the original permit.

What if I can’t obtain the health certificates?
USDA permits are not valid without the health certificates required by the terms of the permit.  If you cannot obtain the required health certificates, then USDA has the authority to refuse your shipment and revoke the permit. Our team at can help you obtain the necessary health certificates from the relevant foreign government authorities.

 Get Your Permit