What should I do with permits once I receive them?
Updated October 14, 2015
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Getting BRS courtesy or standard permits

You will receive an e-mail shortly after you submit an e-permit application confirming that the application was received. Most courtesy permit applications for importing non-regulated items are reviewed within two to three working days. Standard permit applications for importing regulated items may take longer to review. You will then receive an e-mail directing you to the epermits site where the permit can be downloaded or printed out (see example of a courtesy permit).

If you are issued a courtesy permit, you will receive another e-mail immediately providing you with a Letter of No Jurisdiction (see example) and shipping instructions.

If you are issued a standard permit, shipping labels and instructions will sent as a pdf file attached to an email message. APHIS announced in September 2014 that it was transitioning away from gummed paper shipping labels delivered by courier.

Using BRS courtesy permits with Letters of No Jurisdiction

1. E-mail a copy of the courtesy permit, the corresponding Letter of No Jurisdiction and shipping instructions to the person sending you flies.

2. Have your colleague address the shipment directly to you using the address on the courtesy permit.

3. Include a standard customs declaration listing the contents as "Drosophila melanogaster. Live insects for research. See attached USDA import permit."

4. Include the permit and the Letter of No Jurisdiction in a plastic pouch on the outside of the package. Place an additional copy of each document inside the box in case the pouch is accidentally removed.

Using permits with shipping labels

1. If you have been issued a standard permit and BRS has sent shipping labels as a pdf file, then you can e-mail these documents to the person who will ship the flies. If, however, you have an older permit issued with paper shipping labels, you must mail a copy of the permit and the corresponding shipping label to the person sending you flies. Scanned copies of paper shipping labels are not permitted.

If you have an older courtesy permit with paper shipping labels, you can mail a copy of the permit and a label to the person sending flies to you and follow the directions below, or you can request a Letter of No Jurisdiction and follow the instructions in the previous section. (Also see How should I use old courtesy permits issued with mailing labels?)

You may also find it useful to send the shipping instructions provided by BRS to the person sending you flies.

2. Have your colleague address the shipment to the USDA inspection station shown on the shipping label. Urge your colleague not to address the package directly to you. (If a package enters the U.S. at the wrong port of entry because it was addressed incorrectly, it cannot be transported interstate to the appropriate inspection station. It will be returned to the sender.)

3. Include a standard customs declaration listing the contents as "Drosophila melanogaster. Live insects for research."

4. Include a copy of the permit in a plastic pouch on the outside of the package and a copy enclosed in the box.

5. Either you or your colleague must cover the costs of two shipments: from sender to inspection station and from inspection station to you. Either international mail or a courier service can be used to get a package to the inspection station--though many couriers require senders to have special contracts for shipping animals, so international mail may be the only option. A completed waybill (i.e. a courier delivery form with your address and account number filled in) should be enclosed for shipping from the inspection station to you. APHIS inspection stations are accustomed to working with FedEx, so we recommend this option for delivery within the U.S.