Publication 14 Revision: Prohibitions and Restrictions on Mailing Animals, Plants, and Related Matter

Effective August 21, 2014, the Postal Service™ is revising Publication 14, Prohibitions and Restrictions on Mailing Animals, Plants, and Related Matter, to update all sections to align with current mailing standards of the Postal Service and U.S. Department of Agriculture (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) and the Department of the Interior (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) regulations and statutes.

It is the intent of the Postal Service to incorporate, over the next few months, the content of Publication 14 into Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail, which will provide all mailing standards applicable to these materials into a single publication. Certain sections of Publication 14 pertaining to Quarantines have already been incorporated into the June 2014 issue of Publication 52.

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[Revise the title of Publication 14 to read as follows:]

Publication 14, Prohibitions and Restrictions on Mailing Plants, Animals, and Related Matter

Transmittal Letter

[Revise the first sentence of item “A” to read as follows:]

A. Purpose. This publication outlines the regulations for mailing plants, animals, and related products.***

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[Revise item “F” to read as follows:]

F. Effective Date. This publication is effective August 2014.

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1 Statement of Purpose

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Federal statutes impose restrictions and prohibitions on the mailing of fish, wildlife, plants, and products made from these, as well as plant pests, and certain protected fish, wildlife, and plants. The purpose of these restrictions and prohibitions is to protect agriculture, ecosystems, and natural resources in the United States.

This publication outlines pertinent provisions of the statutes and procedures for their administration and enforcement. This publication does not deal with restrictions and prohibitions provided in 18 U.S.C 1716 to prevent safety hazards that would be posed by the mailing of poisonous or otherwise dangerous animals. Those provisions are encompassed by Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail, section 5, available for reference at all Post Offices.

2 Terminal Inspection of Plants and Plant Products

21 Terminal Inspection Act

[Revise the first sentence of 21 to read as follows:]

The Terminal Inspection Act (7 U.S.C 7760) makes it unlawful for anyone to mail a package that contains a plant or a plant product to an address in a global state or territory maintaining inspection of such plant or plant product if the outside of the package is not marked with a statement that fully and conspicuously identifies the contents.***

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24 Inspecting Mail

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242 Inspection of Packages

[Revise the introductory paragraph of 242 to read as follows:]

Any package selected under subsection 241 is submitted to an agricultural inspector assigned to perform terminal inspections, or an officer of Fish and Wildlife Services, for application of the following procedure:

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[Insert new item 242c to read as follows:]

c. USDA may be limited in their inspection authority; however, The Endangered Species Act [16 § 1540(e)] states that authorized U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (and Treasury) personnel “may detain for inspection any package, crate, or other container including its contents, and all accompanying documents upon importation or exportation.”

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27 Quarantine and Inspection Information

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RIVERDALE, MD 20737-1228

3 Plant Pests

31 Mailing Restrictions

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Under the Federal Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701), any plant pest, the mailing of which does not conform to USDA regulation on the movement of plant pests, is nonmailable. Under 39 U.S.C 3015(b), any plant pest, the movement of which is prohibited by 7 U.S.C 7701 (no importation or interstate transportation except as permitted under USDA regulations) or by 7 U.S.C 7701 (no conveyance by mail unless in compliance with USDA regulations), is nonmailable.

32 Definition

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For the purposes of the Federal Plant Protection Act, the term plant pest means any living stage of any of the following that can directly or indirectly injure, cause damage to, or cause disease in any plant or plant product:

a. A protozoan.

b. A nonhuman animal.

c. A parasitic plant.

d. A bacterium.

e. A fungus.

f. A virus or viroid.

g. An infectious agent or other pathogen.

h. Any article similar to or allied with any of the articles described.

33 Regulatory Control

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USDA regulations governing the movement of plant pests within the United States are administered by the Plant Protection Quarantine (PPQ) Programs of its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) (see section 27 for address).

Movement of a plant pest is lawful if it complies with applicable USDA regulations. Pursuant to 7 U.S.C. 7701, those regulations may require that a USDA permit or a prescribed inspection certificate be obtained and accompany the plant pest to be moved.

Under USDA regulations, (see 7 CFR 330) when interstate movement of a plant pest is authorized, the package containing the pest must bear a label identifying the contents and evidencing the authorization. Similar labeling is required for any such package being moved into the United States by a foreign shipper.

34 Penalties

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Under 7 U.S.C 7701, anyone who moves or accepts delivery of a plant pest, when the movement is contrary to USDA regulations, is subject to a civil monetary penalty or, if done knowingly, to criminal penalties of fine and imprisonment.

4 Quarantines

41 Authorization

[Revise the text of 41 to read as follows:]

The Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C 7701) authorizes the USDA to quarantine all or part of any state, territory, or District of the United States when necessary to prevent the spread of a dangerous plant disease or insect infestation.

42 Prohibitions

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424 Mailing Exception

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***(see Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail),***

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a. The movement is permitted under conditions prescribed in the pertinent quarantines or in other applicable USDA regulations, under 7 U.S.C. 7701, governing inspection, disinfection, certification, and other conditions.

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425 Additional Mailing Prohibitions

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Under 39 U.S.C 3015(c), any plant, article, or matter is nonmailable if its importation or interstate shipment is prohibited pursuant to the Plant Protection Act.

43 Penalties

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432 Forged or Counterfeit Documents

Similar criminal penalties of fine and imprisonment are provided by U.S.C. 1716C as follows:

[Revise item 432a to read as follows:]

a. For anyone who forges or counterfeits any certification authorized by USDA regulations, and, concomitantly, by the regulations provided in Pub 52, with intent to make such certification appear genuine.

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5 Injurious Animals and Illegally Taken Fish, Wildlife, or Plants

51 Prohibitions

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512 Illegally Taken Fish, Wildlife, or Plants

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Under 16 U.S.C. 3372, it is unlawful to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase any fish or wildlife or plant taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any U.S. law, treaty, or regulation or any Indian tribal law. It is also unlawful to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce any fish or wildlife or plant taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any State or foreign law.

The term fish or wildlife includes any wild animal (whether alive or dead) such as a wild mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish, mollusk, crustacean, arthropod, coelenterate, or other invertebrate, whether or not bred, hatched, or born in captivity, including any part, product, egg, or offspring of such wild animals.

The term plant means any wild member of the plant kingdom, including roots, seeds, parts, or products thereof, including trees from either natural or planted forest stands (except common food crops and cultivars), that (1) are indigenous to any State (including the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and any other United States territory or possession), and (2) are included in specified state or international lists of endangered species.

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514 Information on All Other Prohibitions and Restrictions

[Revise the address listed in 514 to read as follows:]

4401 N FAIRFAX DR, MS-LE-3000

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53 Penalties

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***16 U.S.C 3373 provides civil and criminal penalties for prohibited conduct.***

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7 Enforcement

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72 Hawaii and Puerto Rico Mailings

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As provided in ASM 274, law enforcement officers are authorized to examine mail without a search warrant at its respective point of origin in Hawaii or Puerto Rico, if these three conditions are met:***

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We will incorporate these revisions into the next online update of Publication 14, which is available via Postal Explorer® at