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Deadline for Earthworm Importers Extended: Act Now for Permit Application to Avoid Likely Setbacks

On June 8, we reported that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) division of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) announced a new policy requiring those who import earthworms into the United States to obtain a PPQ 526 pest permit and comply with rearing and shipping requirements.  

We now know that USDA’s new policy on importing earthworms will be implemented on October 1, in order to give importers more time to apply for and obtain permits. Importers can begin to apply for these now.

In speaking with USDA representatives, we have learned that this grace period is in response to the extensive feedback regarding USDA’s Stakeholder Registry Notice. USDA understands that the original due date of July 1 was set during the apex of the earthworm importing season and that this new policy will directly affect shipments across the world but most especially in Canada, where the bulk of earthworms imported into the U.S originates.  

We believe it is imperative for importers to begin their application process early. With the new policy taking effect in a few months, there could easily be a backlog in processing times. The sooner importers act, the better chances they have of complying by the given deadline.

USDA will post a revised Stakeholder Registry Notice indicating this grace period until October 1, 2022. Please check back here for updates. 

If you are importing earthworms into the U.S. or require assistance obtaining the required PPQ 526 permit, the attorneys and consultants at FDARegistry has the capacity to help navigate USDA’s, FDAs, and EPA’s requirements; we are uniquely situated to assist with earthworm importing. 

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