Import

Pesticides

EPA's definition of pesticides is broad; often misunderstood to refer only to insecticides, the term pesticide also applies to herbicides, fungicides, and various other substances used to control pests. more

EPA regulates pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). FIFRA section 17 governs the import of pesticides into and the export of pesticides from the United States.

Importing and Exporting Pesticide Products

EPA regulates both the import and export of pesticides. All pesticides which are intended to be used in the US must first be registered with EPA prior to import. All registered pesticides which are exported to other countries must bear the product label approved by EPA; for those unregistered pesticides which are exported, exporters must meet the requirements of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Section 17(a) related to foreign purchaser acknowledgement statements, export notification and labeling. The US is a signatory to the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, which controls trade in banned and severely restricted pesticides. Ratification activities are underway; once ratified, the PIC Convention requirements may affect the existing export procedures for listed substances.

Pesticides and Devices Intended for Export

Pesticides intended solely for export are not required to be registered provided that the exporter:

  • Obtains and submits to EPA, prior to export, a statement from the foreign purchaser acknowledging that the purchaser is aware that the product is not registered in the United States and cannot be sold for use there. EPA sends these statements to the government of the importing country.
  • Must be labeled "Not Registered for Use in the United States"
  • Meet certain minimal labeling requirements, and must have certain labeling language in English and in the language(s) of the imported country(ies)
  • Comply with FIFRA establishment registration and production reporting requirements
  • Comply with FIFRA record keeping requirements

Notes:

  1. The enforcement policy for exports is codified at 40 CFR 168.65, 168.75, and 168.85.
  2. Regarding pesticide export labeling, until a direct final rule is complete, No Action Assurance (NAA) is in place. Pursuant to this NAA, EPA will not enforce for violations of the pesticide export labeling requirements found in 40 CFR Part 168, Subpart D solely for pesticides exported on or after January 21, 2014, subject to very specific conditions and limitations (see NAA).
The Pesticide Registration Kit is available online. This kit contains links to necessary registration forms, as well as to pertinent Pesticide Registration (PR) Notices, Federal Register Notices, contact lists and other information.

Importation of Pesticides and Devices

All pesticides and devices imported into the United States must:

  • Comply with U.S. pesticide law
  • Be registered with EPA (see information box on right), except where exempted by regulation or statute,
  • Not be adulterated or otherwise violative,
  • Properly labeled,
  • Produced in an EPA-registered establishment that files annual reports with the Agency

The company must:

Pesticidal devices are regulated under FIFRA. To find out which devices are covered and the specific rules, Click Here.
  • Notify EPA of the arrival of imported pesticides and devices through the Notice of Arrival form (EPA Form 3540-1) (PDF, 935 KB, 2 pages) prior to importation
  • Submit the form to the EPA regional office applicable to the intended port of entry

Note: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulations prohibit the importation of pesticides without a completed Notice of Arrival (NOA). The NOA indicates the identity and amount of the product, the arrival date, and where the product can be inspected. The EPA-reviewed and signed form is returned to the importer for presentation to CBP's district director at the port of entry. After arrival, EPA may inspect the shipment for compliance with U.S. pesticide laws.

EPA issued the following policy documents on pesticide imports and exports:

Illegal Pesticide Products
EPA is on the lookout for illegal pesticide products.
  • Multilingual Labeling. Interpretive guidance in the form of questions and answers that is intended to assist in compliance with the EPA's February 18, 1993 policy (58 FR 9062) regarding the exportation of pesticides.
  • FIFRA Export Policy. Questions and answers on supplemental labeling, effective date, registration status for labeling purposes, foreign purchaser acknowledgement statements, and confidentiality.
  • FIFRA Export Policy. Questions and answers on research and development pesticides and active ingredient concentrations. This guidance addresses the issue of FIFRA applicability to exported research and development pesticides, and the effect of active ingredient concentrations on registration status. This guidance only addresses the obligations of exporters under the pesticides export rule, and is not intended to address legal obligations under any other rule or statute.

More Resources

EPA Registration Division. The Registration Division (RD) is responsible product registrations, amendments, registrations, tolerances, experimental use permits, and emergency exemptions for conventional chemical pesticides.

 



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