Import of Materials
Frequently, research overseas involves the collection of biological or organic specimens and possible import of those specimens back into the U.S. It is important the researchers understand that the collection of specimens overseas will require the permission and approval of local and/or national governments to collect specimens legally. Specimens may include both animal or plant species, but also soil samples, water samples, etc. Please make sure to gain all collecting permits from foreign governments that may be needed prior to collecting any specimens overseas.
In additional to collecting permits for specimens in foreign countries, to bring those specimens back to the U.S. potentially numerous state and national government permits may be needed. Agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture(USDA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, or U.S. Customs Agency may have oversight of imports of specimens. In addition, the State of California will have restrictions on importation of specimens to the state. For more information on importing biological, animal, plant, and organic specimens into the U.S. please go the following links:
USDA Import/Export Information:http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/index.shtml
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:http://www.fws.gov/le/ImpExp/Info_Importers_Exporters.htm
U.S. Customs and Border Control:http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/trade/basic_trade/
CA State Dept of Fish and Game:http://www.dfg.ca.gov/