If you have applied online for a permit from PPQ or BRS, you will receive an e-mail shortly after you submit the application confirming that it was received. You will also receive an e-mail once the permit is approved. The permit can then be downloaded or printed out from the ePermits or eFile website.
For BRS import permits, you will receive another e-mail with pdf files containing shipping labels and instructions.
For PPQ import permits, you will need to use the e-permits "My Shipments/Labels" feature to request shipping labels (PPQ Form 599). You can order them in multiples of eight. The labels will be shipped to you by courier.
Send a copy of the permit and a shipping label to the person who will ship the flies. You may e-mail the BRS documents, but you must send the PPQ paper shipping label by mail or courier. You may also find it useful to send the relevant shipping instructions from BRS or PPQ. (Note that each shipping label is numbered and may be used for only a single shipment. Reuse of a shipping label is strictly prohibited and will result in a shipment being destroyed at the inspection station. You should track the use of labels carefully! If you need more shipping labels, you can order them using the "Request more labels" link in your ePermits or eFile account.)
Have your colleague address the shipment to the USDA inspection station shown on the shipping label. Your colleague should not to address the package directly to you. (This is very important! 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.) Place the shipping label on the outside of the box.
Attach a standard customs declaration listing the contents as "Drosophila melanogaster. Live insects for noncommercial research."
Include a copy of the permit in a plastic pouch on the outside of the package and a copy enclosed in the box.
Either international mail or a courier service may 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). Either you or your colleague must cover the costs of shipping from the inspection station to you. A completed courier waybill (i.e. a courier delivery form with your address and an account number filled in) should be enclosed for shipping from the inspection station to you. USDA inspection stations are accustomed to working with FedEx, so we recommend this option for delivery within the U.S.
Using Letters of No Permit Required
A Letter of No Permit Required is used to import transgenic Drosophila melanogaster strains that do not fall into a nonroutine class (see Importation and interstate transportation of nonroutine transgenic Drosophila melanogaster strains) and may, with BRS approval, be used to import particular nonroutine strains.
E-mail a copy of the Letter of No Permit Required to the person sending you flies.
Have your colleague address the shipment directly to you using the name and address on the letter.
Have your colleague list the contents of the shipment on a standard customs declaration form as "Drosophila melanogaster. Live insects for noncommercial research. See attached USDA Letter of No Permit Required." Pointing out the USDA letter on the customs declaration form is the best way to prevent customs delays!
Include the Letter of No Permit Required in a plastic pouch on the outside of the package. Place an additional copy inside the box in case the pouch is accidentally removed.
What about "mixed" shipments needing multiple documents?
Because Drosophila strains can be imported under a standard permit from BRS, a standard permit from PPQ or a Letter of No Permit Required from BRS, it is important to know how to prepare shipments that include more than one kind of strain. The goal with mixed shipments is to get the package to an USDA inspection station without confusing anyone.
If any strain in the shipment requires a standard permit from BRS, have your colleague use the blue-and-white BRS shipping label and address the shipment to the USDA inspection station listed on shipping label (not to you). Do not use both a blue-and-white BRS label and a red-and-white PPQ label on the same box.
If a shipment contains nontransgenic strains (for which you received a PPQ permit) and routine transgenic strains (which can be imported under a Letter of No Permit Required), but no strains requiring a standard BRS permit, have your colleague use the red-and-white PPQ shipping label and address the shipment to the APHIS inspection station listed on shipping label (not to you).
Have him or her attach a plastic pouch to the box containing copies of all the documents needed for the strains in the box: standard permit(s) and Letter or No Permit Required. Also have her or him place copies of all the documents inside the box.
Have your colleague attach a standard customs declaration listing the contents as "Drosophila melanogaster. Live insects for noncommercial research." Do not mention the Letter of No Permit Required on the customs declaration.
Urge your colleague to enclose a list indicating which strains are being imported under each document to help inspection station staff sort through the strains.