In 2006 an act was passed that basically made you get a permit (PPQ 526)Â if you wanted to import snails into the country or across state lines. Recently, it has been reported that the USDA plans to start enforcing this new permit. Does this mean you’ll need to apply for a permit? Not necessarily. The USDA clarifies and says “USDA may permit the movement of snails or slugs for research purposes, educational demonstrations in classrooms, zoos or laboratories, or for retail sales in the hobby trade.” However, it might be a good idea to ask to see if you’ll still need to apply for a permit. You can read the full verbiage below the jump.
Update:Jay contacted the USDA:Â “I received clarification from the USDA this morning – they are NOT currently applying the regulations to marine snails. However, the Dept. of Homeland Security has apparently been confiscating and destroying some shipments because marine snails are still listed in the regs. If anyone is having a problem with importing snails, they can apply for a ppq 526 form, and then USDA APHIS will respond with a letter of no jurisdiction which will apparently result in the DHS backing off.”
Under the authority of the Plant Protection and Honeybee Acts, a Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) 526 permit is required for the importation, interstate movement and environmental release of plant pests (plant feeding insects, mites, snails, slugs, and plant pathogenic bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.), biological control organisms of plant pests and weeds, bees, parasitic plants and Federally listed noxious weeds.
PPQ also requires a 526 permit for the importation and interstate movement of soil for the purpose of isolating or culturing microorganisms from the soil.Â If the organism is imported on/in host material, no separate permit is required for the host material if the host material is not intended for propagation.
PPQ is authorized to inspect shipments and/or facilities at any time to verify compliance with permit conditions. Â Receipt of a PPQ permit does not relieve the applicant from the obligation to comply with the regulations of other Federal, State, and local agencies (e.g., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the Environmental Protection Agency).