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Compliance

Importing and Exporting Pesticides and Devices

IMPORTANT NOTICE

Filing Paper Notices of Arrival (EPA Form 3540-1) During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the coronavirus pandemic evolves worldwide, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) remains committed to its mission of protecting human health and the environment.  However, like many employers, the EPA has implemented risk-based policies and procedures based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to safeguard the health and safety of EPA personnel and minimize further transmission of the virus.  These include shifting to telework-based operations. This has necessitated adjustments to procedures normally conducted through the exchange of paper documents, such as the filing of some Notices of Arrival of Pesticides and Devices (NOAs/EPA Form 3540-1).

Upon entry of a shipment of pesticides or pesticide devices into the United States, and concurrent with the filing of the entry documentation, the United States Customs Border and Protection (CBP) must be in receipt of a signed paper EPA Form 3540-1 or its electronic equivalent via the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). Filings for most, but not all, entry types can be accomplished through ACE.  Normally, paper NOAs are mailed or delivered to the relevant EPA Import Coordinator at their respective regional offices via USPS or courier.  During the pandemic, the coordinators will have limited or no ability to receive documents through these channels. Therefore, they are accepting them via e-mail.  Please contact your regional coordinator for specific instructions.


EPA regulates pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). FIFRA section 17 Exit specifically regulates both the import and export of pesticide products and devices.  7 U.S.C. § 136o.

  • Exportation of Pesticides and Devices
    • Registered pesticides that are exported must bear labeling (or collateral labeling per 40 C.F.R. § 168.69) that is approved by EPA as part of its registration. For the requirements related specifically to the export of registered pesticides, see 40 C.F.R. § 168.69.
    • Unregistered pesticides. Pesticides intended solely for export are not required to be registered in the U.S. as long as the exporter complies with the labeling and other applicable requirements in 40 C.F.R. § 168.70 and 168.75, which in most cases will include the submission of a foreign purchaser acknowledgement statement (FPAS) to EPA. (Additional information on how to file an FPAS)
    • Pesticide devices that are exported must bear labeling (or collateral labeling per 40 C.F.R. § 168.69) compliant with 40 C.F.R. § 168.71.
    • Note that all exporters of pesticides, devices and active ingredients must also:
      • Keep records and permit inspections of those records in accordance with 40 C.F.R. part 169; and
      • Submit annual reports to EPA in accordance with 40 C.F.R. part 167.
  • Importation of Pesticides and Devices
    • Importers of all FIFRA-regulated pesticides and devices (including unregistered pesticides) must comply with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulations set forth at 12 C.F.R. §§ 12.110 - 12.117.
      • Unregistered pesticides may be imported only if the import meets the conditions of one of the specific exceptions in 40 C.F.R. § 152.30.
    • No imported pesticide or device may be adulterated, misbranded, or otherwise violative of FIFRA.
    • All imported pesticides and devices, including unregistered pesticides, must have been produced in an EPA-registered establishment (even when the production establishment is outside the United States) and labeled accordingly with that establishment number. The producer is responsible for submitting annual production reports to EPA. 40 C.F.R. § 167.20(a)(3).
    • Notice of Arrival of Pesticides and Devices (NOA). The CBP regulations implementing Section 17(c)(1) of FIFRA prohibit the importation of pesticides without a completed EPA Notice of Arrival of Pesticides and Devices (EPA NOA). As of September 30, 2016 (see Federal Register: Notice of Arrival for Importations of Pesticides and Pesticidal Devices), upon entry of a shipment of pesticides or pesticide devices into the United States, and concurrent with the filing of the entry documentation, CBP must be in receipt of the information required by the EPA NOA. The EPA NOA information may be submitted on paper using EPA Form 3540-1 or electronically via any CBP-authorized electronic data interchange system. Importers and their agents are encouraged to file their EPA NOA information well in advance of their shipment’s arrival at the port of entry to allow time for EPA review, any requests for additional information, and any necessary corrections.
      • For EPA NOA information submitted in paper form, EPA Form 3540-1 must have been signed by the appropriate EPA regional office for the state/territory where the shipment is to arrive and indicate any action to be taken by CBP with respect to the shipment. See the EPA Tips for Trade, link provided below, for a more detailed description of the filing options and instructions.
      • Under the electronic alternative, importers can submit the data required by EPA Form 3540-1 through the Partner Government Agency (PGA) Message Set and upload an image of the on-product market label (final printed label) that is on the product being imported into ACE’s Document Image System (DIS). ACE will complete a series of automatic checks to determine if there are problems with the information submitted and will issue electronic notifications to the importer. A successful filing through the PGA Message Set will trigger a “may proceed” message to CBP via ACE. Filings that do not pass the initial checks will receive a “reject” or “hold intact” notification. EPA staff may review and provide feedback directly to the importer, and the importer may correct the filing.
      • For more detailed information on the EPA NOA filing options and procedures and tips for preventing common filing errors, importers and their brokers may refer to the EPA Tips for Trade in Filing EPA Notices of Arrival of Pesticides and Devices.
  • Importing and Exporting Foods Containing Pesticide Residues

    EPA sets limits on how much of a pesticide residue can remain on food and feed products, or commodities. These pesticide residue limits are known as tolerances. Tolerances are set to protect you from harmful levels of pesticides on your food.

    Learn about how to find tolerance information.

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EPA has further information on international pesticide activities.

Regional Contacts for Questions Concerning Notices of Arrival (EPA Form 3540-1)