Transfer of biological and chemical material into or out of the USA may trigger the need for permits or licenses. A permit or license can be issued by U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Treasury, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS).

Any individual planning to transfer materials should work with the University to check the regulations
and, if necessary, apply for the appropriate license.

Material Transfer Agreement (MTA)

  • contract that governs the transfer of tangible research materials between two organizations, when the recipient intends to use it for research purposes. MTA MUST be in place before research materials are transferred from one lab to another.

Customs Brokers/Freight forwarders

*Priority World Wide does not handle shipments containing animal specimen or involved in animal testing.


U.S. Dept. of Commerce

CDC Import Permit Program

USDA Import/Export Permits

  • permits may be required to transport live animals, including bats and material from endangered species (VERO cells)

U.S. Fish and Wildlife

  • STATE-TO-STATE or IMPORT of material: permits may be required to move material known to transmit disease in livestock or poultry


See restrictions in place when shipping to China, Hong Kong, Russia, or Venezuela

Contact Export Controls in Research within the Office of Research Services for additional information on export control matters.