You may need a U.S. Department of Agriculture permit and/or a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention permit to import biological specimens including bacterial cultures, culture medium, excretions, fungi, arthropods, mollusks, tissues of livestock, birds, plants, viruses, or vectors for research, biological or pharmaceutical use.
Permit requirements are located under “Permits” on the USDA Web site. CDC permit information can be found on the Etiologic Agent Import Permit Program page.
EHS Cheat Sheet for Permitting of Biological Materials [PDF] and Intent to Ship Biological Materials Form [PDF] are found at the EHS website. Their webpage about Shipping Biological Materials and addresses the range of biological imports that need permits.