The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has announced a final rule that will significantly increase its Agricultural Quarantine and Inspection program user fees starting Oct. 1. APHIS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection jointly administer the AQI program, which assures that cargo and passenger baggage entering the U.S. is inspected for plant pests and potential sources of animal diseases that could affect U.S. agriculture, trade, and commerce.

According to APHIS, fees for the AQI program were last updated in 2015 and no longer generate enough revenue to cover the costs of AQI services given recent advances in the size and scope of commercial transport. For example, from 2010 to 2021 agricultural cargo imports grew more than 61 percent by volume, an average year-on-year increase of 4.5 percent, across all conveyance types, and workload per frontline APHIS employee increased 25 percent. In addition, dramatic changes in the size of conveyances (ships, railcars, and trucks) and the amounts they transport have resulted in more work being done with less funding because the AQI fees are tied to the number of conveyances arriving rather than the volume of cargo contained within them.

The fee increases are listed below. Other changes in this rule include (1) requiring monthly rather than quarterly remittances for the commercial aircraft fee, international air passenger fee, and international cruise passenger fee and (2) providing for electronic payments and statements.



New fee


Current fee





Commercial vessel (per vessel arrival)






Commercial truck (per truck arrival)






Commercial truck (annual fee)






Commercial rail (per car arrival)






Commercial rail (annual fee)






Commercial aircraft (per aircraft arrival)






Air passenger (per passenger arrival)






Cruise vessel passenger (per passenger arrival)






Treatments (per hour)

$237 (per treatment)






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