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Laws and Regulations

Our Laws and Regulations section provides federal, state, international laws and regulations, and declarations and reports relevant to invasive species. See our Spotlights for section highlights.

Note: Federal and state regulations are provided for educational purposes. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to. For confirmation and further explanation of specific regulations, contact the appropriate federal or state agency directly.
See also: Federal Laws and Regulations - Other Resources.

Use our Laws and Regulations Custom Search Engine to search for invasive species information included in this section of NISIC's site:

Federal Laws and Regulations

Covers congressional bills, executive orders, congressional hearings and testimonies, and other Federal legislative information.

State Laws and Regulations

Lists laws and regulations relating to invasive species for each state, as well as links to other sites with state legal information.

International Laws and Regulations

Describes international guidelines, agreements, treaties, and legal organizations on the global and regional level.

Declarations and Reports

Contains links to official declarations from organizations regarding invasive species, as well as related reports.

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Invasive Species: Major Laws and the Role of Selected Federal Agencies (Jan 17, 2017; PDF | 1 MB)
National Agricultural Law Center.
Congressional Research Service (CRS Report - R43258); prepared for Members and Comittees of Congress

Executive Order 13751-- Safeguarding the Nation from the Impacts of Invasive Species (Dec 5, 2016)

This order amends Executive Order 13112 and directs actions to continue coordinated Federal prevention and control efforts related to invasive species.

Service Acts to Prevent Harm to Native Wildlife from 11 Nonnative Species (Sep 29, 2016)
DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Injurious wildlife provision of the Lacey Act provides effective tool to halt the introduction and spread of species that have been identified as imminent and serious threats.

Building Consensus in the West: Developing a Model Legal Framework for Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination Programs
National Sea Grant Law Center.
Initiative of the Western Regional Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species (WRP). The goal of the WRP initiative is to develop a multi-state vision for watercraft inspection and decontamination (WID) programs. The National Sea Grant Law Center is an active participant in this initiative, providing legal research support and leading efforts to develop model legislation and regulations for WID Programs. Also see Invasive Mussels in the West: A Multi-state Collaboration (Oregon Sea Grant).

Salazar Announces Ban on Importation and Interstate Transportation of Four Giant Snakes that Threaten Everglades (Jan 17, 2012)
DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has finalized a rule that would ban the importation and interstate transportation of four nonnative constrictor snakes that threaten the Everglades and other sensitive ecosystems across the U.S. The final rule -- which incorporates public comments, economic analysis, and environmental assessment -- lists the Burmese python, the yellow anaconda, and the northern and southern African pythons as injurious wildlife under the Lacey Act in order to restrict their spread in the wild in the U.S. For more information, see Large Constrictor Snakes (scroll to view) from FWS' South Florida Ecological Services Field Office and What the Listing of the Four Constrictor Snakes as Injurious Means for People Who Own Snakes (Feb 13, 2012; PDF | 93 KB).

NAPPRA (Not Authorized Pending Pest Risk Analysis)
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Prevention is the key to keeping invasive plants out of our country! Effective Jun 27, 2011, APHIS established a new category of regulated articles in the regulations governing the importation of plants for planting, commonly known as the Q37 regulations (APHIS-2006-0011). This revision allows APHIS to maximize protection of U.S. agriculture from foreign pests that could enter this country while minimizing adverse economic and trade impacts.

Quarantine Q56 Regulations
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Effective Aug 16, 2007, APHIS implemented revised regulations pertaining to the importation of fruits and vegetables. Collectively, these regulations are commonly referred to as Quarantine 56 or the Q56 regulations. Overall, the Q56 revisions, which are now in effect, simplify and expedite APHIS' process for approving new imports and pest-free areas while continuing to allow for public participation in agency decision making. For additional information, see Questions and Answers on the Quarantine 56 Revision (Oct 2008; PDF | 45 KB).

Lacey Act
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
The 2008 Farm Bill (the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (PDF | 1.5 MB), effective May 22, 2008, amended the Lacy Act (the oldest wildlife protection statute in the U.S.). The amended Act now covers a broad range of plants and plant products, including timber deriving from illegally harvested plants. Import declarations requirements became effective Dec 15, 2008; declaration enforcements of the requirements has been phased-in, beginning Apr 1, 2009.
Giant Hogweed(Federal) Noxious Weeds Program
USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.
Noxious Weed Regulations (Electronic Code of Federal Regulations; Title 7: Agriculture, Part 360): The following plants, seeds, or other parts capable of propagation are within the definition of a "noxious weed" under the Federal Noxious Weed Act of 1974 (7 USC 2802(c). Listed noxious weeds may be moved into or through the U.S. only under permit from the USDA Plant Protection and Quarantine programs, and under conditions that would not involve a danger of disseminating the weeds.
Northern Snakehead Injurious Wildlife
DOI. FWS. Fish and Aquatic Conservation.
See also: Injurious Wildlife: A Summary of the Injurious Provisions of the Lacey Act (Dec 2017; PDF | 401 KB)
Zebra musselNonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 (Dec 29, 2000; PDF | 259 KB)
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force.
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Last Modified: Aug 20, 2018
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