When any State shall provide for terminal inspection of plants and plant products, and shall establish and maintain, at the sole expense of the State, such inspection at one or more places therein, the proper officials of said State may submit to the Secretary of Agriculture a list of plants and plant products and the plant pests transmitted thereby, that in the opinion of said officials should be subject to terminal inspection in order to prevent the introduction or dissemination in said State of pests injurious to agriculture. Upon his approval of said list, in whole or in part, the Secretary of Agriculture shall transmit the same to the United States Postal Service, and thereafter all packages containing any plants or plant products named in said approved lists shall, upon payment of postage therefor, be forwarded by the postmaster at the destination of said package to the proper State official at the nearest place where inspection is maintained. If the plants or plant products (including seed) are found upon inspection to be free from injurious pests and not in violation of a plant-quarantine law or plant-quarantine regulation of the United States Department of Agriculture or of the State of destination pertaining to such injurious pests, or if infected shall be disinfected by said official, they shall upon payment of postage therefor be returned to the postmaster at the place of inspection to be forward  to the person to whom they are addressed; but if found to be infected with injurious pests and incapable of satisfactory disinfection or in violation of a plant-quarantine law or plant-quarantine regulation of the United States Department of Agriculture or of the State of destination pertaining to such injurious pests, the State inspector shall so notify the postmaster at the place of inspection who shall promptly notify the sender of said plants or plant products that they will be returned to him upon his request and at his expense, or in default of such request that they will be turned over to the State authorities for destruction.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to deposit in the United States mails any package containing any plant or plant product addressed to any place within a State maintaining inspection thereof, as herein defined, without plainly marking the package so that its contents may be readily ascertained by an inspection of the outside thereof. Whoever shall fail to so mark said packages shall be punished by a fine of not more than $100.
The United States Postal Service is authorized and directed to make all needful rules and regulations for carrying out the purposes hereof.
Section was formerly classified to section
166 of this title.
Section was enacted as part of the Agricultural Appropriation Act, 1916, and not as part of the Plant Protection Act which comprises this chapter.
1936—Act June 4, 1936, amended last sentence of first par. by changing introductory word “plant” to “plants”, inserting “(including seed)”, “and not in violation of a plant-quarantine law or plant-quarantine regulation of the United States Department of Agriculture or of the State of destination pertaining to such injurious pests”, “or in violation of a plant-quarantine law or plant-quarantine regulation of the United States Department of Agriculture or of the State of destination pertaining to such injurious pests,” and striking out the comma after “place of inspection”.
This section is popularly known as the “Terminal Inspection Act.”
Transfer of Functions
In first and third pars., “United States Postal Service” substituted for “Postmaster General” pursuant to Pub. L. 91–375, § 4(a),Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 773, set out as a note under section
201 of Title
39, Postal Service, which abolished office of Postmaster General of Post Office Department and transferred its functions to United States Postal Service.
Functions of all officers, agencies, and employees of Department of Agriculture transferred, with certain exceptions, to Secretary of Agriculture by 1953 Reorg. Plan No. 2, § 1, eff. June 4, 1953, 18 F.R. 3219, 67 Stat. 633, set out as a note under section
2201 of this title.
The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.
The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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