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  1. Home
  2. Border Security
  3. Protecting Agriculture
  4. Risk-Based Sampling At Ports of Entry

Risk-Based Sampling at Ports of Entry

Risk-Based Sampling at Ports of Entry (RBS POE) is a collaborative program between the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Together, our two agencies safeguard American agriculture, forests, and other natural resources from pests, diseases, and contaminants that potentially cause harm and economic injury to our native flora and fauna.

The RBS POE program represents a modern approach for enhanced risk management of agricultural commodities at the time of arrival into U.S. ports of entry nationwide.  The program has three goals:

  • Reduce inspections on low- risk commodities and move resources to high-risk commodities

  • Maintain or improve pest detection during inspection

  • Provide incentives to importers working with growers that are compliant with U.S. agricultural regulations

Under RBS POE, inspection frequency is a dynamic process, moving up and down a set scale, based on the agriculture compliance of entities within an importer’s supply chain.  This means importers who consistently source pest-free products may be eligible for reduced inspection, with more shipments moving swiftly through the entry process to consumer markets.  Conversely, importers of commodities where pests or diseases are discovered will see temporary increases in inspection frequency delaying entry to consumer markets.

Process for Risk-Based Sampling at Ports of Entry

Inspection frequency is pre-determined for RBS POE commodities.  After reaching a requisite number of consecutive, compliant shipments, importers are eligible for a reduction in shipment inspection frequency.  Discovery of a pest results in tightening, or an increased inspection frequency, and depending on number of shipments with pests or diseases, could result in a reset of inspection frequency to 100% of the importer or commodity shipments.  Therefore, the importance of sourcing foreign commodities for importation and working with growers to import compliant product is critical and directly linked to the inspection frequency model of the commodity.

RBS POE provides benefits to government, industry, and the American public.  Fewer government resources will be spent on low-risk agricultural commodities providing for additional resources to be dedicated to high-risk commodities which threaten our natural resources.  Importers with compliant and pest-free shipments will benefit by seeing a gradual decrease in inspections resulting in overall reduced costs and less time on hold at ports of entry.  Consumers benefit because importer expenses are lower, and commodities are fresher upon entering commercial markets.

Currently, only select commodities in the air, maritime, and land border cargo pathways are included in RBS POE.  Plans to expand RBS POE to new pathways, commodities, and ports of entry are underway.  When a commodity is included in RBS POE, all associated importers are automatically enrolled in the program and eligible for benefits.  However, to fully take advantage of the reduced inspection RBS POE program, importers, brokers, and other industry partners must be active participants, ensuring the following information is accurate and consistent on each shipment:

  • Entry and entity (broker, importer, grower, etc.) and contact information are submitted properly, and on-time

  • Core/Partner Government Agency (PGA) message set data should include manufacturer and grower

  • Regularly review the foreign supply chain, and where possible, implement measures to ensure shipments are pest and disease free


In order to obtain the maximum benefits from RBS POE, entity information, such as importer, grower, and manufacturer, must be submitted on the entry and in the associated PGA message set, accurately and consistently, for example, spelling.  For any concerns with entities, please contact the RBS POE working group at

  • What is Risk-Based Sampling at Ports of Entry?

    RBS POE is a results-driven inspectional framework, which uses pest interceptions and other non-compliance events, to determine the rate of inspection for imported commodities.

  • Why is USDA and CBP taking the RBS POE approach?

    Not all agricultural commodities share the same degree of risk for pests, diseases, and contaminants. RBS POE is a results-driven strategy designed to maximize the effectiveness of port inspections allowing improved targeting and use of resources. This approach also provides trade entities with an incentive to import products without non-compliance issues, as they will receive fewer inspections and therefore delays at ports of entry.

  • Is RBS POE more effective than APHIS’ current inspection process?


    APHIS and CBP’s shared mission is to prevent the introduction of invasive pests and diseases and protect American agriculture. All inspection protocols have benefits and disadvantages.  APHIS and CBP perform data analysis studies on the RBS POE inspection results to gain insight on the program’s effectiveness in accomplishing our mission.  Compared to other inspection methods in use, RBS POE is as effective at protecting agriculture while also modernizing and streamlining the port inspection process and providing incentives for importers to import compliant commodities.

  • How does this benefit trade?

    RBS POE incentivizes entities importing commodities compliant with current pest and disease regulations administered by APHIS and CBP by reducing the number of overall inspections at ports of entry, reducing time and costs associated with the inspection process. Reduced inspections means that commodities regulated by APHIS, including perishable commodities, are delivered as soon as possible to the buyer.

  • How does trade participate?

    All associated importers are automatically enrolled into the RBS POE program for any commodities. Importers, brokers, growers, and other members of the trade industry are encouraged to be active participants in the RBS POE program. Submitted entry information, such as importer and grower, should be consistent and accurate, to include spelling. Inaccurate entry information may result in increased inspection frequencies.

  • How do we remain compliant with plant product import regulations?

    Trade entities remain compliant by importing commodities free of pests, diseases, and any other non-compliance issues administered by APHIS. Reviewing commodity supply chains and working with or choosing growers in foreign countries producing “clean” produce will expedite the inspection process and cause limited delays at ports of entry.

  • How are commodities determined to be eligible for RBS?

    Commodity eligibility is jointly determined by APHIS and CBP. Criteria for inclusion of a commodity are dependent on both agencies’ infrastructure, capabilities, and capacity to administer the commodities across air, maritime, and land border cargo pathways into the U.S. Plans are in progress to expand RBS POE to additional ports, commodities, and pathways.

  • Can I receive updates on RBS POE?

    Information on this website such as new program commodities will be updated as RBS POE develops. In addition, please join the APHIS Stakeholder registry to receive updates on RBS POE.

Pathway Commodity Country
Maritime Pineapple Costa Rica
Maritime Banana Belize
Maritime Banana Colombia
Maritime Banana Costa Rica
Maritime Banana Dominican Republic
Maritime Banana Ecuador
Maritime Banana Guatemala
Maritime Banana Honduras
Maritime Banana Nicaragua
Maritime Banana Panama
Maritime Banana Peru
Maritime Plantain Belize
Maritime Plantain Colombia
Maritime Plantain Costa Rica
Maritime Plantain Dominican Republic
Maritime Plantain Ecuador
Maritime Plantain Guatemala
Maritime Plantain Honduras
Maritime Plantain Mexico
Maritime Plantain Nicaragua
Maritime Plantain Panama
Maritime Plantain Peru
Maritime - NY/Newark Only Carrot Israel
Air - Miami International Airport Only Blackberry Guatemala
Air - Miami International Airport Only Rambutan Guatemala
Land - Southern Border Only* Broccoli/Cauliflower Mexico
Land - Southern Border Only* Broccoli/Cauliflower + Celery Mexico
Land - Southern Border Only* Celery Mexico
Land - Southern Border Only* Corn Mexico
Land - Southern Border Only* Date Mexico
Land - Southern Border Only* Lettuce Mexico
Land - Southern Border Only* Mushroom Mexico
Land - Southern Border Only* Papaya Mexico

*Southern Border ports include: Hidalgo TX, Laredo TX, Rio Grande City TX, Calexico-East CA, Otay Mesa CA, Nogales AZ, and San Luis AZ

For any comments or questions regarding RBS POE, please contact the RBS POE working group at

Last Modified: Mar 20, 2024