Ginseng Dealer Permit

Who Needs One?

Any ginseng dealer who purchases ginseng collected in Tennessee with the intent to resale must obtain a ginseng dealer permit.

What Information Must I Provide?

Applicants must submit "Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Division of Natural Areas, Ginseng Dealer Registration and Permit" (Form CN-0639). Applications must be received prior to August 15 to be valid for the harvest season which begins on September 1. If an application is received on or after September 1, the permit issued for the application will take effect on the date of issuance. Applicants provide information about the dealer name, dealer’s agent, name of the business or organizations, and the dealer’s address. Applicants must have an approved permit and monthly purchase books before purchasing and selling any ginseng.

Form Description & Number

How Will My Application Be Processed?

Completed application forms and fee should be sent to the Division Natural Areas. A detailed review of the application is conducted, and the applicant is sent a copy of the approved permit and purchase receipts when the review is complete. The review process generally takes one week. The ginseng dealer permit expires on August 31 of each year and must be renewed. To renew the permit, a new application must be submitted along with the fee.

What Fees Are Required?

  • Permit Fee: $250

What Are My Rights and Responsibilities After the Permit is Approved?

The applicant is responsible for complying with the state laws governing ginseng harvest including harvesting only during the harvest season September 1 - December 31, collecting only plants with 3 or more leaves (prongs) and ripe (red) berries, replanting berries at the collection site, and obtaining landowner permission to collect. The ginseng dealer season is September 1 - March 31. Ginseng dealers must keep accurate records and submit Monthly Purchase Receipts of their purchases and an Annual Report of their purchases and sales to the Division of Natural Areas. To move ginseng out of the state requires an Export Certificate from a certifying official. Any ginseng dealer possessing ginseng at the end of the buying season (March 31) must obtain a Weight Certificate from a certifying official.

The ginseng dealer has the right to appeal any suspension, revocation and/or denial of their permit.

What Are the Division’s Rights and Responsibilities After the Permit is Approved?

The Division of Natural Areas is responsible for reviewing and maintaining data included on Monthly Purchase Receipts and Annual Reports. The Division has the right to revoke, suspend, or deny the issuance of a permit to any ginseng dealer who violates the state statutes or departmental regulations. Any person violating the provisions of the state statutes or departmental regulations is guilty of a misdemeanor and punishable under the general laws relating to misdemeanors.

Ginseng Certifying State Parks

Navigate to find your closest Ginseng Certifying State Park below. Click on the tree icon to see the park's name, address, and contact. 


Ginseng Export Certificate Replacement Policy

Dealers are required to retain clear copies of all documents related to ginseng purchases, sales and exports for at least three years. While a rarity, an American Ginseng Export Certificate may become lost or destroyed. Identified reasons for document loss include: Lost in transit or shipment, Natural or man-made disasters, and Theft. A white copy of the American Ginseng Export Certificate is required in order for the ginseng to be exported out of the state and ultimately out of the United States. This policy documents the process to be followed in order to replace a lost or destroyed export certificate. 

Applicants may refer to the following publications for further information: