Importing & Exporting Parrots

fws logo To learn about moving parrots into and out of the United States, and learn about obtaining CITIES permits, visit the Fish and Wildlife Service site.Each country has different rules and regulations, most of which comply with the international anization Council On International Trade In Endangered Species (CITIES). In many cases you will need to obtain permission from the country you are visiting before the US will issue an export permit. From this site you can link to CITIES directory of management authorities for contacts in other countries.

Almost all of the species of parrots have been placed on the CITIES "protected species" list, also known as "appendix two". Instead of keeping track of all 360 plus species separately they categorized all of them as needing protection. In fact, most do not need protection at this time, and many are considered pest species in the home range. Any animal listed on appendix two needs a CITIES permit to cross country lines. As apposed to a dog which can cross country borders without CITIES permission.

In addition to CITIES there is the US Endangered Species List. There are a few parrots on this list that will require permits to move across state lines. The golden conure is an example. In captivity this species is prolific but due to the permit process most of them reside in just a few states.

The Dept. of Fish & Wildlife does the processing on CITES permits. There is a $95 fee each time you enter the country with a CITES permit animal. Both Canada and US issue one-time or multiple use permits, multiple use are good for about three years.

Each time you enter the US you must clear the Dept of Fish & Wildlife with a CITES permit and you must clear the USDA with a visit to the port veterinarian. Visits to the port vet must be arranged in advance. USDA veterinarians do not work weekends or holidays.

Canada Customs 888-226-7277
Canada Customs & Revenue Agency
Canadian Food Inspection Agency

The Basic Import / Export Process for Parrots When you are ready to ship and standing at the USDA airport inspection station, you will need:

  • An appointment
  • A parrot
  • A pet carrier
  • USDA health certificate
  • CITIES certification for each parrot
  • Airline reservation

All parrots except cockatiels and parakeets are listed on the CITIES appendix two list as threatened species. Because of this status parrots need a CITIES certification to be moved from one country to another. Once a parrot has CITIES certification, the paperwork should be valid in all countries.

CITIES is a world wide organization and not directly associated with the USDA. Each country has their own office to process CITIES certifications. The CITIES certification is processed through the Division of Management Authority in the Fish and Wildlife Department in the US. They can be reached at 800-358-2104. This is the most difficult and time-consuming part of the process and should be started first.

As a shipper you must become registered with the US government by obtaining a "license to do business" importing and exporting wildlife. This is not difficult. It is also possible to hire a professional shipper, with a license, to ship the parrot.

Most veterinarians can supply a USDA health certificate. Some veterinarians have the USDA health certificates on hand and know what to supply to fulfill the requirements. If your vet does not, the information can be obtained by calling the USDA.

Flights need to be scheduled through one of the airports that has a USDA inspection station. Notify the inspection station of flights so the inspector can schedule to be available to inspect animals before they go on the plane. Some airports have an inspection facility on premises. Others are located away from the airport and will need a longer period to inspect the animals.

Standards exist for carriers used to transport parrots internationally. Your airline will be able to give you the requirements.

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