Import Live Animals

Import Live Animals

There are many different processes involved with importing different species of live animals into the United States. View the pages below to learn more about these processes, including the guidelines and regulations, permits and certification, and associated user fees.

Applicants may submit import permit applications to the National Center for Import and Export through the following mail address:

Live Animal Import Permits
USDA-APHIS-Veterinary Services
National Import Export Services
4700 River Rd. Unit 39
Riverdale, MD 20737

For faster service, importers (or other applicants seeking to import live animals, semen or embryos) may submit applications to the National Import and Export Services via a dedicated email address:

Online Submission Process for Live Animal Import Permits:  Importers with an existing Level 2 eAuthentication can now access ePermits to create and submit a completed application (VS Form 17-129) for an import or transit permit for APHIS-regulated live animals and their germplasm (genetic resources). For instructions on how to obtain a Level 2 eAuthentication authorization, and for additional information about electronic submissions, click here.  

Important Updates

Travel Advisory: Information for Travelers Who Visit Farms or Come Into Contact with Animals in Other Countries

U.S. citizens and international visitors who visit a farm or make contact with live animals in another country can unknowingly spread potentially devastating animal diseases. Learn more

2016 APHIS/ARS/SAGARPA Tick Summit Presentations

Strategic Plan for Bovine Tuberculosis

APHIS and animal health authorities in Mexico have developed a joint 5-year Strategic Plan for collaboration on the management of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in both countries, in order to facilitate trade and continue eradication efforts for the disease. The plan was finalized in late 2013 and identifies two primary goals, each with specific objectives and strategies:

  • Goal 1: Minimize the risk of TB-affected or exposed animals moving in domestic or international trade.
  • Goal 2: Provide a collaborative framework to define and measure improvements in both the Mexican and U.S. TB programs.

The Strategic Plan represents a framework for these collaborations. Copies of the plan in English and Spanish are available at:

Contact Us:

If you have any questions, or require further information related to imports or export of live animals, birds or germplasm, please contact National Import and Export Services at (301) 851-3300, or send an email to


Recently, all information for pets was moved to the new APHIS Pet Travel Website.  For information regarding the importation of pet birds into the United States, please click here


Importing Cattle, Live Bovines, Cervids and Camelids (Note: these species may only be imported from the following countries)


Australia (protocols are being updated) Modules include water buffalos


NOTE:  As of November 13, 2017, the requirement for individual age identification for cattle destined for immediate slaughter has been removed from  the Canadian export certificate. 


Bovine Semen (Note: bovine semen may only be imported from the following countries, with an import permit as designated)

Australia (protocols are being updated); A permit and export health certificate are required.


  • Note: a permit is not required to import bovine semen from Canada transported by land; an export health certificate must accompany the shipment and the port of entry into the United States must be notified at least three days in advance  (link to port information).

European Union

 NOTE: This health certificate allows the import of water buffalo semen from the EU.






Bovine Embryos (Note: these bovine embryos may only be imported from the following countries with an import permit)



  • A permit and export health certificate is required to import bovine embryos from Canada.

European Union

NOTE: This health certificate also allows the import of water buffalo embryos from the EU.






Importing Fish

Fish, Fertilized Eggs, and Gametes- At the current time, APHIS is developing certain import restrictions that will apply to shipments of live fish, fertilized eggs or gametes from SVC-susceptible species that are imported to the United States. Please contact Dr. Christa Speekmann at the USDA APHIS VS National Import and Export Services at  301-851-3300, Option 2 for more information.

  Importing Sheep and Goats   


Miscellaneous Animals

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