Import Procedures for a Pet Bird Entering (Non-U.S. Origin) the United States

Import Procedures for a Pet Bird Entering (Non-U.S. Origin) the United States

ADVISORY: Until further notice1, live avian commodities (including eggs for hatching) from the following countries or regions have been prohibited entry to the United States due to the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza: Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Djibouti, Egypt, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire), Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian Autonomous Territories, People's Republic of China, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, South Sudan, Sudan, Taipei Chinese/Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, Ukraine, and Vietnam.

1  The United States negotiates avian disease surveillance plans with various trading partners. The above advisory list may not encompass all areas or regions for which APHIS considers to be affected with highly pathogenic avian influenza.   Importers are urged to contact APHIS and inquire about any additional restrictions. 

Pet Birds The USDA defines pet birds as those that are imported for personal pleasure of their individual owners and are not intended for resale. Birds which the USDA defines as poultry, including doves and pigeons, are not considered pets and are imported under different rules.

General Requirements 

All non-U.S. origin pet birds may be imported into the United States. If they are exporting from one of the countries listed on the Advisory list above there are additional import requirements. Pet birds are required to be quarantined for 30 days in a USDA Animal Import Center at the owner’s expense.  A reservation at the facility must be made in advance by contacting the USDA.

In order to enter the United States, provide the following:

  • Current Exporting Country Veterinary Health Certification; see below.
  • USDA Import Permit
  • Port of entry arrival should be directly to the quarantine port - no other stops in the U.S. permitted before arriving at the quarantine port.
  • 30-day Import Quarantine in USDA Animal Import Center
  • Fish and Wildlife Services Certification (if necessary)
  • There are pre-established fees for the importation of pet birds. The permit application fee, quarantine costs, vet inspection and laboratory fees. These are the current rates.
  • Importers should submit the application and the processing fee by check, money order, charge card or by providing a USDA user fee account.
  • Fees apply if arrival is during regular working hours (approximately 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday), and prior notification has been given. Overtime charges apply if the bird arrives before or after these hours. In addition, USDA port veterinarians are not stationed full-time at each port of entry, prior notification is critical to the import process.

NOTE: If pet birds arrive at the first U.S. port of entry without all, or partial documentation, the shipment is considered non- compliant. The pet bird shipment is subject to: refused entry into the U.S., seizure (which may result in loss of ownership), or a non-compliant fee imposed- payable at the port of entry to the USDA port veterinarian.

Pet Birds Imported from Canada through a land border do not need an import permit.  Pet birds importing via a sea or air port  are required to apply for an import permit (permit application is  VS Form 17-129).  There is no quarantine requirement for pet birds  which import from Canada via any port. All pet birds are subject to veterinary inspection upon entry.  Arrangements for veterinary inspection must be made 3 working days prior to arrival with the port vet office at the U.S. port of entry.   The phone to the port  USDA veterinary office can be found here or on the import permit.

Note:  All non- U.S origin pet birds presenting for entry from Mexico must undergo a 30 day federal quarantine. Importers should not use a land border port to enter the United States. There are pre-export criteria that must be satisfied before leaving Mexico. Follow this link to obtain more information

Birds from Mexico

It is recommended that Canadian citizens traveling to Mexico with pet birds return directly to Canada, without stopping in the U.S.

Exporting Country Veterinary Health Certification

A Veterinary Health Certificate is required for all pet birds imported into the United States. The certificate must:

  • Be issued and signed by an official government veterinarian of the exporting country of origin;
  • Be dated within 30 days of the time the bird is shipped to the United States;
  • States that the bird is being exported in accordance with the laws of that country;
  • Be in English, if not, a complete written English translation must be provided; and
  • Accompany the bird while in transit.


Health certificates that accompany imported live avian shipments must indicate that:

  • Birds or poultry were not vaccinated against any H5 or H7 subtype of avian influenza.
  • The shipment will not transit through any regions where APHIS considers highly pathogenic avian influenza to exist, as listed here on this web page.
  • The birds or poultry have been vaccinated against Newcastle disease (avian paramyxovirus) at least 21 days prior to export, using vaccines that do not contain any velogenic strains of Newcastle disease virus. OR:
  • Birds or poultry have not been vaccinated against Newcastle disease
  • The bird has been examined by that official and show no evidence of any communicable diseases of poultry;

How to Obtain an USDA Import Permit and Reserve Space at a Quarantine Center

All non-U.S. origin pet birds imported into the United States (except from Canada) are required to be quarantined for 30 days in a USDA animal import quarantine facility at the owner's expense. A reservation at the facility must be made in advance by contacting the USDA port veterinarian at one of the special ports-of-entry listed below. A cost estimate for the quarantine will be provided at that time. Once the reservation is made and payment is received in full for all quarantine services, the animal import quarantine facility will issue a USDA import permit (apply using VS Form 17-129). This permit must accompany the bird while in transit.

USDA Quarantine Centers and Ports of Entry

All non-U.S. origin pet birds must enter the country and undergo quarantine at one of the following import quarantine facilities. These are the only ports of entry available for importing non-U.S. origin pet birds.

New York, New York
230-59 Rockaway Blvd.
Suite 101
Jamaica, NY 11413
Telephone (718) 553-3570
Fax (718) 553-3572

Miami Animal Import Center
6300 NW 36 Street
Miami, FL 33122
Telephone (305) 876-2200
Fax (305) 876-2201

Additional Requirements for Pet birds exporting from countries on the Advisory List;

The advisory list consists of countries the USDA considers to be affected with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI).  Birds which import from these select countries must undergo additional steps to the import process. To learn more about what the importer needs to do, access this link:

Export from an Advisory listed country

Fish and Wildlife Service Permit Information

In the United States, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) regulates the importation of birds protected by the Convention on International trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the Wild Bird Conservation Act of 1992 (WBCA). These regulations are part of international conservation effort to protect exotic wild birds subject to trade. Most exotic pet birds including parrots, parakeets, macaws, lories, and cockatoos are affected by CITES and the WBCA. However, the budgerigar, cockatiel, and rosy-faced lovebirds are exempt.

According to the WBCA, in order to import a pet bird of non-U.S. origin into the United States, you must have continuously resided outside of the United States for at least one year. In addition, the WBCA limits the number of pet birds that can be imported to two birds per person, per year. All required WBCA and CITES permits must accompany the bird while in transit.

Please visit the FWS web site at: to obtain more information and the permit application. If you have questions you can contact the FWS at (800) 358-2104. Overseas calls should be placed to (703) 358-2104.

How to Contact Us

If you need additional information about importing pet birds into the United States, please contact the:

USDA, APHIS, Veterinary Services
National Import and Export Services
4700 River Road, Unit 39
Riverdale, MD 20737
(301) 851-3300 telephone
(301) 734-4704 fax

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