Non-US Origin Pet Birds
Import Procedures for a Pet Bird Entering (Non-U.S. Origin) the United States
ADVISORY: Until further notice, 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, Cameroon, Cambodia, Djibouti, Egypt, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire), Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Laos, 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.
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.
All non-U.S. origin pet birds may be imported into the United States provided that the country of origin is not listed on the Advisory list above. Except for those of Canadian origin, 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 port veterinarian.
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 Directly to the Quarantine Port; that is no other stops in the U.S. permitted before 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. Current rates can be found here.
- 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.
Pet Birds Imported from Canada
All pet birds imported into the United States from Canada via a land, air or ocean port of entry are subject to veterinary inspection upon entry and do not have to be quarantined. Arrangements for veterinary inspection must be made 3 business days prior to arrival. Pet birds arriving from Canada through an air/ocean port are required to have a USDA Import Permit (permit application is VS Form 17-129). Pet birds arriving from Canada through an eligible U.S.-Canadian land border port are exempt from the permit requirement. Pet birds from Canada are exempt from the health certificate requirement if importing thru any port - land, air, ocean port.
Please note: Canadian birds who are reentering the U.S. from Mexico will have to undergo a 30 day quarantine into order to be driven back through the U.S.
Therefore, it is recommended that they be flown back. If the fight lands at an U.S. airport, then they will need a Transit Permit. The application form, VS Form 17-129,
should be submitted fourteen days prior to the flight to the Riverdale fax number below.
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;
- must state that the bird has been examined by that official and show no evidence of any communicable diseases of poultry;
- 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
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.
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
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles International Airport
11850 South La Cienega Blvd.
Hawthorne, CA 90250
Telephone (310) 725-1970
Fax (310) 725-9119
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: http://permits.fws.gov/ 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 Center for Import and Export
4700 River Road, Unit 39
Riverdale, MD 20737
(301) 851-3300 telephone
(301) 734-6402 fax