Procedures for Importing Poultry Hatching Eggs into 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, Cambodia, Cameroon, Djibouti, Egypt, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire), Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Laos, 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.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines poultry as chickens, doves, ducks, geese, grouse, guinea fowl, partridges, pea fowl, pheasants, pigeons, quail, swans, and turkeys (including hatching eggs of these species).
- All hatching eggs of poultry imported into the United States must be accompanied by a USDA import permit VS Form 17-129(except through a land border port from Canada).
- Current veterinary health certificate issued by a full-time salaried veterinarian of the agency responsible for animal health of the national government in the exporting country of origin.
- Importers should submit the application and the processing fee for a permit by check, money order, charge card or by providing a USDA user fee account. If changes need to be made for a permit after it has been issued, there is an additional fee. Current fees can be found here.
- 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.
Flock of origin veterinary health certification statements
The original veterinary health certificate must be in English or have the English translation, and must accompany the hatching eggs while in transit. It must state that:
- The flock(s) of origin were found upon inspection to be free from evidence of communicable diseases of poultry;
- No exotic Newcastle disease has occurred on the premises of origin or on adjoining premises during the 90 days immediately preceding the date of movement of the eggs from such region; and
- As far as it has been possible to determine, such flock(s) were not exposed to such disease during the preceding 90 days.
- At least 5 percent (%) or a minimum of 150 birds from the flock of origin were negative for egg drop syndrome (EDS 76).
- The flock of origin is negative for Salmonella enteritidis (SE) by environmental culture, and there is no evidence or knowledge of SE present in the flock.
- The flock(s) of origin for the hatching eggs 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.
- The flocks of origin 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.
Note: If the flock(s) of origin have not been vaccinated against Newcastle disease, the health certificate should indicate this status.
- The hatching eggs were cleaned and sanitized as soon as possible after collection using an approved-for use-sanitizing agent, in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Hatching eggs have been packed in clean/unused packing material.
- The flock or the flock(s) of origin is negative within the previous 90 days for Avian Metapneumovirus (also known as Turkey Rhinotracheitis, (TRT), or Swollen Head Syndrome). At least 30 poultry per house were tested using any of the following methods: rRT-PCR, ELISA, or serology. The health certificate must state if poultry have or have not been vaccinated against this disease. Note: Testing for Avian Metapneumovirus does not apply to waterfowl species.
- Flock(s) of origin for the hatching eggs 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 flock(s) of origin 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:
- The flock(s) of origin have not been vaccinated against Newcastle disease.
Requirements for importing poultry hatching eggs differ for eggs being imported from countries designated and free of exotic Newcastle disease (END) than those not designated as free of END.
Poultry hatching eggs imported from countries designated as free of END
Hatching eggs imported from these countries are not required to be quarantined. However, the hatching eggs must be accompanied by a veterinary health certificate issued by a national government veterinarian of the exporting country as well as by a USDA import permit.
Hatching eggs originating in the EU-25 Poultry Trade Region (PTR) must have either of the following bulleted statements on all hatching eggs health certificate:
- The consignment did not originate from or travel through, any zone within the EU-25 PTR that were restricted for outbreaks of Newcastle disease or HPAI in commercial poultry for the following period of time, whichever is later: 1). Until the restrictions were lifted by the national competent authority; or 2). 90 days after depopulation of all affected premises, followed by cleaning and disinfection of the last affected premises, in that zone. [note: only 1) applies if the restrictions had been placed for Newcastle disease or HPAI in racing pigeons, backyard flocks or wild birds.]
- The consignment did not originate from, but did travel under official seal through, zones that were restricted for outbreaks of Newcastle disease or HPAI in commercial poultry for the following period of time, whichever is later: 1). until the restrictions were lifted by the national competent authority; or 2). 90 days after depopulation of all affected premises, followed by cleaning and disinfection of the last affected premises, in that zone. [Note: only 1) applies if the restrictions had been placed for Newcastle disease or HPAI in racing pigeons, backyard flocks or wild birds.][Note: under this option, the seal numbers must be noted in the health certificate signed by the certifying veterinarian, with an official veterinarian verifying the seals for such shipments were intact at the time of embarkation.]
Countries comprising the EU 25-PTR can be found here
Poultry hatching eggs imported from countries not designated as free of END
In addition to the required veterinary health certificate and USDA import permit, importation of hatching eggs from countries not designated by the USDA to be free of END are restricted as follows:
- Eggs must be transported from the port of entry to the hatchery in a vehicle sealed by the USDA.
- Eggs must be hatched and brooded under the supervision of the Area Veterinarian in Charge (AVIC) in the State of destination. The hatchery must meet certain biosecurity standards and be inspected and approved by the AVIC prior to issuance of the import permit.
- The poultry from such eggs must remain in quarantine for not less than 30 days following hatch.
- During quarantine, the hatching eggs and poultry from such eggs are subject to any inspections, disinfections, and diagnostic testing as may be required by the USDA to determine their freedom from communicable diseases of poultry.
Poultry hatching eggs imported from Canada
Poultry hatching eggs imported from Canada must be accompanied by a veterinary health certificate issued by a Canadian government veterinarian. However, no quarantine is required for hatching eggs of Canadian origin. Those hatching eggs imported through a U.S.-Canadian land border port do not require a USDA import permit, whereas eggs entering the United States from Canada via air do require a USDA import permit.
Note: Hatching eggs are not allowed import from the primary control zone established for avian influenza in British Columbia, Canada until further notice. The control zone is defined as the area within British Columbia bounded by the following:
- On the west, the Pacific Ocean
- On the south, the United States Border
- On the north, Highway 16
- On the east, the border between the province of British Columbia and the province of Alberta
The import permit application (VS Form 17-129) can be downloaded from the Internet at:
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/library/forms/index.shtml#vs or by contacting us at:
USDA, APHIS, VS
National Center for Import and Export
4700 River Road, Unit 39
Riverdale, MD 20737
(301) 851-3300 Telephone
(301) 734-4704 Fax
Fish and Wildlife Service Permit Information
In the United States, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regulates the importation of avian species (including their hatching eggs) protected by various national and international acts and treaties such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the Wild Bird Conservation Act of 1992, the Migratory Bird Act, and the Endangered Species Act. To determine if the hatching eggs you wish to import are regulated by the USFWS, you can visit their web site at: http://permits.fws.gov/ or contact them at USFWS, Office of Management Authority, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 420, Arlington, VA 22203, (800) 358-2104 (within the United States), or (703) 358-2104.
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 materials about importing hatching eggs of poultry or other birds into the United States, please contact us at:
USDA, APHIS, VS
National Import and Export Services
4700 River Road, Unit 39
Riverdale, MD 20737
(301) 851-3300 Telephone
(301) 734-4704 Fax