Procedures for Importing Live Poultry
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.
Poultry imported from Canada into the United States are not required to be quarantined. However, the poultry must be accompanied by a veterinary health certificate issued within 30 days of importation and endorsed by a full-time salaried veterinarian of the Canadian government. The poultry must be inspected by a USDA veterinarian at the first U.S. port of entry.
An import permit is not required for poultry imported from Canada through a U.S. - Canadian land border port. However, if the poultry enters the United States through an air or sea port, an import permit (VS Form17-129) (fillable pdf 75kb) is required.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines poultry to include chickens, doves, ducks, geese, grouse, guinea fowl, partridges, pea fowl, pheasants, pigeons, quail, swans, and turkeys. All birds of these species are subject to the import requirements for poultry, and are not considered by the USDA to be pet birds.
- 30-day quarantine at a USDA Animal Import Center
- Animal Import Permit (VS Form17-129) (fillable pdf 75kb)
- Veterinary Health Certificate issued by a full-time salaried veterinarian of the agency responsible for animal health of the national government of the exporting country
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Certification
- FDA Imported food requirement
Import Procedures (from all countries except Canada)
- All poultry must be quarantined for a minimum of 30 days at a USDA Animal Import Center. The poultry must also be accompanied by a USDA import permit (VS Form17-129) (fillable pdf 75kb), issued prior to shipment of the birds. The importer must contact a USDA Animal Import Center to apply for the import permit and reserve quarantine space in the facility. The addresses for the USDA Animal Import Centers are listed below.
New York Animal Import Center
USDA, APHIS, VS
474 International Blvd
Rock Tavern, NY 12575
Phone: (845) 838-5500
Fax: (845) 838-5516
Miami Animal Import Center
USDA, APHIS, VS
6300 NW 36 Street
Miami, FL 33122
Phone: (305) 876-2200
Fax: (305) 876-2201
Los Angeles Animal Import Center
USDA, APHIS, VS
222 Kansas Street
El Segundo, CA 90245
(310) 955-3311 (phone)
(310) 321-0141 (fax)
- The poultry must be accompanied by a current veterinary health certificate issued within 30 days of importation and endorsed by a full-time salaried veterinarian of the agency responsible for animal health of the national government of the exporting country. The health certificate must be translated into English.
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 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:
- Poultry have not been vaccinated against Newcastle disease
- 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 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.
- The poultry must be inspected by a USDA port veterinarian at the first U.S. port of entry. The importer must arrange for this inspection at least 72 hours in advance by contacting the USDA port veterinarian at the telephone number listed on the import.
- The importer must retain the services of a customs broker to facilitate the importation and, in some cases, to transport the poultry from the port of entry to the USDA Animal Import Center. The importer should contact the Import Center for a list of customs brokers to provide these services.
- During the quarantine period, all poultry will be tested to determine if they are free of certain communicable diseases of poultry. The cost for this diagnostic testing will be charged to the importer and is separate from the quarantine fee.
- Total payment of the quarantine and diagnostic testing fees is required when the import permit (VS Form17-129) (fillable pdf 75kb) application is submitted. The payment amount will be provided to the importer by the USDA Animal Import Center. The daily user fee rate for standard care, feed, and handling of poultry quarantined in a USDA Animal Import Center is based on the weight of the bird. Current rates 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 shipment 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.
Poultry Import from Canada
Poultry imported from Canada into the United States are not required to be quarantined. However, the poultry must be accompanied by a veterinary health certificate issued within 30 days of importation and endorsed by a full-time salaried veterinarian of the Canadian government.
Health certificates that accompany Canadian live avian shipments must indicate that:
- Poultry have been inspected prior to export by the veterinarian issuing the health certificate;
- Poultry were either vaccinated for Newcastle disease at least 21 days prior to export and with a vaccine that does not contain any velogenic strains; OR were not vaccinated for Newcastle disease. (The health certificate should indicate which applies);
- Poultry have not been vaccinated with a vaccine for any H5 or H7 subtype of avian influenza, and have not transited through regions/ premises where any HPAI subtype exists while en route to the United States;
- No evidence of Newcastle disease or any communicable disease of poultry was found during the ninety (90) days preceding exportation from the premises of origin;
- The premise of origin has not been under quarantine for any poultry disease during the preceding ninety (90) days;
- As much as can be determined, the poultry were not exposed to communicable diseases of poultry during the ninety (90) days immediately prior to the inspection date;
- The flock of origin tested negative within 90 days of export for Type D Salmonellas;
The poultry must be inspected by a USDA veterinarian at the first U.S. port of entry.
An import permit is not required for poultry imported from Canada through a U.S. - Canadian land border port. However, if the poultry enters the United States through an airport, an import permit (VS Form17-129) (fillable pdf 75kb) is required.
This permit application may be downloaded from this site or by contacting us:
USDA, APHIS, VS
National Import and Export Services
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 (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. Over seas calls should be placed to (703) 358-2104.