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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA FAQ's and resources about coronavirus (COVID-19).  LEARN MORE

Live Poultry

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.

  • The United States prohibits live poultry (except pigeons and doves -columbiforms) commodities (including eggs for hatching) from countries or regions affected with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).​ ​A current list of countries and regions’ disease status for HPAI can be found here: Animal Health Status of Regions.

    Note: 
    Columbiforms importing from countries listed on the above Animal Health Status of Regions must also travel under the following precautions and have the statement listed as follows: Were moved without co-mingling the shipment with any other avians after leaving the premise of origin. The requirements for columbiforms are listed below.
  • All poultry must be quarantined for a minimum of 30 days.
  • Poultry shipments must be accompanied by a USDA import permit (application to obtain a permit is form: VS Form 17-129). Processing time for the application is approximately 7 – 10 business days. Applications should be received no less than this time prior to shipment of birds. There is a processing fee which can be paid by check, money order, charge card or by providing a USDA user fee account. For an additional fee, the permit can be amended after issuance by request.
    • Please sign up for an e-authentication account if you are based in the United States or have a U.S. address. Electronic-authentication (eAuthentication) is a registration system that enables customers to access the online APHIS eFile system in order to submit import permit applications independently. You can create an e-authentication account and register for eFile at https://efile.aphis.usda.gov/s/ and clicking Sign Up.
    • Download the import application or contact Strategy & Policy, Live Animal Import Team: VS.Live.Animals.Import.Permits@usda.gov
  • A health certificate, issued within 30 days of leaving the country of export, must accompany all poultry shipments. A full-time salaried veterinarian of the veterinary competent authority, located in the exporting country, must endorse the health certificate, with English translation. Exporting countries may use the model health certificates available below or use their own document which carries U.S. health certificate requirements.
  • Any country –specific health certificate is located here: not applicable
  • Live poultry from non EU25-PTR regions: A model health certificate is provided HERE and must certify the following requirements listed below:
    1. Poultry were not vaccinated against any H5 or H7 subtype of avian influenza.
    2. The shipment will not transit through any region where APHIS considers highly pathogenic avian influenza to exist.
    3. 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
    4. At least 5 percent (%) or a minimum of 150 birds from the flock of origin were negative for egg drop syndrome (EDS 76). (This requirement does not pertain to turkeys- hatching eggs, poults or adult turkeys).
    5. The flock of origin was tested negative for Salmonella enteritidis (SE) within 30 days by environmental culture, and there is no evidence or knowledge of SE present in the flock.
    6. 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.
  • Columbiforms from non EU25-PTR regions: A model health certificate is provided HERE and must certify the following requirements listed below:
    1. Did not come in contact with wild birds or poultry within the 30 days previous to exporting the premise of origin
    2. Have been examined prior to movement from the premise of origin and there was no evidence of poultry communicable disease.
    3. Have not been vaccinated against H5 or H7.
    4. 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 was not vaccinated against Newcastle disease (the health certificate must indicate which applies).
    5. Birds were inspected within 24 hours of export.
    6. Were shipped in new or appropriately sanitized containers prior to current use.
  • A USDA port veterinarian at the first U.S. port of entry must inspect birds (unless stated differently on the import permit). The importer must arrange for this inspection by a USDA port veterinarian at least 3 business days in advance by contacting the USDA port veterinarian at the telephone number listed on the import permit.
    • Live poultry are required at U.S. arrival, to proceed immediately into 30 days quarantine. There are two USDA quarantines which can be used or the importer can create a private quarantine facility. If a private facility is used, it must be approved by APHIS before an import permit can be issued.  

  • The importer should retain the services of a customs broker to facilitate the importation and, in some cases, the transport of birds from the port of entry to the USDA Animal Import Center. The importer can contact the Import Center for a list of customs brokers to provide this service.
  • Live Poultry from Member countries in the European Union- Poultry Trade Region:
    The EU25-PTR is composed of the following Member States: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and United Kingdom.

    Live poultry originating in the EU-25 Poultry Trade Region (PTR) must have the following bulleted statement on all health certificates:
    • 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.]
  • Live poultry from EU25-PTR regions: A model health certificate is provided here HERE and must certify the requirements listed below:
  1. Poultry were not vaccinated against any H5 or H7 subtype of avian influenza.
  2. 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 have not been vaccinated against Newcastle disease (the health certificate must indicate).   
  3. Poultry presented no evidence of avian communicable disease within the 30 days prior to the hatching of the first egg laid for this shipment.
  4. Poultry were exported from an area that was not adjacent to any areas under quarantine during the 90 days preceding the exportation.
  5. Poultry covered by this certificate do not originate from flocks nor had contact with any birds or poultry originating in a control zone established by state/provincial/federal animal health authorities due to outbreaks of Newcastle disease or Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). 
  6. Poultry are negative within the previous 90 days for:
    1. 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.
    2. At least 5 percent (%) or a minimum of 150 poultry were negative for egg drop syndrome (EDS 76). This statement does not apply to turkeys.
    3. Salmonella enteritidis (SE) within 30 days by environmental culture, and there is no evidence or knowledge of SE present in the flock.
  1. The shipment will not transit through any region where APHIS considers highly pathogenic avian influenza to exist
  2. Poultry were placed in new or appropriately sanitized packaging for shipment to the United States at the premises where the flock or origin was kept.
  3. The consignment did not originate from, or travel through, any zones within the EU-25 Poultry Trade Region 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.]
  • Columbiforms from EU25-PTR regions: A model health certificate is provided HERE and must certify the following requirements listed below:
    1. Did not come in contact with wild birds or poultry within the 30 days previous to exporting the premise of origin
    2. Have been examined prior to movement from the premise of origin and there was no evidence of poultry communicable disease.
    3. Have not been vaccinated against H5 or H7.
    4. 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 was not vaccinated against Newcastle disease (the health certificate must indicate which applies).
    5. Birds were inspected within 24 hours of export.
    6. Shipment did travel under official seal through, zones that were restricted for outbreaks of Newcastle disease or HPAI in commercial poultry. Were moved without co-mingling the shipment with any other avians after leaving the premise of origin.
    7. Were shipped in new or appropriately sanitized containers prior to current use.
  • A USDA port veterinarian at the first U.S. port of entry must inspect birds (unless stated differently on the import permit). The importer must arrange for this inspection by a USDA port veterinarian at least 3 business days in advance by contacting the USDA port veterinarian at the telephone number listed on the import permit.
    • There are two USDA quarantines which can be used or the importer can create a private quarantine facility. If a private facility is used, it must be approved by APHIS before an import permit can be issued. 
  • The importer should retain the services of a customs broker to facilitate the importation and, in some cases, the transport of birds from the port of entry to the USDA Animal Import Center. The importer can contact the Import Center for a list of customs brokers to provide this service.

Note: An import permit will not be issued until quarantine arrangements have been finalized.

  • The USDA Animal Import Center will provide an estimate of fees, which includes port inspection, laboratory testing that occurs during quarantine, and the quarantine stay.

    • A list of current fees to support the import process can be accessed here: VS User Fees 
  • Poultry (not including hatching eggs of any kind) must be quarantined at one of the USDA facilities listed below or private quarantine may occur in an APHIS approved zoological facility.

    Miami Animal Import Center 
    USDA-APHIS-VS 
    6300 NW 36 Street 
    Miami, FL 33122 
    (305) 876-2200 (phone) 
    (305) 876-2201 (fax)
    NotifyMAIC@usda.gov

    New York Animal Import Center           
    USDA, APHIS, VS 
    474 International Boulevard 
    Rock Tavern, NY 12575 
    (845) 838-5500 (phone) 
    (845) 838-5575 (fax) 
    VSPSNIC@usda.gov

  • Importers must obtain the approval for a private facility to be used as quarantine prior to applying for an import permit. Information and guidance on obtaining that approval can be received by contacting Strategy & Policy, Live Animal Imports Team.
  • Birds are tested in quarantine to determine if they are free of certain communicable diseases. The cost of diagnostic testing is separate from the quarantine fee.
  • The USDA Animal Import Center will provide the total fee for services for the inspection and quarantine. Estimates  of quarantine costs can be found at this link: quarantine fees
  • Contingency Plan Requirement: 
    • Shipments which transit a US port must have an approved contingency plan. Importers should work with transited port veterinary office to obtain approval. Plans should be reviewed annually to maintain approved status.
  • A U.S. import permit to transit can be issued within 30 days of U.S transit (application # VS Form17-129) by the US port which will be transited.
  • 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. A health certificate with English translation must meet all of the requirements listed below and accompany the shipment. An example health certificate is provided HERE.
  • Health certificate requirements are as follows:
    1. The poultry for export were not vaccinated against any H5 or H7 subtype of avian influenza.
    2. 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 have not been vaccinated against Newcastle disease (the health certificate must indicate).
    3. Poultry showed no evidence of poultry communicable disease.
    4. Poultry were exported from an area that was not adjacent to any areas under quarantine during the 90 days preceding the exportation.
    5. Poultry do not originate from flocks nor had contact with any birds or poultry originating in a control zone established by state/provincial/federal animal health authorities due to a poultry related disease.
    6. The shipment will not transit through any region where APHIS considers highly pathogenic avian influenza to exist.
    7. The hatching eggs were placed in new or appropriately sanitized packaging for shipment to the United States at the premises where the flock or origin was kept.
  • The USDA will monitor transit shipments at the ports of entry. The importer must arrange for USDA services at least three business days in advance by contacting the USDA port veterinarian at the telephone number listed on the import permit. Additionally, the import permit lists any approvals, along with any special instructions for the importer and port staff.
  • Live poultry imported from Canada into the United States are not required to be quarantined.
  • An import permit is required for live poultry imported from Canada via air or sea port.
  • An import permit is not required for live poultry being imported through a land border port. 
  • Live poultry must have a veterinary health certificate, endorsed by the Canadian government and issued within 30 days of import. An example of a health certificate containing requirements from Canada is found is HERE.
  • Health certificate requirements are as follows:
    1. Each flock and hatchery from which the shipment was originated was inspected by a veterinarian within the past 30 days and no evidence of Newcastle disease or any communicable disease of poultry was found no were the poultry in the flock or origin exposed to any such disease during the 90 days immediately prior to the inspection date.
    2. Newcastle disease, fowl plague or highly pathogenic avian influenza has not occurred on the premises of origin, nor on any adjoining premises during the 90 day period preceding exportation
    3. The area where the premise(s) is located has not been under quarantine for any poultry disease during the preceding 90 days.
    4. Do not originate from flocks not had contact had contact with any birds or poultry originating in a control zone established by federal animal health authorities due to the outbreaks of Newcastle disease of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI).
    5. Flock of origin have not been vaccinated with a vaccine for any H5 or H7 subtype of avian influenza nor have transited through regions where any HPAI subtype exists while en route to the United States.
    6. Maintained in the region from which they were offered for exportation for at least 90 days immediately preceding the date of export or since hatching except in the case of show poultry where poultry must have been maintained in the region of exportation and/or the United States for the 90 days preceding exportation.
    7. Flock of origin has been vaccinated against Newcastle Disease at least 21 days prior to export using vaccines that do not contain any velogenic strain of Newcastle virus or the flock was not vaccinated (health certificate must indicate).
    8. Shipment arrived in new, clean containers or appropriately sanitized packaging materials at the premise from which the hatching eggs were exported.
      Note: Live poultry which transit the U.S. should have a contingency plan.
  • USDA will inspect commercial bird shipments at U.S. ports of entry. The importer must arrange for USDA inspection services at least 3 business days in advance by contacting the USDA port veterinarian at the telephone number listed on the import permit.
  • The import/transit permit lists any additional requirements that may be imposed, along with any special instructions. If traveling by land, the importer should call the port by phone and ask to be directed to the assigned USDA veterinarian. The call will assist in ensuring there is a veterinarian available at the port to receive the shipment at the time of crossing. 

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 an international conservation effort to protect some species of wild birds subject to trade. Most non-native U.S. pet birds including parrots, parakeets, macaws, lories, and cockatoos are affected by CITES and the WBCA. However, the budgerigar, cockatiel, and rose-ringed parakeets and peach-faced lovebirds are exempt.

Visit the FWS web site at: http://permits.fws.gov/ to obtain more information and the permit application, if applicable. If you have questions, contact the FWS at (800) 358-2104. Calls from outside the U.S. should use (703) 358-2104. Birds arriving at U.S. ports of entry may need to be inspected by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Inspectors. The following web link lists U.S. Wildlife Inspection Offices. Importers with birds regulated by the USFWS should reach out to the office assigned to the port prior to U.S. arrival of birds.


Contact Us for Additional Information:

VS.Live.Animal.Import.Export@aphis.usda.gov (email)
301-851-3300, Option 2 (phone)
301-734-4704 (fax)

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