Amphibians, Fish, Reptiles, Shellfish, and Aquatic Species 1104

Amphibians, Fish, Reptiles, Shellfish, and Aquatic Species

GUIDELINES FOR IMPORTATION #1104   (Last Modified: June 2014)

This Guideline applies to: 

Amphibians, fish, reptiles, shellfish, aquatic species and/or their materials such as: blood, chondroitin, emulsions, extracts, feces, fluids, glucosamine, oils, tissues, serum, urine, and venom, from these species.

This Guideline does not apply to:

Bloodworms, antivenom,  hydrosylates, meals (e.g. fish meal) and live fish species susceptible to Spring Viremia of Carp (SVC) from all countries.

For the list of regulated SVC species and import requirements (including permit application) please visit the following web site: /import_export/animals/animal_import/marine_import_fish.shtml


Materials derived from all animals are potentially subject to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations and must be cleared by Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agricultural Specialists/Inspectors at the port of arrival before entry into the United States is authorized. A USDA, APHIS, Veterinary Services (VS) Import Permit is required for animal material that may pose a risk of introducing foreign livestock and poultry diseases into the United States. However, material from the above listed animals that have not been inoculated with or exposed to any livestock or poultry disease agents or antigens may enter the United States without USDA restrictions.

NOTE: The US Fish and Wildlife Service has jurisdiction over the importation of Convention on International Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) listed animals. Please contact their Office of Management Authority at 800-358-2104. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has jurisdiction over importation of wild marine aquatic animals. Please contact NOAA National Marine Fisheries South Regional Office at 727-824-5326.


A USDA VS Import Permit will not be required for these types of animal products if DHS, CBP Agricultural Specialists/Inspectors are provided documentation which may include: manifests, invoices, foreign producer/shipper statements on letterhead, or other shipping documents which provide the following information:

  1. Identification of the material, and
  2. The species of origin.

VS recommends that this information is available for review by the DHS, CBP Agricultural Specialists/Inspectors upon arrival of the shipment at the U.S. port of arrival. We do not recommend that it be placed inside the shipping container.

We further recommend that you provide a copy of this guideline to your foreign producer/shipper.

If the amphibians, fish, reptiles, shellfish, aquatic species and/or their materials cannot meet these criteria, then a USDA import permit may be required.


Permit applications may be obtained several ways:

1. On-line at: /animal_health/permits/
       a. submit the permit application on-line
       b. e-mail the completed application to:
       c. fax the permit application

2. By writing to:
National Import Export Services (NIES)
4700 River Road, Unit 40
Riverdale, MD 20737
(301) 851-3300 telephone, Option 1
(301) 734-8226 fax


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