Import Procedures for Importing Ratites and Hatching Eggs of Ratites
The USDA regulates the importation of all avian species including ratites and hatching eggs of ratites into the United States. These regulations were developed to prevent the introduction of highly contagious diseases of poultry such as highly pathogenic avian influenza and Newcastle disease. The United States prohibits live avian commodities from countries or regions due to the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza. A current list of countries considered affected can be found here: Animal Health Status of RegionsImport Requirements (from all countries except Canada)
Ratites imported from Canada
Canadian origin ratites are those who have either been born or raised in Canada or were legally imported and have resided in Canada for at least 90 consecutive days. Ratites, including hatching eggs, imported from Canada into the United States:
The current Canadian export health certificate template for live ratites can be found here. A sample health certificate template with U.S. import requirements for ratite hatching eggs can be found here, and a certificate template with U.S. import requirements for ratites imported for immediate slaughter can be found here. Please note that these are samples only, and not the official Canadian documents. Health certificates that accompany imported live ratite shipments from Canada must state that the ratites:
Note: Ratites from Canada that are destined for immediate slaughter should consult the below import protocol:
An import permit is not required for ratites imported from Canada through a U.S. - Canadian land border port.
The Canadian land border ports that may be able to accept imports of ratites are:
However, if the poultry enters the United States through an air or sea port, an import permit is required. The application for an import permit is here: (VS Form17-129) (fillable pdf 75kb).
How to Obtain an Import Permit
Information about an import permit, availability of quarantine space in the facility, and an estimate of quarantine costs and associated fees may be obtained by contacting either of the USDA Animal Import Centers listed below.
New York Animal Import Center
474 International Blvd
Rock Tavern, New York 12575
TEL: (845) 838-5500
FAX: (845) 838-5516
(No limitations on size of ratites)
Miami Animal Import Center
6300 NW 36th Street
Miami, FL 33122
TEL: (305) 876-2200
FAX: (305) 876-2201
(Limited to ratites under 36 inches tall)
During the quarantine period, the ratites will be treated for external parasites and will undergo certain tests and diagnostic procedures to determine if they are free of communicable diseases of birds and poultry. All costs associated with the quarantine including diagnostic testing are charged to the importer. One hundred percent (100%) of these fees, in the form of a check or United States money order in U.S. dollars and made payable to the USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), must accompany the import permit application. The import permit is issued when the required fees are paid in full and quarantine facility space is available.
In cases where an import permit is issued and the birds are not imported, the reservation fee will be forfeited unless the Animal Import Center is notified of the cancellation, in writing, at least 15 working days before the scheduled date of arrival. A cancellation fee will be assessed on all canceled reservations for importing birds.
User fees for standard care, feed, and handling of ratites quarantined in a USDA Animal Import Center 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 ratites or hatching eggs 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.
Health certificates that accompany imported live avian shipments must indicate that:
Additional information about avian imports may be requested by contacting us:
USDA, APHIS, Veterinary Services
National Import and Export Sevices
4700 River Road, Unit 39
Riverdale, MD 20737-1231
(301) 851-3300 telephone
(301) 734-4704 fax