Import Procedures for a Pet Bird Entering (U.S. Origin) the United States

Import Procedures for a Pet Bird Entering (U.S. Origin) 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, Lebanon, 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.

Returning U.S. origin pet birds from these countries must go into 30-day quarantine in an USDA animal import quarantine facility. Otherwise, the bird is quarantined for 30 days at the owner’s residence (home quarantine). Pet birds returning from Canada are exempt from quarantine.

Pet Birds The USDA defines pet birds as those that are imported for personal pleasure of their individual owners and are not intended for resale. Poultry, which includes pigeons and doves, are not considered pet birds.

General Requirements US Origin Pet Birds (except from Canada)

  • Current Veterinary Health Certification (see below)
  • USDA Import Permit (apply using VS Form 17-129
  • Health certificate issued by a US veterinarian prior to departing the U.S.
    (A copy of this document must be submitted with the permit application for the bird to be considered a US returning pet bird)
  • Inspection at a designated USDA port  
  • 30-day Quarantine either in an USDA Animal Import Center or in the home
  • Fish and Wildlife Services Certification (if necessary)
  • Payment of user fees that apply

NOTE:  If pet birds arrive at the first U.S. port of entry without all, or partial original documentation, the shipment is considered non- compliant. The pet bird shipment is subject to: refused entry into the U.S., seizure (which may result in loss of ownership), or a non-compliant fee imposed- payable at the port of entry to the USDA port veterinarian.

Current Veterinary Health Certification

The certificate must:

Be issued by a full-time salaried veterinarian of the agency  responsible for animal health of the national government in the exporting (foreign) country of origin;

  • be dated within 30 days of the time the bird is shipped to the United States;
  • state that the bird is being exported in accordance with the laws of that country;
  • be in English, if not, a complete written English translation must be provided; and
  • accompany the bird while in transit.

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.1

1  A U.S. returning pet bird that transits or originates in a country on the Advisory list or from Mexico, will not be eligible for Home quarantine but must enter federal quarantine. Ports of entry are limited to: Los Angeles International Airport, California; Miami International Airport, Florida;  or John F. Kennedy Airport, New York.

  • The birds or 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:
  • Birds or poultry have not been vaccinated against Newcastle disease
  • The bird has been examined by that official and show no evidence of any communicable diseases of poultry; 
  • Veterinary inspection occurs at the designated port. Arrangements for the inspection should be done by calling Customs at the port of entry and asking for a veterinary inspection with the USDA veterinarian.
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Certification (if necessary)

Import Process

  • The bird must be accompanied by the U.S. original health certificate, an import permit, a current governmental veterinary health certificate and, if necessary, FWS certification.
  • There are certain designated ports where pet birds may enter.  Therefore, the first port of entry into the US will be a designated port. At the first port in the U.S., the bird will be inspected by a USDA port veterinarian.  The owner must make arrangements at least three working days in advance. If the bird is going into a home quarantine, the first test for Exotic Newcastle Disease and Avian Influenza will taken at the time of entry.
  • If the returning pet bird has resided in a country on the advisory listed above, then the first port of entry will be at an airport located near one of two quarantine facilities:

    • John F Kennedy International, New York
    • Miami International, Florida        

Note:  U.S.-origin   pet birds returning from Mexico should not be driven across the land border between the U.S. and Mexico.   Such pet birds may only be imported under a specific protocol involving certain health certifications, an import permit, and 30-day entry quarantine at a USDA-operated facility. Import permit applications must be submitted to the National Import Export Services staff at the Riverdale, Maryland office only.  For additional information call:  (301) 851-3300 option 2 or by email at:

Quarantine Facilities

All U.S. origin pet birds that have resided in an area listed on the advisory must enter the country and undergo quarantine at one of the following import quarantine facilities:

New York Animal Import Center
C/O APHIS Veterinary Services at 
JFK International Airport
230-59 Rockaway Blvd.
Suite 101, Room 101                                               
Jamaica, NY 11413
Telephone (718) 553-3570
Fax (718) 553-3572

Miami Animal Import Center
6300 NW 36 Street
Miami, FL 33122
Telephone (305) 876-2200
Fax (305) 876-2201

30-Day Home Quarantine Requirements

  • The owner must sign a statement in the presence of the USDA port veterinarian declaring that the bird has not been in contact with poultry or other birds while out of the United States.
  • The owner must also sign the Agreement of Pet Bird Owner (VS Form 17-8) obtained from the USDA port veterinarian at the port of entry. By signing the form, the owner agrees to:
    1. maintain the bird in his or her personal possession, separate and apart from all poultry and other birds, for a minimum of 30 days,
    2. make the bird available for inspection by the USDA upon request for the second test and then until the end of the quarantine period, and
    3. notify the USDA immediately if any signs of disease are noted in the bird or if the bird dies during the quarantine period. In addition, the bird may not be transported within the United States during the quarantine period.


Importation User Fees

There are pre-established fees for importation of pet birds. The permit application fee, quarantine,vet inspection and laboratory fees can be accessed here.

Importers should submit the application and the processing fee by check, money order, charge card or by providing a USDA user fee account. These fees apply if arrival is via 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.

General Requirements US Origin Pet Birds returning from Canada

  • Pet birds arriving from Canada through any U.S land border port of entry are not required to have a USDA Import Permit.  Pet birds arriving at an air or sea port are required to have an import permit. To apply for the import permit, use form VS 17-129  (VS Form 17-129). 
  • A health certificate is not required for pet birds importing from any Canadian port.
  • Quarantine is not required
  • Veterinary Inspection by a USDA veterinarian is required. Contact the US border port at least 72 hours in advance to arrange for the inspection.  U.S. Canadian border ports contact information can be accessed HERE


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 rose-ringed parakeets and peach-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: 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 information about importing pet birds into the United States, please contact us at:
National Import and Export Services  
4700 River Road, Unit 39
Riverdale, MD 20737
(301) 851-3300 telephone
(301) 734-4704 fax

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