Import Live Animals

Import Live Animals

There are many different processes involved with importing different species of regulated live animals into the United States. View the pages below to learn more, including the guidelines and regulations, permits and certification, and associated user fees.

Live Animal Import Permits: Applicants may submit import permit applications, form VS-129 PDF, to National Import and Export Services (NIES) at the following mail address:

Live Animal Import Permits
USDA-APHIS-Veterinary Services
National Import Export Services
4700 River Rd. Unit 39
Riverdale, MD 20737

For faster service, importers (or other applicants seeking to import live animals, semen or embryos) may submit applications to the National Import and Export Services via a dedicated email address: VS.Live.Animals.Import.Permits@aphis.usda.gov.

Please refer to this information for VS form 129: Instructions for Completing and Faxing a VS Form 17-129 and Instructions for Completing and electronically Submitting a VS 17-129

Online Submission Process for Live Animal Import Permits:  Importers with an existing Level 2 eAuthentication may access ePermits to create and submit a completed application (VS Form 17-129) for an import or transit permit for APHIS-regulated live animals and their reproductive tissue (genetic resources). For instructions on how to obtain a Level 2 eAuthentication authorization, and for additional information about electronic submissions, click here.  

Important Updates

Travel Advisory: Information for Travelers Who Visit Farms or Come Into Contact with Animals in Other Countries

U.S. citizens and international visitors who visit a farm or make contact with live animals in another country may unknowingly spread potentially devastating animal diseases. Learn more

 


Birds

Recently, all information for pets was moved to the new APHIS Pet Travel Website.  For information regarding the importation of pet birds into the United States, please click here.


Domestic dogs (Canines)


Importing Cattle, Live Bovines, Cervids and Camelids (Note: these species may only be imported from the following listed countries)

Miscellaneous

Australia (protocols are being updated); A permit and export health certificate are required.

Canada

NOTE:  As of November 13, 2017, the requirement for individual age identification for cattle destined for immediate slaughter has been removed from the Canadian export certificate. 

Mexico

New Zealand (protocol is being updated); A permit and export health certificate are required.


Importing Bovine Semen (Note: bovine semen may only be imported from the countries listed on this page, with an import permit as designated)

Australia (protocols are being updated); a permit and export health certificate are required.

Canada

  • A permit is not required to import bovine semen from Canada transported by land; an export health certificate must accompany the shipment and the port of entry into the United States must be notified at least three days in advance (link to port information).

European Union; a permit and export health certificate are required.

ALERT: Because of ongoing lumpy skin disease outbreaks in Europe, the following exclusions apply: Bovine semen from the following regions, collected on or after the specified dates, is not eligible for importation to the United States: Greece (August 4, 2015 - present) and Bulgaria (March 29, 2016 - present) and Croatia (August 8, 2016 - present).

Liechtenstein; a permit and export health certificate are required.

Netherland; a permit and export health certificate are required.

Norway; a permit and export health certificate are required.

Spain; a permit and export health certificate are required.

Switzerland; a permit and export health certificate are required.


Importing Bovine Embryos (Note: bovine embryos may only be imported from the countries listed on this page, with an import permit as designated)

Australia (import protocol is being updated); a permit and export health certificate are required.

Canada

  • A permit and export health certificate is required to import bovine embryos from Canada.

European Union; a permit and export health certificate are required.

Liechtenstein; a permit and export health certificate are required.

Netherlands; a permit and export health certificate are required.

New Zealand (protocol is being updated); a permit and export health certificate are required.

Norway; a permit and export health certificate are required.

Switzerland; a permit and export health certificate are required.


Importing Horses (including Donkeys, Mules, Onagers and Wild Asses, Zebras and Hybrids)

Equine


Importing Fish

Fish, Fertilized Eggs, and Gametes- At the current time, APHIS is developing certain import restrictions that will apply to shipments of live fish, fertilized eggs or gametes from SVC-susceptible species that are imported to the United States. Please contact Dr. Christa Speekmann at the USDA APHIS VS National Import and Export Services at 301-851-3300, Option 2 for more information.


Importing Sheep and Goats (Note: live sheep and goats may only be imported from the following listed countries)

Canada

  • Protocol for US-origin sheep and goat movements through Canada from one US location to a second US location (pdf 34kb).
  • Import of Direct to Slaughter Sheep and Goats to the United States; no permit is required; the port of entry into the United States must be notified at least three days in advance (link to port information).
  • Protocol for the Import of Feeder Sheep and Goats to the United States (document being updated); no permit is required. Please note there are currently no approved feedlots for imported Canadian sheep and goats currently available in the U.S. 

Australia (import protocol is being updated); A permit and export health certificate are required.

New Zealand; a permit and export health certificate are required.


Importing Sheep and Goat Semen (Note: sheep and goat semen may only be imported from the following listed countries).

Miscellaneous

  • There are specific post-arrival requirements for imports of sheep and goat semen from Canada, the European Union and Iceland (link here)

Australia (protocol being updated); a permit and export health certificate are required.

Canada; a permit and export health certificate are required. Importers or their designated agents must provide documentation of the destination facility premise registration premises ID assigned and recorded in the Surveillance Collaborative System/ Scrapie (SCS SCR) with the permit application. Please contact APHIS for the verification certificate required to import sheep or goat semen from Canada. There are also port-import requirements for each facility using this commodity (see INFORMATION FOR IMPORTERS OF SHEEP/ GOAT SEMEN FROM CANADA, ICELAND AND MEMBER STATES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION).

European Union; a permit and export health certificate are required. Importers or their designated agents must provide documentation of the destination facility premise registration premises ID assigned and recorded in the Surveillance Collaborative System/ Scrapie (SCS SCR) with the permit application.There are also port-import requirements for each facility using this commodity (INFORMATION FOR IMPORTERS OF SHEEP/ GOAT SEMEN FROM CANADA, ICELAND AND MEMBER STATES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION).

Iceland; a permit and export health certificate are required. Importers or their designated agents must provide documentation of the destination facility premise registration premises ID assigned and recorded in the Surveillance Collaborative System/ Scrapie (SCS SCR) with the permit application.There are also port-import requirements for each facility using this commodity (INFORMATION FOR IMPORTERS OF SHEEP/ GOAT SEMEN FROM CANADA, ICELAND AND MEMBER STATES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION).

  • Protocol (Sheep and Goat Semen Import from Iceland) (pdf 109kb)
  • Model Health Certificate (Sheep and Goat Semen Import from Iceland) (pdf 110kb)

New Zealand; a permit and export health certificate are required.

  • Protocol ( Sheep and Goat Semen Import from New Zealand) Updated -September 2017(pdf 53kb)

Importing Sheep and Goat Embryos (Note: sheep and goat embryos may only be imported from the following listed countries)

Australia (protocol being updated); a permit and export health certificate are required.

New Zealand; a permit and export health certificate are required.


Swine

Canada

European Union; A permit and export health certificate are required.

  • Protocol ( Breeding Swine Import from European Union Member States Recognized as Low-Risk for Classical Swine Fever) (pdf 22kb)
  • Model Health Certificate Live Swine Import from European Union Member States Recognized as Low-Risk for Classical Swine Fever) (pdf 33kb)

Swine Semen

Canada

  • No permit is required if the semen tanks are transported by land; an export health certificate is required to import swine semen from Canada.

European Union; a permit and export health certificate are required.

  • Model Health Certificate (Swine Semen Import from Member States of the EU)
  • Model Health Certificate (Swine Semen Import from the Netherlands)

Norway; a permit and export health certificate are required.

  • Model Health Certificate (Swine semen Import from Norway)

Swine Embryos

Canada

  • No permit is required if the embryo tanks are transported by land; an export health certificate is required to import swine semen from Canada.

Miscellaneous Animals

2016 APHIS/ARS/SAGARPA Tick Summit Presentations

Strategic Plan for Bovine Tuberculosis

APHIS and animal health authorities in Mexico have developed a joint 5-year Strategic Plan for collaboration on the management of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in both countries, in order to facilitate trade and continue eradication efforts for the disease. The plan was finalized in late 2013 and identifies two primary goals, each with specific objectives and strategies:

  • Goal 1: Minimize the risk of TB-affected or exposed animals moving in domestic or international trade.
  • Goal 2: Provide a collaborative framework to define and measure improvements in both the Mexican and U.S. TB programs.


The Strategic Plan represents a framework for these collaborations. Copies of the plan in English and Spanish are available at:

 

Contact Us: If you have any questions, or require further information related to imports of live animals, birds or germplasm, please contact National Import and Export Services at (301) 851-3300, option#2 or send an email to VS.Live.Animal.Import.Export@aphis.usda.gov.


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