Importing Horses and Other Equines into the United States

Last Modified: March 24, 2024
Brown horse in cargo box getting inspected.

APHIS regulates the importation of equines into the United States to prevent the spread of foreign animal diseases. The following animals are included in the definition of an equine: horses, mules, donkeys, asses, zebras, and their hybrids.

Requirements To Import Live Equines and Equine Germplasm (Semen, Embryos) into the United States

The requirements to import horses and other equines, or their germplasm, into the United States depend on several factors, including:

  • Where the animal resided before departure to the United States (or before the collection date for semen and embryos)
  • The disease status of countries of residency and foreign transit countries
  • The purpose of entry into the United States (for example, competition, breeding, companion, show/exhibition, other)
  • The type of admission (permanent or temporary entry)

U.S.-Origin Horses: Returning to the United States After Temporary Travel Abroad

With the exception of U.S.-origin horses that travel only to Canada and then return to the United States, U.S.-origin horses that travel abroad must complete import quarantine when they return. The reentry requirements for U.S. horses–including the length of their quarantine–depends on the route of travel during the temporary exportation and how long the horse was exported outside the United States.

Upon return to the United States, U.S.-origin horses need to be accompanied by the original, or a certified true copy, of the U.S. export health certificate, along with a health certificate issued by a full-time salaried government veterinarian of the Competent Authority in each country the horse visited.

How To Determine Requirements

In the drop-down menu, choose the country or countries resided in for your equine or equine germplasm. For U.S.-origin horses, choose the country or countries your horse traveled to before returning to the United States.

Each country's page will help you determine import requirements. This includes the length of the horse's quarantine (either 3, 7, or 60 days), required certification statements, and any additional protocols that may apply.

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Live Animal Import Permit Team

Contact APHIS' Live Animal Import Permit team if you have questions before you apply for a permit.

For questions about import permits or permit applications:

Live Animal Import Permit Team

APHIS Port Services

For questions about import inspections at a port of entry, quarantine of animals arriving from a foreign country, or requesting approval as a private animal import quarantine facility, contact APHIS Port Services.

Live Animal Import and Export

Contact APHIS' Live Animal Import and Export team for questions about current trade restrictions, or other questions not related to permits.

For general questions related to the import of a live animal:

Live Animal Import and Export