Importing Poultry Hatching Eggs into the United States

Last Modified: July 03, 2024
poultry hatching eggs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines poultry as chickens, doves, ducks, geese, grouse, guinea fowl, partridges, pea fowl, pheasants, pigeons, quail, swans, and turkeys (including hatching eggs of these species).

Import Alert

Effective October 1, 2023:

With few exceptions, poultry hatching eggs may not import from or transit through countries or zones affected with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

USDA requires the following for all poultry hatching egg imports

  • USDA Import Permit
  • Veterinary Health Certificate
  • Port Inspection
  • Import Quarantine

USDA requirements for transiting poultry hatching eggs through the United States are detailed below under USDA Transit Process.

How to Import Poultry Hatching Eggs

  • Poultry hatching eggs shipments must be accompanied by a USDA import permit, except shipments imported from Canada through a land border port.
  • Importers should apply for an import permit online using the APHIS eFile system. This will help expedite the entire permitting process and enable users to track the status of their permits, confirm receipt, and easily renew or amend existing permits. For more information on import permit application, visit Animal Health Permits.
  • Alternatively, importers may submit a paper application using the VS Form 17-129 Application for Import or In Transit Permit.
  • Importers must submit the import permit application at least 7 business days prior to shipping poultry hatching eggs.
  • The original import permit is valid for 30 days and must accompany all poultry hatching egg shipments.
  • Poultry hatching eggs requiring import quarantine must be shipped directly to the U.S. port of entry closest to the intended quarantine facility.
  • A USDA port veterinarian must inspect the poultry hatching eggs at the first U.S. port of entry, unless otherwise indicated on the U.S. import permit.
  • The importer must arrange for this inspection at least 72 hours in advance by contacting the USDA port veterinarian, whose contact information is listed on the import permit.
  • The port veterinarian will visually inspect the shipment, export health certificate, and U.S. import permit. View user fee rates for inspection services.
  • Import quarantine is required for poultry hatching eggs originating from regions that APHIS considers to be affected with virulent Newcastle Disease.
  • Quarantine for poultry hatching eggs is a minimum of 30 days and must take place at an APHIS-approved private quarantine facility or hatchery. View guidance for establishing a private quarantine.  The initial approval process for a private quarantine may take several months and must be completed before USDA will issue the import permit.
  • In a hatchery, quarantine of poultry hatching eggs requires the exclusive use of a dedicated area of the facility for the duration of the quarantine.
  • The importer is responsible for all costs and fees associated with the import, including but not limited to USDA fees for port inspection and laboratory testing during quarantine.
  • USDA will provide a cost estimate for USDA fees associated with quarantine. View user fee rates.

USDA Transit Process

  • Poultry hatching egg shipments transiting the United States from the exporting country to a third country destination must be accompanied by a USDA transit permit and a contingency plan as described in Transit Shipments of Live Animal Commodities.
  • Poultry hatching eggs originating from an HPAI-affected region may not transit the United States.
  • The transit permit application process is the same as the import permit application process (see USDA Import Permit section). Denoting the route of travel on the application distinguishes the type of permit requested.
  • USDA oversees transit shipments while they are in the United States. The importer must arrange for USDA services at least 72 hours in advance by contacting the USDA port veterinarian listed on the transit permit.
  • The importer must submit the contingency plan with the permit application and the request for service at the U.S. transit port.
  • The transit permit lists any special instructions for the importer and port staff. For more information, see Transit Shipments of Live Animal Commodities and Notice Regarding APHIS Live Animal Import and Third-Country Import Transit Permits.

For more information about importing poultry hatching eggs or to view associated guidance documents, see VS Guidance and Other Documents for Avian Importation.


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