Bring a Pet Reptile into the United States

Last Modified: March 26, 2024
Pet Travel reptile

This page will guide you through the requirements for bringing a pet reptile into the United States from another country.

Carefully read ALL requirements on this page.

  • Failure to meet these import requirements will result in problems upon arrival in the United States, and the pet may be refused entry.
  • Multiple U.S. agencies regulate pets imported into the United States. It is important that you notify and coordinate with all responsible Government agencies.

APHIS Veterinary Services Requirements

There are a few tortoises that APHIS Veterinary Services prohibits from being imported.

The following tortoise species are prohibited from entering the United States:

  • Leopard tortoise (Geochelone pardalis)
  • African spurred tortoise (Geochelone sulcata)
  • Bell's hingeback tortoise (Kinixys belliana)

Otherwise, APHIS Veterinary Services doesn't have any animal health requirements for bringing pet reptiles into the United States from a foreign country.

Other Federal Agency Requirements

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) doesn't regulate the import of reptiles except turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. Visit the CDC’s website to view import requirements related to these animals. 

Also, check the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as it may have regulations related to importing a reptile into the United States.

U.S. State and Territory Requirements

Domestic movement requirements are set by the receiving State or Territory.

Visit the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture to find your destination's agriculture department and check its website for requirements.

For questions or clarification on any of the requirements, contact the State or Territorial veterinarian's office.

Airline Requirements

Check with your airline to determine whether they have any additional requirements.

Need Help?

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

Live Animal Import and Export