Importing Birds – Tougher Than You Think
See a beautiful macaw you’d like to bring home from your trip overseas? Please check with us
as well as with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Due to the Avian flu scare in 2008, the U.S. government has imposed strict restrictions
regarding the importation of birds – and what they call “poultry products” such as eggs and
feathers – into the United States.
Per the USDA, in order to import a pet bird of non-U.S. origin, the owner must fulfill the following
1) Obtain a USDA Import Permit.
2) Provide a current health certificate issued by a full-time salaried veterinarian employed
for the agency responsible for animal health of the national government in the exporting
country of origin.
3) Check if a CITES permit is necessary. Most exotic birds will require a CITES permit from both the exporting and importing countries.
4) Quarantine the bird for 30 days, at the owner’s expense, in one of the USDA’s import
centers listed on the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website.
APHIS also provides procedures for returning pet birds of U.S. origin to the United States, and
also for a variety of other live bird importation situations.
You can download an import permit and find out more information at: http://
USDA Aphis Page: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/animals/nonus_pet_bird.shtml