Import & Export

A variety of state and federal agencies regulate the import or export of live animals and their tissues or products. Examples of permit requirements are provided below as are links to the associated forms and permitting agencies.

Note: Please remember that these are only the US regulations, most other countries have their own import and export permit requirements. The Office of Research Integrity will attempt to put you in contact with the appropriate agency(ies) in other countries, but often your best source of information will be your contacts or collaborators in that country. Most countries require a zoosanitary (animal health) certificate issued by the USDA as part of their import permit requirements.

Example 1: Shipment from the U.S. to Germany of Black Bear ( Ursus Americanus ) brain tissue samples.

  • USFWS CITES Export Permit (Form 3-200-3 (PDF)) - Black bears are listed in CITES: Appendix 3
  • USFWS Export Declaration (Form 3-177)
  • ADF&G Scientific Collection Permit allowing export of tissues (this is necessary for CITES permit applications

Example 2: Shipment from the U.S. to Canada of anthropological specimens, including ~1000 year old bird and marine mammal bones and bone fragments, collected in Canada in the late 1960's.

  • Marine Mammal Protection Pre-Act Affidavit: Required for marine mammal parts or artifacts collected prior to December 21, 1972. A letter issued by the Office of Protected Resources at NMFS stating that the affadavit and supporting information provided sufficiently established the pre-act status of the specimens is required in place of a MMPA export permit. 
  • USFWS MBTA Export Permit (Form 3-200-6 (PDF)) - The MBTA does not exempt specimens collect prior to the act's implementations, so a permit is required.
  • USFWS Export Declaration (Form 3-177)

Example 3: Shipment of blood samples from thick billed murres ( Uria lomvia ) from Canada to the U.S.

General References

US Fish & Wildlife Service, Dept. of the Interior (USFWS)

Laws, Treaties and Regulations

Permits - general information

Application Forms

National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)

Animal & Plant Health Inspection Services, Dept. of Agriculture (USDA APHIS)

Permits Overview

On-line Permitting

State Veterinarian, Division of Environmental Health, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation

Transport & Shipping requirements must also be followed for import/export activities.