Permits

Frequently Asked Questions and Facts Index "B"

Brown Tree SnakeThe following alphabetical index is to help you quickly find the answer to general permit questions. The keywords lead you to frequently asked questions and their answer, as well as links to fact sheets and specific web pages.

ALPHABETICAL INDEX:

[A]  [C]  [D]  [E]  [F/G/H]  [I/J/K]  [L/M]  [N/O/P/Q]  [R]  [S]  [T/U/V/W/X/Y/Z

 

Keyword – B

Question/Answer/Fact

Bagpipes

What are the permit requirements to export and re-import my bagpipes with ivory fittings?  Some older bagpipes were manufactured with elephant ivory.  The African elephant (Loxodonta africana) is listed as threatened under the ESA with a special rule. The Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) is listed as endangered under the ESA. Both species are protected by CITES.

If you wish to travel abroad with bagpipes that contain elephant ivory, you must obtain a CITES document prior to leaving the United States.

  •  If you regularly go on international travel with bagpipes that contain elephant ivory, we recommend that you obtain a musical instrument passport. Click here to learn more about the requirements of the musical instrument passport and find out how to apply.

  • If you only intend to make one border crossing (either an export or re-export) with bagpipes that contain elephant ivory, you should complete application form 3-200-23.

Bear, Black

Do I need a permit to import into the United States a black bear that I harvested as a trophy in Canada?  The American black bear (Ursus americanus) is listed in CITES Appendix II.

  • To import a hunting trophy from Canada, contact the applicable provincial or territorial office to meet its requirements.
  • We recognize the CITES personal effects exemption.  Residents of the United States or Canada do not need a CITES permit to import black bear trophies in a fresh, frozen, or salted condition if the personal sport-hunted trophy is part of the hunter’s accompanying baggage and is for personal use.
  • If the trophy is being shipped or mailed by a taxidermist or someone else, it must be accompanied by a CITES permit (see Canadian offices above). If your taxidermist brings your trophy over the border for you, he or she must obtain an import/export license.
  • A black bear trophy lawfully taken by a U.S. resident in Canada and imported for non-commercial purposes, may be imported at any Customs port of entry. You must delcare your trophy using our declaration form, and file the form with U.S. Customs if a FWS wildlife inspector is not available.
  • Check with the State to meet its requirements.

Birds

Banding Birds

Exotic Live Bird Imports

Migratory Birds

Pet Birds, Traveling Abroad

Can I use migratory birds for educational purposes?  A Federal permit is available to allow possession of live or dead birds for conservation education purposes.  Generally, a minimum of 12 educational programs must be provided annually to maintain a permit.  To qualify for a permit, you must document experience both in handling the species of bird you wish to hold for education and your background in presenting educational material.  If you have not worked directly with migratory birds in the past, we strongly suggest that you volunteer at a local rehabilitation facility, preferably one that also holds birds for educational programs.  You will encounter birds that cannot be returned to the wild due to permanent injuries and which will be placed with qualifying organizations for educational purposes or maintained at the rehabilitation center if they hold such a permit.  This will provide you with an opportunity to gain experience handling these birds, to build knowledge about the biology and conservation needs of species, and develop skills in communicating your message to the public.  Improper handling of migratory birds, particularly raptors, can result in injuries to the bird, the public, or both.

Boa, Pet

Do I need a permit to import or export my pet boa?  All snakes in the Boidae family (boas, pythons) are listed in CITES Appendix I or II.  Some are also listed as endangered or threatened under the ESA.  Commonly held pets, such as the boa constrictor (Boa constrictor) [excluding the Argentine boa (B. c. occidentalis) which is listed in Appendix I], ball python (Python regius), and reticulated python (P. reticulatus), are listed in Appendix II.  Check the lists to determine how the boa you own is protected.  (If the species name is not individually listed on the CITES list, the species is listed in Appendix II.)

  • To export an Appendix-II species from the United States, you need a CITES permit.  Click here for an application form.  Contact the foreign country to meet its requirements.
  • To import an Appendix-II or Appendix-I pet snake into the United States, you need a CITES permit issued by the exporting country.
  • To import a snake listed in Appendix I you may also need a permit from us unless the foreign country has issued a CITES bred-in-captivity certificate.  To import a snake listed under the ESA, you need a permit from us.  Click here for an application form.
  • You must import or export your pet boa through a designated port unless you have received a port exception permit. You must notify the FWS wildlife inspection office at the port of entry or exit at least 48 hours in advance, present our declaration form to the wildlife inspectors, and receive clearance from us prior to export or at the time of import. We will validate any U.S. CITES permits during this clearance process.

Bontebok

Import of a Sport-hunted Trophy

Bonytongue, Asian (Arowana)

What are the permit requirements to import an Asian bonytongue or arowana?  The Asian bonytongue (Scleropages formosus) is listed as endangered under the ESA and in CITES Appendix I.

  • These fish may not be imported for commercial or personal pet purposes. 
  • Click here to obtain a fact sheet that outlines the purposes for which an ESA permit may be issued.  If you intend to import an Asian bonytongue for one of the specified purposes, click here for an application form.  You also need to obtain a CITES document from the foreign country.  Although some Asian bonytongues are bred in foreign facilities that are registered with the CITES Secretariat to commercialize this Appendix-I species, they may not be imported into the United States unless the intended use of the import meets the ESA permit requirements, and an ESA permit has been granted.

Brazilian Rosewood

See Rosewood, Brazilian

Breeder's Statement (Import/Export)

What is a breeder's statement and what if I am not the breeder?

  • A breeder's statement is an affidavit signed by the breeder containing a signed and dated statement that the specimen was bred or propagated by the breeder or propagator with name and address of breeder, date of sale or transfer, species, sex (if known) and birth/hatch date.
  • If you are not the breeder, provide:  (a) Identification of the specimen, including birth, hatch, or propagation date.  For wildlife, the identifying information could include sex, size, band number, or other markings.  Records that show the specimen’s origin (pre-Convention, previously imported, wild-collected, or born, bred, grown, or propagated in captivity in the United States).  (b) Records that document the history of all transfers in ownership.  (c) Each record needs to specifically identify the specimen and give the name and address of the owner.

Budgie (Budgerigar)

Do I need a U.S. permit to import or export a budgie?  The budgie (Melopsittacus undulates) does not require a CITES or WBCA permit from us to be imported or exported.  Persons engaged in business as an importer or exporter of wildlife must obtain an import/export license.  You must import or export your pet budgie through a port authorized by the Department of Agriculture. You must notify the FWS wildlife inspection office at the port of entry or exit at least 48 hours in advance, present our declaration form to the wildlife inspectors, and receive clearance from us prior to export or at the time of import. Click here for information on commercially importing and exporting wildlife. Contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture for quarantine requirements and the State to meet its requirements.

CITES:   Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
BGEPA: Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act
ESA:      Endangered Species Act
MBTA:   Migratory Bird Treaty Act
MMPA:  Marine Mammal Protection Act
WBCA:  Wild Bird Conservation Act

For additional information, visit the Fish and Wildlife Service's Frequently Asked Questions web site.

Last updated: August 23, 2013