Office of Law Enforcement
Protecting Wildlife and Plant Resources
Ports Importation and Exportation Wildlife


Generally all wildlife (including parts and products) imported into or exported from the United States for any purpose must be declared to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and cleared prior to release by U.S. Customs and Border Protection or prior to consignment for export.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has a system of ports to allow for the import and export of wildlife, including parts and products. These ports are used for all movement of wildlife, including for commercial, non-commercial, scientific, or personal purposes. Certain port locations are designated to allow the international movement of any lawful wildlife, while other locations are restricted to allow only certain types of wildlife for certain purposes. The following sections explain how the different types of ports operate and provide contact information for the wildlife inspection office located at, or responsible for, a particular port.

Definition of Wildlife: Wildlife means any wild animal, whether alive or dead, including any wild mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish, mollusk (i.e. clam, snail, squid, octopus), crustacean (i.e. crab, lobster, crayfish), insect, sponges, corals, or other invertebrate, whether or not bred, hatched, or born in captivity, and including any part, product (including manufactured products and processed food products), egg, or offspring.

Import or Export: See our regulations (50 CFR Part 14.4) for definitions of these terms.

Designated Ports
Canadian Border Ports
Mexican Border Ports
Special Ports : Alaska, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam
Import or Export At Any Customs Port
      - Wildlife Lawfully Taken in North America
      - Wildlife In-transit Through the United States
      - Personal Accompanying Baggage, Personal Items, Tourist Souvenirs
      - Household Effects
      - Marine Mammals Taken on the High Seas
      - Certain Shellfish and Fishery Products
      - Certain Scientific Specimens
      - Certain Pearls
Export At Any Customs Port
      - Certain Live Aquatic Invertebrates (oysters, clams, mussels, or scallops)
      - Live Farm-raised Fish and Farm-raised Fish eggs

Last updated: March 29, 2013