NOTICE TO THE WILDLIFE
Import/Export License Requirement
An Import/Export license is required for commercial imports or exports of fish and wildlife and/or their parts and products into or out of the United States. There are basic steps involved when planning to import or export wildlife. First, contact a Wildlife Inspector nearest your location to inquire about obtaining an import and export license. You will find the forms and information needed to apply below. Secondly, you will need to submit a Declaration for Importation or Exportation of Fish or Wildlife and all appropriate paperwork, and make an appointment for an inspection at a Designated Port of Entry. And lastly, a Wildlife Inspector will inspect and clear the shipment.
Remember, as an importer or exporter, you are required to comply with all relevant Federal, state, and foreign laws that usually require the issuance of specific documentation and permits prior to the import or export activity. For more information, please contact your nearest Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) Wildlife Inspector office by clicking here.
Please review our informational fact sheet on Importing and Exporting Your Commercial Wildlife Shipment (.pdf file 860kb) that provides an overview of what is required when shipping fish and wildlife products commercially.
There are two ways you can access the Declaration for Importation or Exportation of Fish or Wildlife Form 3-177:
- You can download the form, continuation sheet, and instructions from here, then open, fill out and complete, and then print it; OR
- File electronically with the port where the import/export will occur. Please visit the eDECS web page for further information and instructions.
Application for Import/Export License
- To apply for an Import/Export License, click here (.pdf file 63kb) to go to the import/export application on-line from our web site at forms.fws.gov. Please fill out all applicable blocks and print.
- There is a $100 fee. Attach your check to the application and mail it to:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, 911 NE 11th Ave, 5th Floor W., Portland, Oregon 97232
- This license, which is valid for one year, must be acquired before importing or exporting a commercial wildlife shipment.
- Hints to expedite processing of your import/export license application: please use the current application form located on this web site; send in the correct fee with the application; send in the original application (not a copy); and sign the application in blue ink. If incomplete or unacceptable applications are received, the applicant will be contacted immediately. After 45 days, an incomplete application is considered either withdrawn or abandoned and the applicant will need to reapply. There are no refunds on application fees.
- Please contact the Portland Regional OLE Office at 503-231-6125, if you have any questions regarding your application or need further information.
Port Exception Permit Requirement
An import or export of fish or wildlife at a port other than a Designated Port or authorized border or special port requires a Port Exception Permit. This permit may only be issued in specific situations that involve scientific shipments, to minimize deterioration or loss, or
to alleviate undue economic hardship. Applicants must demonstrate that they meet the criteria for issuance of this special permit.
- Contact your nearest Wildlife Inspector’s office for additional information.
- Obtain an application by clicking here (.pdf file 129kb) for further information.
- The Port Exception Permit must be acquired before importing or exporting wildlife, and may be issued either for single or multiple shipments.
- There is a $100 fee for this permit.
- If applicants require a separate U.S. permit for various protected species of fish or wildlife, Port Exception permission may be added onto that permit.
- If traveling abroad, please be aware that many wildlife products sold are not legal to import into the United States. For example, elephant ivory, furs from many spotted cats, and products made from endangered sea turtles, such as tortoiseshell jewelry, leather boots, and skin oils, are prohibited. To ensure compliance with international regulations governing wildlife trade, we advise people who plan to purchase wildlife products to check regulations carefully before traveling abroad. Tips for Travelers and Facts about Federal Wildlife Laws (.pdf file 325kb) are two good sources of information to review, as well as the laws of the country where you may be traveling..
- If you will be leaving and re-entering the United States with your pet bird, please read the information in Traveling with Your Pet Bird (.pdf file 58kb) and contact your nearest Wildlife Inspector for information.
- The Declaration for Importation or Exportation of Fish or Wildlife Form 3-177 is not only used for commercial importing and exporting but also for non-commercial importing and exporting, including scientific, zoological, and personal shipments. The form, continuation sheet and instructions for completing the form can be accessed on-line.
There are other permits that the Office of Law Enforcement issues. If you need to see what they are, click here.
Note: To download these forms you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader version 4.0 or higher. You may download Form 3-177 or open, complete, and print it. Use the tab key or cursor to move between fields on the form. Remember that these forms are submitted for review and clearance at ports where Wildlife Inspectors are located.