Frequently Asked Questions and Facts Index "B"
The 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.
[D] [E] [F/G/H] [I/J/K]
[R] [S] [T/U/V/W/X/Y/Z]
Keyword – B
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.
- You must obtain a CITES permit (click here for an application form)
if: (a) the export or re-export is commercial; (b) for personal items,
the foreign country requires you to have a CITES document; (c) the
item is being mailed or shipped separately to or from a foreign country,
including personal items; and (d) for personal items that contain
Asian elephant ivory, the item is not pre-Act.
- You do not need a permit from us to export or re-export your bagpipe
that contains elephant ivory when your bagpipe is part of your accompanying
baggage and is for personal use. For bagpipes that contain Asian
elephant ivory, the exemption only applies when the bagpipe qualifies
as pre-ESA or antique (Pre-ESA means the elephant items were
acquired or removed from the wild prior to June 14, 1976, and have
not been held in the course of a commercial activity (i.e., bought,
bartered, offered for sale, leased) since that time. Pre-ESA items
must be accompanied by an affidavit as outlined in the regulations at 50 CFR 17.4. Antique means the article is at least 100 years
old and has not been repaired or modified with any new part of an
Asian elephant since December 28, 1973.)
- Not all CITES countries recognize the personal effects exemption,
and may require a CITES permit. Also, some countries may require an
import permit under their domestic legislation. Contact the foreign
country to meet its requirements. If the foreign country
requires you to have a U.S. CITES document, click here for an application
- When you re-import your personal bagpipe, you must provide proof
that you acquired the bagpipe in the United States, or proof that
you legally exported the bagpipe from the United States. Click here for information on commercially importing and exporting wildliife.
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
- 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
- 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
Live Bird Imports
Pet Birds, Traveling
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.
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
- 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.
of a Sport-hunted Trophy
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
- 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.
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.
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
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
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