U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Import/Export of Wildlife & Wildlife Products

Commercial Shipments

  • An informational fact sheet on Importing and Exporting Your Commercial Wildlife Shipment will give you an overview of what is required when shipping wildlife products commercially.
  • You can access the Declaration for Importation or Exportation of Fish or Wildlife Form 3-177 two ways:
    1. Download the form, continuation sheet and instructions then open, complete, and print it; or
    2. File electronically with the port where the import/export will occur. Visit E-DECS for further information and instructions.
  • The Import/Export License (pdf) is generally required for all individuals or businesses that engage in business as an importer or exporter of wildlife. This permit, which is valid for one year, must be acquired before importing or exporting. Contact our Legal Instruments Examiner in the Anchorage Regional Office at 907-786-3311, if you have any questions.
  • Import or export of wildlife at a port other than a required designated port or authorized border or special port requires a Port Exception Permit. This permit may be issued
    1. for scientific purposes,
    2. to minimize deterioration or loss, or
    3. to alleviate undue economic hardship. Applicants must demonstrate that they meet the criteria for issuance of this special permit.
  • For the application or further information, please contact our Wildlife Inspectors office at (907) 271-6198.

    This permit, which is valid for two years if required, must be acquired before importing or exporting wildlife. A port exception permit may be issued for single or multiple imports or exports.

    Note: Anchorage, Alaska is a designated port no port exemption permit is not required for importing or exporting wildlife.

Non-Commercial Shipments

  • If you are traveling abroad be aware that many wildlife products sold abroad 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 shell jewelry, leather boots, and skin oils, are prohibited. Because international regulations governing wildlife trade are complex, the Service advises people who plan to purchase wildlife products to check regulations carefully before traveling abroad. A good guide is "Tips for Travelers"
  • Some of the materials used in Alaska Native arts or crafts come from protected species or sources, and are regulated. A Customs Guide of Alaska Native Arts is an excellent guide to help you understand the laws and requirements for taking Alaska Native crafts home with you.
  • If you will be leaving and re-entering the United States with your pet bird, then read the information in "Traveling with Your Pet Bird"(pdf).
  • 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. The form, continuation sheet and instructions for completing the form can be accessed on-line. To download the form 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.