How Can I Obtain a Permit?
Office of External Affairs
Our Permits Station page provides links to the specific pages regarding permits commonly requested from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, such as:

- International import/export permits (CITES)

- Migratory bird permits, for the import/export of migratory birds or parts, nests or eggs.

- Habitat conservation plans and incidental take permits under the Endangered Species Act.

- Special Use permits authorizing research and study of cultural resources.

- Navigable waters permits.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues permits for importation and exportation of wildlife, plants and related products that are classified under the following legislative mandates within its jurisdiction:

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Flora (CITES): The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, commonly known as CITES, protects many species of animals and plants to ensure that commercial demand does not threaten their survival in the wild. It regulates trade in listed species and hybrids, including parts and products, through a system of permits issued by the Service's Office of Management Authority. Detailed information on CITES is described in the International Affairs fact sheet page.

Endangered Species Act (ESA): Permits are required for transportation of endangered species. Fact sheets that describe the permitting procedures for import and export of endangered species are available online.

Wild Bird Conservation Act (WBCA): The Wild Bird Conservation Act focuses on bird species listed on the Appendices to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES). Please contact the Office of International Affairs for additional information on the WBCA.

For live animals, in addition to an import/export permit, you may also need to obtain a health certificate or meet some quarantine requirements. For information, please contact the National Center for Import and Export in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If you plan to import or export live plants or plant products you also need to contact USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

Questions regarding international permits can be directed to the Service's Office of International Affairs. You can contact that office by telephone at (800) 358-2104.

For further information on these FAQ's, please contact us.
Last updated: February 12, 2009
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