Chinese delegates tour an alligator
farm in Louisiana
Credit: Thomas Leuteritz/USFWS

Over the past 33 years, the Service has worked with State governments to develop procedures that streamline the permitting process. States can provide information showing that they have established a management program that ensures a sustainable harvest, and that they have the means to identify or mark specimens that have been legally taken under their system. If such a program is approved by the Service, a tag or certificate issued by the State can be used for export.

A tag or certificate issued by the State demonstrates that a particular specimen was harvested under an approved program and that the appropriate findings have been made to comply with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Regular reporting from States allows us to determine whether our findings remain valid. This alternative to making the legal acquisition and non-detriment findings on a permit-by-permit basis reduces a potentially large workload for exporters as well as for our offices.

The resolution to maintain a universal tagging system for crocodilian skins was passed after the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP) in 2000 and later revised at CoP15 in 2010. This system was put in place to deter the illegal trade of species listed in Appendices I and II. To read the revised resolution, click here.

To determine if your state has an approved program, please see the List of States with Approved Alligator Export Programs document pdf.

To find out what species of crocodilians are protected under CITES and the Endangered Species Act (ESA), click here pdf.

  • If you are exporting a live captive born animal, you should complete application form 3-200-24pdf.
  • If you are commercially exporting skins, you should complete application form 3-200-26pdf.
  • If you are exporting a live animal taken from the wild, or samples, parts, or products, you should complete application form 3-200-27pdf.
  • If you are exporting a sport-hunted trophy, you should complete application form 3-200-28pdf.
  • If you are exporting biological specimens, you should complete application form 3-200-29pdf.
  • If you are re-exporting (the exportation of a previously exported item), you should complete application form 3-200-73pdf.

For general information on CITES permit requirements, click here pdf.

If, after reading this information, you are unclear about the permitting process, please feel free to contact us.