3-200-2: Designated Port Exception Permit

This permit authorizes import or export of wildlife at a port other than a required designated port or authorized border or special port under limited circumstances. This permit, which is valid for two years, must be acquired before importing or exporting wildlife. A port exception permit may be issued for single or multiple imports or exports. If applicants apply for a protected species permit in addition to a port exception permit, the port exception permit may be issued by the protected species permit office.

These permits may be issued:

  • for scientific purposes.
  • to minimize deterioration or loss.
  • to alleviate undue economic hardship.

Applicants must demonstrate that they meet the criteria for issuance of these special permits.

Who Needs It

If your wildlife meets certain criteria, you may apply for a designated port exception permit to import or export it through the port of your choice. We issue designated port exception permits only to:

  • Accommodate imports or exports for scientific purposes;
  • Minimize or prevent deterioration or loss of the wildlife; or
  • Alleviate undue economic hardship for you.

In addition, Service officers must be available to inspect your wildlife at the port you want to use.

Scientific Purpose

If you might qualify for port exception because of scientific purpose, you must show on your application:

  • List the species and quantity of wildlife involved and its place of origin.
  • Identify the port where the import or export will occur.
  • Indicate the reason why an exception is being requested.
  • Provide a written statement showing how the shipment meets the specific criteria for permit issuance.

Deterioration or Loss

If you might qualify for port exception because of deterioration or loss, you must show on your application:

  • Your shipment is perishable or otherwise subject to deterioration or loss.
  • Your use of a designated port would cause substantial deterioration or loss.
  • Using the port requested would prevent or minimize deterioration or loss.

Undue Economic Hardship

If you might qualify for port exception because of undue economic hardship, you must show on your application:

  • Identify the cost difference between shipping your wildlife through the port requested and the lowest cost of using a designated port.
  • Show that absorbing this difference in cost would impose an unwarranted economic hardship on you.

To Complete This Form You Will Need the Following:

  • List the port(s) of entry where importation/exportation is requested.
  • Attach supporting documentation that identifies one of the following primary reasons to support the use of this permit: (1) for scientific purposes, (2) to minimize deterioration or loss, or (3) to alleviate undue economic hardship.
  • Provide a general description of the wildlife or wildlife products, and type of animal, you wish to import/export.
  • Indicate if this is a single shipment, a series of shipment(s), or shipments over a specified period of time.
  • Foreign applicants must submit all the above, and all records must legibly be written in English and accurately include the name, address, and telephone number of a U.S. Agent. The address cannot be a P.O. box, retail postal, or mail service center.
  •  If you want the permit for a commercial shipment, please provide a copy of your valid Service wildlife import/export license.


Submit an Application

To submit an application online or through the mail, follow the instructions on our ePermits site

Application Processing Fee

  • $100 for a New Permit or Renewal of Permit
  • $ 50 to Amend the Permit
  • Application fees are nonrefundable.
  • Anyone importing or exporting wildlife under a designated port exception permit must pay a non-designated port base inspection fee. Additional fees apply if you use a port where we have no officers stationed, you must also pay all travel, transportation, and per diem costs associated with sending a Service officer to inspect your shipment.


ePermit ID