Exports of wildlife items and products may be subject to declaration, license,
marking, and permit requirements enforced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service (USFWS). Similar requirements also apply to plants protected as
endangered or threatened under U.S. law or international treaty. Live wildlife
and dead animals, with only a few exceptions, may not be exported via the
U.S. Postal Service (see 139.1).
The following wildlife exports must be declared to USFWS and must receive
clearance prior to export:
a. Commercial exports of wildlife products.
b. Shipments of items not intended for commercial use valued at $250 or
c. Noncommercial shipments of items that require a permit for export
(e.g., products made from endangered species or migratory birds)
regardless of the dollar value of the shipment.
To declare a wildlife export, shippers must complete and file Form 3-177,
Declaration for Importation or Exportation of Fish or Wildlife, with USFWS.
Copies are available from wildlife inspection offices (see 598), from the U.S.
Customs Service, or on the Internet at http://www.le.fws.gov/le/FAQs/
Form 3-177 is not required at the time of export for shipments of dead,
preserved, dried, or embedded scientific specimens or parts when:
a. The shipment does not require a permit from USFWS.
b. The shipment is exported by an accredited scientist or accredited
scientific institution for taxonomic or systematic research purposes.
Instead, the scientist or scientific institution (or an agent acting on their
behalf) must file Form 3-177 with the assistant regional director for law
enforcement in the USFWS administrative region from which the export was
mailed within 180 days of export. Contact information is available on the
Internet at http://www.le.fws.gov (click on Contacts).
The export of protected plants is regulated by the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Shippers
should contact the Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) division for
additional information about export requirements for protected plants.
Exporters who engage in the commercial trade of plants listed under the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and
Flora (CITES) must obtain a general permit from APHIS/PPQ in addition to
meeting the permit requirements described in 596. All plant exports are
subject to phytosanitary inspection and certification rules administered by
APHIS/PPQ. Information about plant export requirements can be found on
the APHIS/PPQ Web site at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq.
Individuals or companies that commercially export wildlife must have a valid
import/export license from USFWS. Exporters must notify USFWS and make
their shipments available for inspection at least 48 hours before the planned
exportation date. Exporters must pay appropriate inspection fees.
All packages containing wildlife products must be marked clearly with the
name and address of both the shipper and the recipient. Information
identifying the contents as fish or wildlife and specifying the quantity and
species involved must accompany the shipment. Federal regulations (50
CFR Part 14, Subpart H) explain how to comply with wildlife marking
requirements. See 597.
Permits are required to export any of the following by mail or other means:
a. Any wildlife or plant (including parts and products) where the species is
listed under CITES. A list of species protected under this treaty is
maintained by USFWS at http://international.fws.gov.
b. Any wildlife or plant (including parts and products) where the species is
listed as endangered or threatened under the U.S. Endangered
Species Act. A list of these species can be found at
c. Migratory birds, parts, feathers, nests, eggs, or items made from them.
Permit requirements for export and numerous other protections apply to
more than 700 bird species safeguarded under the Migratory Bird
Treaty Act. A list can be found on the Internet at
CITES-listed herbarium specimens; other preserved, dried, or embedded
museum specimens; and live plant material may be exported as a
noncommercial loan, donation, or exchange between registered scientists or
registered scientific institutions using a CITES-authorized label instead of an
596 Obtaining and Using Permits for Wildlife and
Protected Plant Exports
Shippers who need export permits or other documentation required under
CITES or the Endangered Species Act should contact USFWS Office of
Management Authority (800-358-2104) for the appropriate application forms
and instructions. Some CITES-listed species also require permits from the
importing country before they can be legally exported.
The original CITES permit must accompany the shipment. All wildlife exports
requiring a CITES permit that are shipped by mail, including personal items
mailed overseas, must be declared to USFWS and made available for
inspection and permit validation by USFWS wildlife inspectors. Exports of
CITES-protected plants must be declared to the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; permits for these
shipments must be validated by that agency before export.
The export of migratory birds, their parts, feathers, eggs, or nests, or
products made from them, is prohibited except with a permit from USFWS.
Permit applications and information are available from the regional Migratory
Bird Permit Offices located in Albuquerque, NM; Anchorage, AK; Atlanta, GA;
Denver, CO; Fort Snelling, MN; Hadley, MA; and Portland, OR.
597 How to Obtain Additional Information
Additional information about exporting wildlife products and protected plants
can be found in the following sections of the Code of Federal Regulations
a. 50 CFR Part 14, Importation, Exportation, and Transportation of Wildlife
b. 50 CFR Part 23, Endangered Species Convention
c. 50 CFR Part 24, Importation and Exportation of Plants
These and other Federal regulations, including those governing endangered
species (50 CFR Part 17) and migratory bird permits (50 CFR Part 21), may
be accessed online at http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/index.html.
Shippers may also contact USFWS wildlife inspection offices for assistance
with wildlife exports. Questions about the export of protected plants should be
addressed to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health
Inspection Service. A list of Agriculture Inspection Stations and Offices
appears in 723.
598 Wildlife Inspection Offices
USFWS wildlife inspection offices are located in the cities listed below.
Addresses and phone numbers for these offices can be found on the Internet
at http://www.le.fws.gov (click on Contacts).
El Paso, TX
Great Falls, MT
Los Angeles, CA
New Orleans, LA
New York, NY
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA