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590 Exporting Wildlife and Protected Plants

591 Special Requirements for Wildlife and Certain Plant Exports

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).

592 Declaration Requirements

592.1 Declaration of Wildlife Exports

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 more.

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

592.2 Declaration of Scientific Specimens or Parts

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 (click on Contacts).

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592.3 Declaration of Plant Exports

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

593 Export Licenses and Inspection Requirements for Commercial Wildlife Exports

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.

594 Marking Requirements for Wildlife Exports

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.

595 Permit Requirements for Wildlife and Plant Exports

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

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 export permit.

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596 Obtaining and Using Permits for Wildlife and Protected Plant Exports

596.1 Export Permits

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.

596.2 CITES Permit

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.

596.3 Export of Migratory Birds

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 (CFR):

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

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.

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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 (click on Contacts).

Agana, GU
Anchorage, AK
Atlanta, GA
Baltimore, MD
Blaine, WA
Boston, MA
Brownsville, TX
Buffalo, NY
Chicago, IL
Dallas, TX
Denver, CO
Detroit, MI
Dunseith, ND
El Paso, TX
Great Falls, MT
Honolulu, HI
Houston, TX
Laredo, TX
Los Angeles, CA
Minneapolis, MN
New Orleans, LA
New York, NY
Newark, NJ
Nogales, AZ
Portland, OR
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
Seattle, WA
Tampa, FL

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