Travel With Your Parrot

Permits & Requirements To Travel Abroad With A Bird

Before you take your green cheeked conure to argentina to discover its native lands, there’s something you should probably know…

Green cheeked conures are suspended from entering Argentina due to laws in place by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) and the WBCA (Wild Bird Conservation Act).

Bummer, we know. But CITES and WBCA laws protect wildlife that are threatened by overexploitation and other factors like habitat loss.

Every travel destination has its own “pet importation” requirements along with a list of permits from your home country that you’ll need to bring.

The process to collect these permits and check off each requirement can take months.

To help streamline the process, we've broken down the requisites below and included links to permit applications and important bureaus.

Identify the scientific name for your bird's species

For example:
  • Green cheeked conure: Pyrrhura molinae
  • Sun conure: Aratinga solstitialis
  • Budgie: Melopsittacus undulatus
  • Cockatiel: Nymphicus hollandicus
  • Parrotlet: Forpus coelestis
  • Lovebird: Agapornis fischeri
  • Eclectus: Eclectus roratus
  • African grey: Psittacus erithacus

Find Out Where Your Bird Is Permitted

Head to CITES’ Species+ database, and type the scientific name into the search bar. Scroll down and check to see if any suspensions are in place. Countries listed under “suspensions” currently prohibit your bird from entering.

If you’re still unsure whether your bird is a species protected by CITES and the WBCA, contact the Division of Management Authority, Branch of Permits at [email protected].

Obtain an import/export/re-export permit

That permit is found here, but it is only applicable if you plan to cross the border once then re-enter the United States once within a period of six months. Permit application processing times take 60 days on average, so you must plan in advance.

Apply for a Pet Passport

All pets traveling internationally need a pet passport to cross borders.

For residents of the United States who are making multiple border crossings with your parrot, you will need to fill out an application for the: CITES pet passport.

Residents of the E.U. will receive a pet passport from an official E.U. veterinarian upon successful completion of a full health inspection.

Pet Passport

Acquire a valid health certificate

Acquire a valid health certificate from a qualified Avian Veterinarian, and make several copies.

This certificate is only valid within 14 days of travel, so it should be one of the last things you do before departure.

If you’re gone for more than 14 days, you will need to get another health certificate before returning, so it’s a good idea to research avian vets at your destination ahead of time.

Avian Vet Checkup

Double check your homework

Contact the U.S. embassy and the CITES authorities at the country you’ll be visiting to make sure there are no other special requirements you’ve missed.

Arrange a clearance inspection

If your bird is CITES and WBCA protected, you will need to arrange a clearance inspection at a designated port within 72 hours prior to your anticipated travel.

Bring your CITES and WBCA permits, along with a completed declaration form. These will need to be validated by a Wildlife Inspector before you leave the United States.

Cover your bases and ask for copies of all validated documents. You will have to present these when you re-renter the country.

African Grey Travel

Be proactive for your return

In order to “re-import” your parrot into the United States, you will need to check off a number of requirements no less than 60 days before you return from any foreign country other than Canada or Mexico.

Visit this website for a checklist of re-entry requirements.

When traveling internationally, expect to pay several hundreds of dollars in fees for permits, passports, and health certificates alone. But seriously, just wait until you see those eyes pinning at the sight of a fresh, new landscape that you discovered together.
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