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United States Fish and Wildlife’s (“FWS”) mission is to working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. In order to trade in goods such as exotic animals, ivory, and mother of pearl, one must obtain one of the following as per FWS’ website

  1. Import/Export License – This permit is generally required for all individuals or businesses that engage in business as an importer or exporter of wildlife. This permit, which is valid for one year, must be acquired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Law Enforcement office within the Region where the applicant is located before any wildlife is imported or exported.
  2. 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. These permits may be issued (1) for scientific purposes, (2) to minimize deterioration or loss, or (3) to alleviate undue economic hardship. 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
  3. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (“CITES”) Export Permits for Certain Wildlife – Law Enforcement issues CITES export permits for furs or skins of bobcat, river otter, Alaska lynx, Alaska gray wolf, Alaska brown bear, or American alligator.
  4. CITES Re-export Certificates for Certain Wildlife – Law Enforcement issues certain re-export certificates for Appendix-II and –III wildlife unless a permit is required under 50 CFR Part 17 (Endangered or Threatened Species), Part 18 (Marine Mammal), or Part 21 (Migratory Bird). If a permit is required under these regulations, the Division of Management Authority will issue the re-export certificate.

Our firm provides guidance to FWS laws and regulations as well as prepares the proper FWS permit application for your FWS regulated goods.

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