- Last updated on January 24, 2012
International Import, Export, & Transport of Exotic Pets
An exotic species is defined as a plant or animal species that is not native to a particular area. Transporting exotic species such as birds, reptiles, and small mammals requires additional preparation and documentation.
VIP Sitters imports, exports, and transports exotic pets and other non-traditional pets. Share your travel plans with us to receive a quote for your pet transport.
Policies and Requirements
When internationally importing or exporting exotic pets, it must be known whether the species is protected by CITES. If so, a permit is required.
CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments that aims to ensure the survival of exotic plants and animals when internationally traded. It protects the endangered animals, and the animals that may be threatened when other animals are imported.
CITES Species Database If moving internationally with an exotic pet, this database reveals whether the pet is protected. If so, a CITES permit is required. This takes at least six (6) months to obtain.
To internationally import exotic pets into Canada, use the following links:
CFIA (The Canadian Food Inspection Agency) establishes import requirements for all animals and animal products entering Canada, including domestic pets.
AIRS is the automated import reference system of CFIA. It is a user-friendly searchable database of CFIA import requirements. Through a series of questions and answers, the system supplies the necessary requirements for specific commodities.