Fish and Wildlife Service Fees and Requirements

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published a final rule on December 9, 2008, with an effective date of January 8, 2009. This final rule was published to:

  • clarify the import/export license and fee requirements;
  • adjust the inspection fee schedule from a flat-rate pricing structure to a tiered structure (the inspection fee increase is based on the type of wildlife shipment and the type of port – the fees will increase each year through 2012).; and
  • update license and inspection fee exemptions.


Effective January 23, 2012, FedEx Express will change the administrative fee per shipment to cover brokerage expenses for filing the applicable forms and/or information with the FWS. This fee is in addition to the charges assessed by the FWS. For more information, visit fedex.com.

FedEx Express® Service

FedEx Express offers clearance for certain commodities regulated by the FWS at five of our six express gateway locations - Memphis, TN; Anchorage, AK; Newark, NJ; Miami, FL; and Oakland, CA. Certain Fish and wildlife commodities can be exported into the U.S. using all FedEx® international services except FedEx International Next Flight®. Please note that these commodities may require additional time for clearance.

Document Requirements

The FedEx® International Air Waybill, a detailed Commercial Invoice and at least one or more of the following documents are required when shipping wildlife commodities:

  • Fish and Wildlife Import License (issued to the U.S. importer)
  • Original copy of the Export Permit (from Canada-origin country)
  • Original copy of the Import Permit (from the U.S.-destination country)
  • Original copy of the Certificate of Origin
  • Packing list
  • Other commodity-specific documentation


Prohibited Items

FedEx Express prohibits the following wildlife commodities:

  • Live animals
  • Perishable food items
  • Live or dead wildlife under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture


Additional information:

Fish and Wildlife Service – Imports/Exports
Fish and Wildlife News Release – Fees and Requirements 
Federal Register Final Rule
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)