Permits ~ US Federal


The Ornithological Council recommends that you submit all permit applications at least 90 calendar days prior to the date you intend to start work/import/export  – but in the case of endangered species permits, allow up to six months

In September 2020, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service launched a new online permit system. As of March 2022, some USFWS permits are available on the new system and some are not; for those that are not yet available as epermits, you must still download, complete, and return your permit application. Information is provided in each category below as to whether the permit is available yet as an epermit. 

Always feel free to contact the Ornithological Council if you have questions about permits or need assistance with your permit applications.

The OC’s Import Guide 

A Guide to the Processes and Procedures for Importing Bird Products into the United States for Scientific Research and Display: This extensive guide, thoroughly updated in 2020 with additional minor updates as neede, provides a step-by-step guide for ornithologists importing birds or bird products into the U.S. for research and display, including template documents and checklists to follow. This guide is updated as agency permitting requirements change, keeping ornithologists in compliance with the many laws and regulations governing the import of bird products. 

If you have any questions after reading the Import Guide or find areas that require further clarification, please contact the Ornithological Council.

Migratory Bird Treaty Act permits

Permits to work on public lands

Endangered Species Act permits  (Use USFWS epermit system)

CITES permits and Certificates of Scientific Exchange (Use USFWS epermit system)

External link: U.S. Fish & Wildife Service Permits page