Forms & Regulations


Often overlooked are the many rules and regulations surrounding the importation of trophies.  As the world’s economies are constantly changing, so are the guidelines for our industry.  With the growing threat of terror; the growing numbers of endangered species, and battle against disease, Customs, Fish & Wildlife, USDA, Center for Disease Control and others have a large number of regulations that govern the importation of hunting trophies.

In this section are the most up to date regulations or links to those regulations that are impacting the hunting world.  In this section you will find links to additional forms that may be required.  As there are numerous FWS and CBP forms we highlight the most common. If you find you require a form not on our list, we would be happy to provide it for you, otherwise you may go directly to FWS and CBP’s homepage to locate.

We’re confident you’ll find this useful and please do not hesitate to ASK!

CITES Permits

CITES Document Requirements – Guidance for U.S. Importers & Exporters

Final Rule of U.S. CITES Regulations – Federal Register, published 8/23/2007

CITES permits must be properly completed to avoid seizures or refusal by U.S. FWS.  Please note the below tips for checking both export CITES and U.S. Import Permits:

1)      Appendix I species requires a U.S. Import Permit. Please fax a copy of your import permit to the appropriate party overseas and double check for errors, all pertinent information matches and confirm expiration dates and any date errors.

2)      Confirm that name and number of species are correct as well as permittee information, etc.

3)      Confirm that seal and signature of CITES officers are complete, block 14 must be fully completed including the number of parts as well as signed, dated and sealed by appropriate authorized export authority at the country of export (Customs or CITES officials).  Block 14 is the export validation and should be performed at the time of export.

4)      Confirm that quota and tag information is correct.

5)      Confirm that the correct purpose code is indicated. “H” for hunting trophies and “P” for personal items (made up articles that do not meet the definition of a hunting trophy).

6)      Be sure that your legal name is used on CITES permits and not nick-names.

7)      If shipments arrive with an improper, missing or photocopy of a CITES permit, US FWS must be notified immediately.  One cannot ask that a replacement be sent without permission from U.S. FWS.  This is illegal.  If your shipment arrives with an incorrect permit, missing permit or the permit is not the original, US FWS must confer with the issuing country for determination if a replacement will be allowed or if the shipment will be ordered for re-export or seized.

8)      If your shipment requires a U.S. Import Permit, this MUST be obtained from US FWS prior to exportation to the U.S.  If the shipment arrives in U.S. territory without the import permit, it is an automatic violation and the animal will be seized.

Leopards and African Elephants

Importing your Leopard or African Elephant Trophy

Leopards require presentation of an Appendix I export permit and a U.S. Import Permit.

African Elephants that are purpose code H from Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa are Appendix II and not do not require US Import Permits.  However, bone that has been altered (made-up) from a sport-hunted elephant does not meet the definition of a hunting trophy and require an export CITES permit coded “P” for personal and a U.S. Import Permit.


Importing your Bontebok Sport Hunted Trophy

Appendix I species and requires an export CITES permit and a U.S. Import Permit. Please be sure to read the U.S. Import Permit application carefully.  For example, the application requires a letter from the landowner or verification that the farm is certified to allow hunting of that particular species.  This must be submitted with the application.

Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra

Per U.S. FWS – Listed in CITES Appendix II and threatened under ESA.  May be imported for personal, non-commercial purposes (sport-hunted trophy) without a threatened species permit, as long as not part of commercial activity.  Requires foreign CITES with purpose code “H”.  If purchased for personal, non-commercial purposes, requires prior issuance of a threatened species permit (3-200-37), as well as a foreign CITES permit.

Dip & Pack – USDA, CDC & US Public Health

Please know that there are special documentation requirements for certain species of animals that are dip & pack only and not mounted overseas.  Swine & Non-Human Primates and some Ruminants must go to a USDA Approved Establishment for reprocessing.  Special Veterinary Certificates are required for dip and pack only animals of the Viverridea Family (Civet & Genet) and Rodentia Family (Porcupine & Springhare).  These certificates must state what was done to render these animals non-infectious and we must submit the documentation to the USPHS for release before we can make entry with FWS.  Non-Human Primates are now not required to have a valid CDC Import Permit, however, the shipment will normally require inspection by CDC for release before USDA and US FWS officials will process the shipment for release by their respective agencies.


Applications (Permits) Fact Sheet/Index

US FWS Declaration Form 3-177

Southern African Leopard


African Elephant

Namibian Southern White Rhinoceros

Appendix I of CITES and/or ESA – Sport-Hunted Trophies


Appendix I Animals/ESA or CITES/ESTA (Used for made up articles of African elephant bone)


Certificate of Registration for Personal Affects Taken Abroad – Customs Form 4457.

Gun registration and may also be used to register any other items with serial numbers taken abroad (i.e. scopes, cameras, video recorders, etc).

CDC Import Permit