US regulations (was Re: regulation of collecting in Spain???)

Doug Yanega dyanega at
Mon Nov 10 17:26:19 EST 1997

Mark Walker wrote:

>My understanding is that the U.S. only regulates according to the rules of the
>exporting country, that is that they observe all regulations as defined by the
>exporting country (regardless of how inappropriate they might be).  Other than
>to protect internationally listed species in countries which do not provide
>such protection, there are no special U.S. restrictions on the importing of
>dead specimens.  Anyone else?
>In other words, if Spain requires permits for collecting, then the U.S. F&W
>port of entry inspector (should you run in to one) would expect you to possess
>such permits.

There's more to it, I'm afraid. Technically, you must also file USFWS form
3-177 within 180 days of receiving any such shipments, listing and
quantifying all material, IDed as far as possible (preferrably to species).
As I recall the present incarnation of the rule, accredited scientific
institutions (registerd by the ASC) are the only ones exempt. But note the

>Date: Sat, 05 Nov 1994 19:48:35 -0500
>From: Scott Miller <scottm at>
>Subject: US Fish & Wildlife Service regulations (fwd)
>Sender: entomo-l at
>I am forwarding this at the request of the Association of Systematics
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>A representative of ASC met with three representatives of the FWS to
>discuss the EXISTING FWS regulations for import and export of wildlife.
>The following points were made by FWS:
>1.  Sec. 14.64 (b)(1) provides that wildlife which is not intended for
>sale or exhibit for sale where the value of such wildlife is under US $250
>does not require an export declaration (3-177 form).  One should work with
>one's regional FWS office to determine a process for mailing loans based
>on this provision, and institutions can also get a permit that allows
>them to use ports other than the designated ports.  To make a long story
>short, many museums are using the mails to send loans overseas with the
>blessing of FWS, but FWS still may want to inspect shipments.  They may
>want to know in advance when loans are being sent.  We should not expect
>consistency from region to region.  Some officials may ask for a 3-177
>form and others may not.
>2.  FWS has the following internal policy:  "service policy is to allow
>the importation of mail shipments at any international mail facility and
>not require the filing of a 3177 form."

Note that the latter is *internal policy* only, not formal, and thus
subject to spontaneous enforcement at the whim of USFWS officials. The
following is also pertinent:

>Date:         Fri, 12 Sep 1997 08:47:39 -0600
>Reply-To: Entomology Discussion List <ENTOMO-L at LISTSERV.UOGUELPH.CA>
>Sender: Entomology Discussion List <ENTOMO-L at LISTSERV.UOGUELPH.CA>
>From: Bob Flanders <bflanders at APHIS.USDA.GOV>
>Subject:      Re: USDA Import Permits for Dead Specimens -Reply
>Please be aware that the contents of any/all boxes, containers, etc. that
>contain any biological specimens  are subject to USDA inspection upon
>entry to the United States to determine plant pest risk.  Make sure you
>identify all such containers/organisms on the declaration or shipping
>manifest you fill out for entry to the U.S. or the consequences could be
>more devastating than a simple examination.
>The only type of Permit that USDA issues with explicit instructions for
>inspectors not to open the box or container is for living specimens being
>received directly into certified Quarantine Facilities.  However, we do
>agree with your concerns about dead museum specimens being shipped
>between scientific institutions.  We are now in the process of revising
>these regulations and will take this into consideration.  You will see
>announcements of these proposed regulatory changes in the Federal
>Register during the next 2 to 3 months. I will be notifying subscribers to
>this and several other list-servers when the announcements are
>Robert V. Flanders, Ph.D.
>Senior Entomologist
>Biological Assessment and Taxonomic Support

Just so you all know.


Doug Yanega    Depto. de Biologia Geral, Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas,
Univ. Fed. de Minas Gerais, Cx.P. 486, 30.161-970 Belo Horizonte, MG   BRAZIL
phone: 031-449-2579, fax: 031-441-5481  (from U.S., prefix 011-55)
  "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
        is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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