Bringing birds to the UK

In order to bring your feathered friend into the UK you will need to follow the following procedures.

  • You will need a Pet Bird Import Licence. This is applied for through the website.
  • You will also need an EC veterinary health certificate. This should be completed and endorsed by the relative authorities in the originating country (Annex II & owner’s declaration included) please see further down the page to see examples of the endorsement stamps.
  • If the bird is covered by CITES, you will need CITES import & export permits. Apply through Animal Health Bristol for the UK import permit . The CITES export permit will need to be applied for from the authorities in the originating country. For more information on CITES please visit the website.
  • In order for us to clear the pet through customs we will need to complete the ‘Importers Instruction to JCS Livestock’ & ‘Owners Declaration to HM Revenue & Customs’ forms. These are available to dowload below, along with a map to the Animal Reception Centre at Heathrow; where pet(s) can be collected from on the day of arrival.
  • We need all copies of all of the above two working days prior to the import. Please let us know the flight details as soon as possible.
  • We will need original copies of all of the documents (including all 3 pages of each CITES permit) in order to clear the bird(s) through customs.  Customs clearance for birds can take up to 4 - 5 hours after the flight lands.  You must collect your pet(s) within around 5 hours of their arrival at the Animal Reception Centre to avoid boarding charges.
  • Clearance charges are not prepaid at the airport of origin but paid on collection from Heathrow. Please contact us on for further details on charges.

Our staff are happy to help if you have any questions regarding the above. Pet shipping can be a stressful process, so let us help to make it as stress-free as possible!

What is CITES?

CITES is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, an international agreement between governments that came into force in 1975. The import, export and use for commercial gain of certain species requires a CITES permit.

Animal and Plant Health Agency’s Centre for International Trade - Bristol is the part of the UK CITES management authority responsible for dealing with CITES applications.

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