Importation of Aquatic Animals for Traveler's or Personal Use

Changes to the Health of Animals Regulations have affected the requirements for importing aquatic animals (finfish, molluscs or crustaceans) into Canada.

Aquatic animals that are brought into Canada must be declared, and in the case of aquatic animals on the susceptible species list, must have an import permit unless otherwise exempt.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency recognizes that small amounts of susceptible aquatic animal species for travelers or personal use for human consumption represent a low risk for spreading diseases and. Therefore, some of these susceptible species have been granted an exemption, as outlined below.

Traveler's and Personal Use Exemption

When importing an aquatic animal, an import permit will not be required when importing individual maximums of each of the following commodities of aquatic animals:

  • 10 dead finfish that are not eviscerated
  • 4 crustaceans
  • 3 kg molluscs

Travelers should also be aware of the import exemptions for public health under the Fish Inspection Regulations.

Import permits are required for all live susceptible species of finfish and for amounts of crustaceans and molluscs greater than the limits listed above. These requirements can be found in the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS).

For more information, contact your CFIA Animal Health Office.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)

It is the importer's/owner's responsibility to determine whether the species being imported is subject to the controls imposed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which are administered by the Canadian Wildlife Service.Please contact the Canadian Wildlife Service for information.

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