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Importing aquatic animals for travellers or personal use

The Health of Animals Regulations provide 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 (CFIA) recognizes that small amounts of susceptible aquatic animal species for travellers or personal use for human consumption represent a low risk for spreading diseases. Therefore, some of these susceptible species have been granted an exemption, as outlined below.

Travellers 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:

Travellers should also be aware of the import exemptions for public health under the Safe Food for Canadians 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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