Live Animal Shipment

All live animals offered for transportation must be in a new box. Corrugated boxes must be constructed of a minimum of 275 # bursting strength corrugated or 44 edge crush test. It is recommended that any package containing animals requiring moisture during transportation be constructed of water-resistant material such as wax coated, wax impregnated, or plastic corrugated. Minimal ventilation holes should be provided as necessary.

Internal packaging materials must be used based on the characteristics of the animal, taking into consideration the necessary humane care for the animal while in transportation. Lizards and geckos should be individually contained in bags constructed of breathable material, such as burlap. Insects should be contained in individual primary containers such as plastic jars with ventilation. Fish must be double bagged in strong plastic bags with a minimum thickness of 4 mils. Each primary bag should be approximately one third full of water with the remainder filled with oxygen.

Any packaging used or developed to transport animals should be submitted to an International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) certified package testing laboratory for pre-shipment testing in accordance with ISTA Procedure 3A before being offered for transportation.
Additional components such as food, moisture, and temperature controls should be added as necessary to provide a safe environment during transportation. Additional dunnage should be added to prevent movement of the primary containers or receptacles within the outer box.

Accepted / Prohibited Live Animals

Accepted Live Animals

This is a comprehensive list of live animals accepted for transportation. Shippers are prohibited from shipping any animal not listed here, and all other live animals will not be accepted for transportation. The following live animals are accepted for transportation unless poisonous, venomous, and/or a Threatened or Endangered Species.

  • Amphibians (All): Examples: frogs, salamanders, toads
  • Crustaceans (All): Examples: crabs, crawfish, lobsters, shrimp
  • Fish (All)
  • Insects (Limited to beneficial insects only): Examples: bees, butterflies, crickets, lady bugs
  • Mollusks (All): Examples: clams, mussels, snails
  • Reptiles (Limited to the following):
    – Lizards: Examples: chameleons, geckos, iguanas, monitors, flying dragons
    – Turtles: freshwater turtles (except: snapping turtles), land tortoises, sea turtles
  • Worms (All)

Prohibited Live Animals

Live Animals that are prohibited from being shipped and are not accepted for transportation include, but are not limited to:

  • Any poisonous, venomous or threatening animal
  • Any Threatened or Endangered species
  • Arachnids (All): Examples: mites, scorpions, spiders, ticks
  • Birds (All)
  • Crocodiles (All): Examples: alligators, caimans, gavials
  • Mammals (All)
  • Obnoxious Insects: Examples: flies, locusts, mosquitoes, roaches, termites, weevils
  • Snakes (All): venomous and non-venomous

Endangered or Threatened Species

In addition to the Prohibited Live Animals list provided here, any live animal that is an Endangered Species is prohibited by International Express Co., LTD and will not be accepted for transportation. Shippers must refer to the list posted on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Web site, and the Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants 50 CFR 17.11 and 17.12, December 1999.

Service Type

Live animals will only be accepted for transportation when shipped by any International Express Co., LTD service that guarantees delivery the next day. Shipments must not be offered to International Express Co., LTD on Fridays or before a holiday in the origin or destination country.

Shipping Live Animals – Domestic and International

International Express Co., LTD provides service on a limited basis for packages containing some types of live animals. The term “animal” as used herein refers to anything living, except plants. While the list of “Accepted Live Animals” provided herein is an exhaustive list of animals that can be offered for transportation in accordance with the conditions listed, the list of “Prohibited Live Animals” is only a partial list of animals provided to clarify specific species that are not accepted for transportation and may not be shipped via International Express Co., LTD. Any animal not specifically listed on the “Accepted Live Animals” list is prohibited by International Express Co., LTD and will not be accepted for transportation. All international live animal shipments require an International Special Commodities contract. Contact your International Express Co., LTD Account Executive for information about shipping International Special Commodities via International Express Co., LTD.

Packages containing live animals must be prepared in accordance with the requirements as specifically stated herein. Packages containing live animals must provide for the basic humane care and safety of the animal during transportation. Any package containing a live animal shall be considered a perishable commodity and will be accepted for transportation solely at the shipper’s risk for any damage or loss arising from the perishable nature of the item. International Express Co., LTD shall not be liable for any special, incidental, or consequential damages.

In the event a package containing a prohibited item is found en route or in the International Express Co., LTD system, that package will be stopped at the location or International Express Co., LTD facility of the discovery. International Express Co., LTD reserves the right to dispose of the package