Government of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Importation of Amphibians and Reptiles

Amphibians such as: salamanders, frogs, toads, newts

Reptiles such as: snakes, crocodiles, caiman, iguanas, turtles, tortoises, geckos

Please be advised that amphibians and reptiles (excluding turtles and tortoises) are no longer regulated under the Health of Animals Regulations (other than Part XII that regulates the transport of all animals). As a result, no Canadian Food Inspection Agency import permit is required, nor a health certificate and no inspection will normally be done at the border. Imports are permitted from any country, for any use, to any destination in Canada.

Turtles and Tortoises

An import permit** is required for turtles and tortoises from all countries.

For personal pets, these animals must have been in the owner's personal possession in the country of origin and accompany the owner to Canada.

For research and scientific purposes within a laboratory, display in a recognized zoo, they do not need to be accompanied, but still require a permit

Turtle and Tortoise Eggs

An import permit** is required for turtle and tortoise eggs from all countries, but will only be issued to zoos and research laboratories.

The reason for restrictions on turtles, tortoises and their eggs is that there is a great danger of transmitting serious diseases, such as salmonella. Until a Risk Assessment demonstrates safety, no permits will be issued for turtle and tortoise eggs for personal use or commercial purposes (i.e. pet stores).

** Please complete an Application for Permit to Import and forward it to the CFIA Area Import Office in the province into which you wish to import the animal(s).

Note: Please apply for a permit at least 30 days in advance of the import.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)

It is the importer's responsibility to determine whether the species for importation 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.

Environment Canada

Please note that environmental and human health risk analysis may be required under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act if the frog species is a new substance not previously introduced to Canada.


Fees are applicable when applying for an import permit, approval of a quarantine facility, and inspection of animals. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Area Import Office will advise you on the fees that apply to your particular situation.

Automated Import Reference Systems (AIRS)

The purpose of the AIRS is to provide information on import requirements for all commodities regulated by CFIA. The application uses a question and answer approach to guide the user through a series of questions about the Harmonized System (HS) Codes, origin, destination, end use and miscellaneous qualifiers of the product they wish to import.

If you wish to view the import requirements for turtles or tortoises, please refer to Automated Import Reference Systems. HS Codes for turtles and tortoises: 01 06 20 2085

Comments or requests for additional information.