Lacy Act


Established Member
I know it is the law, but who label their boxes with Common Names, Scientific names and quantities of all animals you are shipping. I am going to do this, just wanted to check if people actually do it. What else do YOU write on the box?


when i shipped my chameleon a little while back i just put all that info under the flap of the box, right inside, with the nonvenomous red label they give you from SYR....there was also a small red label to but beside the shipping was a pain and so nerve wracking.


Both Chams that I got from fedex had no animal markings at all. they were just shipped in a perishable box so fedex thought it was food I guess.


Avid Member
I have never received one, nor shipped one labeled with its exact contents. The usual "harmless live reptile" is about the extent of it.


Retired Moderator
My shipping labels do contain both the quantity and kind of chams. I use common names, I am receiving 2 quads today and the label I sent to the seller states 2 quads. I also put the syr label on my boxes. I can't be too careful with my cargo.
You can label the outside of your box with as much accurate detail as you want, but the minimum, according to the Lacey Act, would be "wildlife" and include an itemized receipt/packing slip easily accessible (under the top flap is fine).

Different states have other requirements. We have found that labeling "Wildlife- Live Harmless Reptiles" meets most state needs, as well as the federal need.

There is no size or color requirement for the labeling, I suggest writing it in pen, normal writing size, in the upper right hand corner of the box.

Adding scientific names is fine, going over and above is fine, legally. What I don't suggest is 6" high red letters saying "LIVE REPTILES" or "SNAKES" or anything like that.

Chameleons don't elicit the same phobic response that snakes do, but still, some people can be wacky, and mistreat a package just because it is a live animal. Maybe they are ignorant, maybe they are scared, maybe bored. I suggest you label the package according to the guideline, but don't draw additional and unnecessary attention to it from that point.

We cover the labeling requirements in the ShipYourReptiles Get Help section, take a look for more more details.

Labeling isn't just about following the rules. Many packages are audited by Fish & Wildlife agencies these days, and if the package is NOT labeled properly on the exterior, it may be stopped, opened and inspected, which can cause delays in Overnight delivery. They use sniffer-dogs to flag live packages (animals and plants) and if the package is not properly labeled, they WILL open it to ascertain contents. Then they may confiscate it temporarily, or permanently. You will also get a letter of notice, and a possible fine for lack of proper labeling.

California is particularly vigilant about inspecting incoming packages.
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