Moving Reptiles to Germany

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by cryogen, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. cryogen

    cryogen New Member

    I figured I'd start my own thread, I didn't want to hijack the previous one that another member posted since we're not going to the same place.

    We could be potentially moving to Germany this year. The deadline for signing up for it is coming up soon and the only thing holding us back from starting this new and exciting adventure is our reptiles. We don't want to get rid of them since they're all part of the family (and lots of money has gone into them!).

    Does anyone know anything about importing them to Germany? We have five ball pythons, a dumeril boa and our panther chameleon.

    I've called the USDA, which didn't know and sent me to the German Consulate in Miami, which didn't know and told me to email German Customs about it. I emailed them but I wish I could call them and get an answer now since I'm not sure how quickly they'll respond, but I don't have a international phone card and my German speaking husband is off at work so I'm not sure if I'd be able to talk to anyone if I did call anyway. And of course the guy at his base that's in charge of this position doesn't know anything and just told us to google and call to figure it out. :rolleyes: From the research I've done online, Germany does not require imported animals to be quarantined so I don't have to worry about that stressing the reptiles out. The only info I could find that was close to reptiles was on the German Customs website that talked about pet turtles - they don't require a vet check or paperwork. I'm hoping the same is true for our snakes and cham.

    So anyone on here know anything? I've seen a few German members on here - you guys know anything?
  2. eisentrauti

    eisentrauti Avid Member


    living in Germany I think / hope that I can help you. For getting the animals to Germany you need proper papers. In case of the pardalis male you need export CITES doc which you normally just can get if you own the import CITES doc from the ancestors of your pardalis coming from Maddy.
    Do you know the protection status of your snakes ? It's probably WA II two, so you need CITES again. All in all very difficult and expensive. You may contact the guys who visit Hamm every year. Some bring (not often) CITES animals with them to sell them here in Germany

    Best regards
    cryogen likes this.
  3. cryogen

    cryogen New Member

    Hmm...not sure about the panther's paperwork. We bought him from a local petstore, who claims they got him from a "reputable" breeder in California somewhere. I can stop by in there and see if they can help out with that or tell me who the breeder is.

    I do not know much about CITES (which is sad because I should, since I'm a environmental studies major :eek:), but I googled it just now and it says that the ball pythons are listed in Apendix II of CITES and the dumeril is in Apendix I. So it sounds like bringing the dumeril over is probably out of the question, even though he was captive bred and we are not planning on selling him. Once again we got him from the same pet store so I can ask about him when I go over too.

    How and where do I get the CITES paperwork? And how much does it cost?
  4. Alexl

    Alexl Established Member

    cryogen likes this.
  5. cryogen

    cryogen New Member

    Thanks, I was actually just looking at that site.

    We'd be stationed at Ramstein Air Force Base, so we would live near there.
  6. eisentrauti

    eisentrauti Avid Member

    To get an export CITES you have to be able to trace the animal back to parental generation which was imported with an import CITES. Without this CITES doc it's probably impossible to get the export CITES. The best solution is probably to give the animals in good hands as long as you live here.

    The costs for CITES are in general not that high, here normally under 100$, but some authorities need very long to export permits. From what I heard, US Fish and Wildlife is extremly slowly in export CITES permits, they are only fast in import CITES permits.
  7. cryogen

    cryogen New Member

    Looks like we're not going to be able to bring them then, since we don't have any papers on them and I doubt the pet store does. Plus two of our ball pythons we just got at a reptile show and I didn't keep the business cards of the guys who sold them so there would be no way of tracing them back to parental.

    Well that's something for us to seriously think about now I guess. Finding a family member or friend that doesn't mind caring for a large collection of reptiles for 3 years is going to be hard. :(

    Thank you so much for your help.
  8. eisentrauti

    eisentrauti Avid Member

    No problem. I knew maybe one option: I highly doubt that you have to pass the normal duty controls here. Can't you put them in a well isolated suitcase and bring them in with a military transport ?
  9. cryogen

    cryogen New Member

    Well that's something to think about and look in to. I'm not sure how we or our stuff is being transported there so it could work.

    Just got off the phone with US Fish and Wildlife. They were the most helpful agency I've called today, but like you said, they are very slow with export permits. I can take over 3 months to get one! She said we just need to provide chain of ownership of our animals and that their parentage back to wild caught is not necessarily needed. Basically they just want it proven that they were captive born and not fresh imports. But I have to contact the German equivalent of Fish and Wildlife to find out if I can even import them. I don't see it being a problem bringing in the ball pythons and the chameleon since they sell them as pets over there, but the dumeril may be tricky. We'll see.
  10. eisentrauti

    eisentrauti Avid Member

    It just depends on if you have the export CITES from your country. The BfN will give you the import permit if you get the export CITES.
    Here everything is a bit more strict, if animals dont have a complete history till the imported parents you have no chance. Good for you that Fish and Wildlife isnt taht the strict.
    But to save money and to be on the save side I would just bring them in if I were you. Put the snakes in cottom bags and the pardalis in styrofoam box. If you need help to get cages, food and the other stuff here, I can help you
  11. cryogen

    cryogen New Member

    Thanks for the offer of help if we end up going over there.

    I still need to contact BfN and make sure because the US FWS said I had to - they made it sound like I had to have the import permit ready or at least in the works before they would help me with the export one. Plus I need to find out about our dumeril, since its under Appendix I. Do you know if we would have problems exporting all of them when we move back over here? Since you said its more strict there. I'll ask BfN that too.

    Oh my, who knew it would be such a pain in the butt to bring relatively normal pets with you, its not like these are super exotic pets that require a permit to keep, like primates or the larger snakes. Should have just stuck with "normal" furry pets like dogs. lol. Just kidding, the reptiles are too cool to regret having. :D

    I'll let you know if we decide to take the position and move over there. We both think it would be exciting and it would give us a chance to travel.
  12. eisentrauti

    eisentrauti Avid Member

    First you have to have the export permit without it, the BfN doesnt even start to do anything. But if you have it, they work normally really fast (talking about an authority). The WA I animal is probably impossible but I cross my fingers for you.
    Paperwork is a bitch here, but if you want to keep and breed animals on a serious basis you need proper papers here.
  13. cryogen

    cryogen New Member

    Well the BfN emailed me back and told me the same thing you did, about needing the export permit first. But she didn't mention anything specifically about the dumeril so maybe we won't have to re-home him. She just said everything was listed under CITES and needs proper permits and to make sure we list that they are pets on there. The only thing I worry about is how strict they're going to be about chain of ownership. We can list the petstore where we got most of our reptiles and hope that's enough. But we have two balls we just got at Repticon and of course we didn't know we'd be needing to prove where we bought them so we didn't ask for the seller's name and information. Do people even import ball pythons from Africa anymore? Much less the morphs? These two were both sold as captive bred and born, and they're both still small.

    We'll know if we get the position in the next ten days. So now I just have to sit and wait and have the export permits filled out and ready to be mailed as soon as we hear any news. No point in going through all the trouble and then finding out we're not moving and don't need to export them anymore. :eek:

    Thanks again for all your help!

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