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shipping fish across the border

farm41

New Member
5 Year Member
Does anyone do this? I have people that want fish in Portugal and in Canada. I don't know what to tell them.

Do you ever ship fish without declaring it is live fish, and hope it slips through?
 

Zapisto

New Member
5 Year Member
ho

very interested by this thread also.
our major prob here is getting fish from US. really cannot understand that.
 

Z Man

New Member
5 Year Member
farm, there ain't nothin' that's gonna "slip through". My good friend owns a wholesale business in the Buffalo, NY area and ships weekly to Canada via his own truck. One time they held his driver up for 2 hours and finally said he had to turn around. After many phone calls, he was told "We are sorry for the mix-up!" I have crossed the border with fish and not declared them without any problem. One time I did declare them it took over an hour to get through. It boils down to which inspector handles the box; sorry to say. In 1999 I was taking 3 styro's of fish to Detroit and called the customs ahead of time. They told me I had to call the Canadian Fish & Wildlife Inspector AFTER I entered canada and wait for him to show up. Then if he let me through, I would have to call the USA F&WI in Detroit when I got there and wait again. Instead I drove around through PA & Ohio and it took me less than 1 1/2 hrs extra time. Well worth it considering how long I may have been waiting at the two bridges. As I stated, It's not going to be fast and easy. Each species must be labeled with scientific name!
 

jvanrompu

New Member
5 Year Member
fish to Canada

My two cents worth,

Hi Zman, who did you call at customs was it the US or CDN customs, see their is no such thing as a Canadian Fish & Wildlife officer, there would be an officer from agriculture canada at each border crossing and if the fish are not on CITES they can go through without any restrictions what soever into Canada. The most time I have spent at customs is about 5 minutes to see if they are on the cites lists. You must have the latin names of the fish for them to check.

Canada has no restrictions on the importation of fish as long as the species you are bringing into Canada are not on the CITES listings.
Now customs could get involved if you are bringing in commercial shipments then duty and taxes etc maybe levied, if these are paid there is no restictions. The only way I can see the stores truck being turned back is if some of their commercial paperwork was not in order.

In my many years in the hobby the problems have always been getting fish in and out of the US but due to US restrictions. Since Sept 11 it has become almost impossible to get fish shipped to Canada from the US without costly US F & W inspection fees $50 per shipment ( in my opinion just a tax grab), US citizens can no longer ship Airport to Airport into Canada unless they are registered as a registered shipper etc.

If you do want to get fish the best thing is to have a US mailing recipient and then cross the border to get them from your friends etc and bring them back into Canada. Or go to a convention and buy and trade there.

Thanks

John
 

Z Man

New Member
5 Year Member
John, I don't remember which Canadian dept. I talked to. Could very well have been from agriculture but he told me they are not always on duty at the bridge and would have to wait for someone to get there. It's pretty easy to get just a small package of fish across the border but a few boxes would be a problem for me they said. I didn't think I wanted to unpack all the styros and let them see the fish so I just went around. As for the wholesaler's truck being stopped and turned around, it was due to an over zealous customs inspector. The driver was told he had to wait but since their building is only 15 minutes from the bridge, he returned to the store. The same boxes were delivered the next day without even being opened at either the wholesalers or the bridge. Same paper work. They ship once a week to Canada and that time got stopped. All I'm saying is you can never tell if there is going to be a problem. When I inquired about taking fish to Detroit, I spoke to both American & Canadian customs because I had to go through both.
 

tjudy

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Any time you deal with any customs agents anywhere you are dealing with a bit of a crapshoot. My experience has been that it is easier for a person within the receiving country to get fish in than for someone from the other country to bring them across. When I used to send fish to Canada, the receiver handled all of the Canadian paper work. That was many moons ago though.
 

ocean abyss

New Member
5 Year Member
z man

I am from hamilton and I am opening up a fish store here and was wondering if your wholesale friend in buffalo sells saltwater fish and corals. If so can I have his number. Is it easier to ship fish around the canadian border or do I need to fill out paper work. Please let me know I would like to deal with a wholesaler near buy. If he doesn't sell fish dry goods is ok too. Please let me know.
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Large quantities of fish/supplies will probably get the customs people's attention very quickly. They often let hobbyist with just a few things slip by, but for larger quantities I think you will have to work through all of the bureaucracy.
 

WildPERU

New Member
5 Year Member
Shipping Overseas

I just shipped a small box of Killies to the SEK in Spain (12 pairs in a 8 x 8 x
8" box). I always call U.S. Fish and Wildlife at least 24 hours ahead regardless of what carrier I use. (USPS, Fedex, Air Cargo, etc.) they know me pretty well since I've been shipping and receiving a fair amount through PDX for the last 5 years or so. I fill out the declaration sheets, I include an invoice listing species and value and the customer name, and I pay the inspection fee. This way the receiver has some documentation to deal with their own country's inspectors should it be stopped. The likelyhood of a box being stopped and inspected are fairly high depending on the country. Some countries require the fish to also be inspected by a licensed Vet. and a form filled out and signed that attests to the fishes being healthy. It's always best to have the receiver check first before you send what they are going to want to see in the way of paperwork.

If I ship by Fed ex or USPS international express, I generally will put the paper work inside the box and leave the outside very plain and unmarked. I also use breather bags witch eliminate sloshing sounds and keep oxygen levels very high. Also, a 35 hour heat pack or cool pack comes in very handy depending on the season.

Air cargo is a different deal. Many of the Airlines going international are requiring Known Shipper Status be verified before allowing you to put anything in their cargo planes. I Know Lufthansa is pretty much only dealing with Pet Transport companies to shepard your fish through the inspecion process. This can get expensive unless you are sending lots of fish!!

I hope that helps!

Best,

Brian Perkins
WildPERU
www.nuurth.net
 
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