Reptiles from Canada to US?

So was doing some hypothetical shopping and came across some ball pythons that were located in Canada. I typically haven’t considered anything in Canada as I live in the US and didn’t want to have to worry about paying the extra import costs.

I had a thought, and I assume I know the answer, but thought I’d ask others here. I live fairly close to the border (about 1-1.5 hours and I’m in Canada). I also have some friends that live in Canada. My friends don’t own reptiles but say for simplicity’s sake of this conversation they had a ball python that I wanted. If I were to travel up to visit them, and bring back a reptile, is it still subject to the same import requirements as if I was buying from a breeder?

My assumption is: yes, still transporting the reptile internationally, still subject to import laws and regulations. However, the idea of how this would work of course crossed my mind, as I know they typically aren’t asking questions about bringing animals back when you’re crossing the border.



Yes, whether they are flying or driving or floated over by boat, they are absolutely still subject to import laws


I assumed as much, and wanted to make sure I was following the regulations because I don’t want to be part of a reason that ruins it for others. Assuming this falls under the CITES type regulations, right?


I would think the lacy act is the main reason for having to go through a exporter. They have to fill out/file all necessary declarations and info with the correct governing authority. I did purchase my enhancer het g-stripe from Canada and it was quite simple. Yes it cost more but other then the cost it was basically the same as buying from USA. It can take slightly longer, probably to process everything properly, but I only waited about 10 days- I have waited longer for various reasons here anyway!


My blade het clown girl came from a breeder in Canada, and because it was during covid it took 6+ months for them to allow exports. It can definitely be kind of a pain and more expensive, but if it’s an animal you really want to have it’s doable. I would not reccomend just trying to drive one across the border. Technically maybe you could, but legally you can’t.


I won’t/don’t plan to just drive one across, was more so using it as an example. I’d rather not get fined for smuggling or trying to illegally import an animal. I just wanted to make sure I was understanding correctly, which sounds like I was. I think for the $150-$200 fee I’ve seen at various places (might be more now with shipping costs being higher) it can definitely be worth it for the right animals.