Sec. 71.52 Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins.
(a) Definitions. As used in this section the term: Turtles includes all animals commonly known as turtles, tortoises, terrapins, and all other animals of the order Testudinata, class Reptilia, except marine species (Families Dermochelidae and Cheloniidae).
(b) Importation; general prohibition. Except as otherwise provided in this section, live turtles with a carapace length of less than 4 inches and viable turtle eggs may not be imported into the United States.
(1) Live turtles with a carapace length of less than 4 inches and viable turtle eggs may be imported into the United States, provided that such importation is not in connection with a business, and the importation is limited to lots of fewer than seven live turtles or fewer than seven viable turtle eggs, or any combinations of such turtles and turtle eggs totaling fewer than seven, for any entry.
(2) Seven or more live turtles with a carapace length of less than 4 inches, or seven or more viable turtle eggs or any combination of turtles and turtle eggs totaling seven or more, may be imported into the United States for bona fide scientific or educational purposes or for exhibition when accompanied by a permit issued by the Director.
(3) The requirements in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this section shall not apply to the eggs of marine turtles excluded from these regulations under Sec. 71.52(a).
(d) Application for permits. Applications for permits to import turtles, as set forth in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, shall be made by letter to the Director, and shall contain, identify, or describe, the name and address of the applicant, the number of specimens, and the common and scientific names of each species to be imported, the holding facilities, the intended use of the turtles following their importation, the precautions to be undertaken to prevent infection of members of the public with Salmonella and Arizona bacteria, and any other information and assurances the Director may require.
(e) Criteria for issuance of permits. A permit may be issued upon a determination that the holder of the permit will isolate or otherwise confine the turtles and will take such other precautions as may be determined by the Director to be necessary to prevent infection of members of the public with Salmonella and Arizona bacteria and on condition that the holder of the permit will provide such reports as the Director may require.
(f) Interstate Regulations. Upon admission at a U.S. Port, turtles and viable turtle eggs become subject to Food and Drug Administration Regulations (21 CFR 1240.62) regarding general prohibition.
(g) Other permits. Permits to import certain species of turtles may be required under other Federal regulations (50 CFR parts 17 and 23) protecting such species.
(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 0920-0134)
Editors’ note: It is OK to export all kinds of turtles and eggs from the United States IF you have the right permit and they are not protected by any laws such as CITES or ESA.