Importing Animals to Hawaii from the U.S. Mainland

Hawaii has strict laws regarding the importation of animals.  Some animals that may be allowed as pets in other states or countries may be restricted or prohibited in Hawaii.  Importing an illegal animal carries a penalty of up to three years in prison and fines up to $500,000.

  • For information on rabies quarantine for dogs and cats, click here.
  • For information on transporting livestock, click here.
  • Not all types of pet birds are allowed to be imported.  For instructions on permits required for importing birds and poultry, click here.

If you are not sure about the import status of animals other than dogs and cats, please contact the Plant Quarantine Branch at (808) 832-0566.

Importing Non-Domesticated Animals

Some non-domesticated animals are also allowed to be imported to Hawaii.  These are listed on the List of Conditional Approved Animals.

Common animals on the Conditional Approved List include:  Guinea pigs, domesticated rats and mice, chinchillas, some species of turtles, certain types of aquarium fish.

Also on the Conditional Approved List are some, but not all, live shellfish for consumption (including some types of lobster, crab, clams, etc.)

For information on the permit process for Conditional Approved Animals, click here.

For more information on importing domesticated rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, rats and mice, click  here.


For the list of Restricted and Prohibited animals, click here.

  • Animals on the List of Restricted Animals Part A – may be imported for research by universities or government agencies, or for exhibit in municipal zoos or government-affiliated aquariums, or by other institutions for medical or scientific purposes as approved by the Hawai`i Board of Agriculture.
  • Animals on the List of Restricted Animals Part B – may be imported for filming or exhibition or for research by zoological parks or for aquaculture production with approval from the Hawaii Board of Agriculture.

Any animal that is not found on any of the lists is considered prohibited.