If you use the EDECS system to file the USFWS 3-177 online, and give yourself time to have it cleared, you can just show the cleared form at customs when returning to the US. Technically, you also need to file one of these if you are carrying specimens out of the country, but this is rarely checked on the US side of the border.
Don't try hand carrying specimens into the US without this form and be sure to either use a designated port or have a permit to use one that isn't. Also, be sure to notify USFWS at the port as to when you are arriving, and arrive during regular business hours.  I've been threatened with arrest for not documenting that I contacted them ahead of my arrival. They took all my specimens (2 Schmidt boxes), but returned them after I paid the $100 fee for using a non-designated port.
Good luck! - Barry

On Tue, Oct 16, 2018 at 2:01 PM Robert Anderson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

I’m with John on this one.  I’ve carried drawers of pinned specimens across in my car and handcarried pinned specimens to ESA meetings on US soil numerous times and without any permits necessary.   If you declare the insects they may herd you to Agriculture where you can explain they are dead and show them the specimens and you should be fine.   Bob


Robert Anderson

VP (Acting) Research & Collections

Director – Beaty Centre for Species Discovery

Research and Collections Division

Canadian Museum of Nature

PO Box 3443, Station D

Ottawa, ON. K1P 6P4 CANADA


613-364-4060 (tel)

613-364-4027 (fax)

[log in to unmask]





From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of John Heraty
Sent: October-16-18 12:47 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Seeking information on international permits for carrying deceased insect specimens across borders - U.S. & Canada


I have never had any problem hand-carrying dead insects (especially pinned insects). I am virtually certain that there are no permits necessary for cross border transport between Canada and the US. The problem is with live insects for which you do need permits.


All the best,


John Heraty





On Oct 16, 2018, at 9:20 AM, Derek Woller <[log in to unmask]> wrote:


Fellow entomologists, I am in need of your expertise with paperwork for permits. In a nutshell, I'm a U.S. federal employee and I'm assisting with a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) outreach booth at the upcoming ESA meeting in Vancouver, Canada. I'd like to bring along (handy carry) a small selection (10 or less) of pinned grasshopper specimens for "show and tell," but I was recently told that I'll need permits to do this from both the U.S. and Canada. 


Rather than do a deep web dive on trying to figure out what I need to make this happen, I thought it'd be faster to ask people here since I know many of you probably did this sort of thing frequently. 


I welcome any advice you may have!


Derek A. Woller, Ph.D.

USDA Entomologist, Rangeland Grasshopper and Mormon Cricket Management Team

Phoenix, AZ, U.S.A.

Check out my wife's neat Etsy store where you can buy all sorts of neat vinyl decals, especially cool insect ones: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ArtisticNatureStudio?ref=pr_shop_more


-So many mites, so little time!
Barry M. OConnor                    
Professor  & Curator             
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Research Museums Center            
University of Michigan                  phone: 734-763-4354            
3600 Varsity Drive                         
fax: 734-763-4080
Ann Arbor, MI 48108-2228          
e-mail: [log in to unmask]