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I'm going to import cuttles in June


Feb 24, 2003
from Richard Stride in England (Hi Richard!) They are S. officinalis, and I have 2 questions:
1. Has anyone done this? How does one get a import licence?
2. If you are in So. Cal, or are willing to drive here, I can get some extra for you. The more I get, the less it will cost per cuttle because the bulk of the cost is for shipping.
Hi Catherlee!

Well you have set yourself a task...

I believe that Chris looked into this and can give you more info... I'll drop him an email and see what i get.....

To get cuttles from Richard stride it will cost around 500 dollars. First you need to get permitis from the fish and game dept and speak to the branch that distributes import/export permits. You ask for a import/ export permit application. You need to fill it out and and send them 60 dollars. It takes a few months to come to you. Before the cuttles arrive you need to call the fish and game and arrange for a agent to meet you at air cargo to inspect the shipment. This costs another 60 dollars. The shipping is around 225.00 then the cost of the cuttles or eggs.
Hi Catherine,

I don't know if this is as useful as you might expect an official site to be but the Fish and Wildlife Service have some information and the forms you need on their website www.fws.gov .

http://permits.fws.gov/ deals specifically with permits but you might like to work your way there via the home page to make sure you don't miss any thing.

http://international.fws.gov/permits/permits.html is another page I have
bookmarked ("Before you can import, export, or re-export plants and wildlife
protected by international treaty and/or domestic statute, you must obtain a
permit. This page offers a portal to all the permit types issued by Management Authority or by activity

There's more on http://international.fws.gov/permits/50cfrexcer.html

Note that there is a limited number of designated ports for live animal imports into the USA, I believe Los Angeles is one of them. For other ports you would have to make sure that you ask for port exemption when applying for your permit.

In 2001, someone who imported some eggs wrote to me with the following:
"Getting a permit is complicated, but not really hard. The best way to get a permit is to go to their website: Forms | U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and print the application form. Then try to get the phone number for the FWS at the airport in question by calling the local FWS phone number. Then they'll need to get a hold of a duty inspector, explain exactly what the permit is for, and get the phone number of the person that issues the permits, or you could try to get the address of the duty inspector, and send the form to the duty inspector; although this is where I ran into trouble. Then what I did was call the person issuing the permit, and made sure everything ran smoothly. Through this method I was able to get my permit in about five days, versus what I believe they say is 60 if you return it to the return address on the permit. Personally, I have dealt with the government with permits enough to know that it isn't a very reliable process. There would be a $25 fee for the permit, and I also pay $55 per shipment, and last time paid a $20 terminal fee, which was British Airways policy, and I'm not sure if all the airlines do that"

I hope some of the above turns out to be useful and maybe even encouraging!


If you intend on importing S. officinalis eggs I would certainly be intrerested in a couple. (I think I would be afraid to ship and re-ship live cuttles) :shock:

I'd appreciate if you would let me know how you plan on proceeding.


From my lab experience dealing with S. officinalis, I would HIGHLY recommend importing eggs or extremely young animals.

Sepia eggs are very robust and even hatchlings are pretty tough- plus they don't metabolize like an animal does (better water quality in shipping/easier acclimation) and frankly, you can move a ton more of them for your shipping dollar than you can live animals.

One other bonus- you get the longest amount of time with them if you buy them as hatchlings.

The flipside: of course, sepia eggs are only available seasonally.

Good luck! Jim
Cuttlefish (eggs?)

I live on the right side of the Atlantic to obtain eggs washed up on the beach, and have had them hatch on arrival home after a hot car journey.
Young do require live food quite quickly, and are often discouraged by shrimps that buck too powerfully, my impression is that they die in a couple of days if not feeding. Temperature not important (Will stand 80F+ but fast life cycle) except may die in egg if too warm, but can be helped out if they are ready. Timid when young and hide, but beg for food like fish later and can spot you at 3 metres distance! Wonderful creatures.
Yeah, i found that if the temp got above 75F they were more prone to inking too... the heat just stresses them out


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