Importing & Exporting Budgerigars

How do I import budgerigars into the UK from European Union countries?

GSB: Imports from EU Member States are covered by a General Licence (obtainable from your local branch of DEFRA). This is published which allows you to make an import without having to apply for a specific licence to accompany each individual import. If you want to import budgerigars, the main conditions are:

  • The premises of origin must be officially registered by the authorities in the Country of Origin
  • The birds have to carry a closed ring
  • You, the importer, MUST tell your local Animal Health Office 24 hours before you intend to bring in the birds
  • The birds MUST be accompanied by a health certificate signed by an official veterinarian in the Country of Origin within 48 hours of departure, as follows:
    • The birds do not come from an aviary and have not come from an aviary on which psittacosis has been recorded in the past 2 months
    • They have not come from an aviary that has had avian flu diagnosed in the past 30 days
    • They do not come from an area where there has been a recorded outbreak of Newcastle’s Disease
    • N.B. The above three rules also apply to imports from Switzerland (even though it is NOT an EU Member State)

It is inadvisable to return to the UK without having conformed with the easy rules quoted above. To do so risks the birds being impounded / destroyed at the exit port or port of arrival by the authorities and future imports by you will be affected.

How do I import budgerigars into the UK from outside Europe?

GSB: Contact your local Animal Health Office. They will supply you with all the data applicable to the country from which you wish to import – outside the EU (N.B. Switzerland is outside the EU – BUT see the note above re Switzerland).

Particular note should be made about the form of crate design for the transport of budgerigars. If not followed accurately, problems will be encountered at the airports of entry. You will be supplied by Animal Health with such details as are required by the International Air Traffic Association (IATA). If you have constructional problems, then I can recommend Airpets. They will be happy to advise and can make the exact crates you require.

Birds imported from outside the EU must be quarantined for 30 days in a separate Animal Health approved “aviary” at least 400 metres from your own aviary. Veterinary inspections are involved on arrival and at the end, with dropping samples being taken for testing, in between.

On arrival at the UK airport, there are customs charges and sometimes agency fees involved for collection from the aircraft and delivery to the relevant Animal Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS). The London (Heathrow) AQIS is close to Terminal 4.

How do I export budgerigars from the UK?

GSB: Contact local Animal Health Office and request the documentation applicable to all rules / regulations for the safe export of live birds via the airlines.

Alternatively, you can use an agency – I can recommend Airpets – which saves a great deal of time and worry. An agency will take care of the following:

  • IATA construction / you advise the total number of birds travelling
  • All applications to DEFRA (Animal Health) for you to export
  • Veterinary inspection & approval of the birds before departure

vetThe above agency services can be quoted and passed on to your buyer. It is your responsibility to contact your intending purchaser to obtain a licence from their ministry approving their import. This has to be sent to you and travels with the consignment along with all other data. Sometimes a valuation of the birds is required for customs purposes in the receiving country. Discuss this with your buyer.

It is customary for your buyer to send you the finance in advance before you order crates etc. Be warned that you should check with your bank that your money has been cleared – even via electronic payment which takes three days, or, in the case of cheques allow five days.

You can then arrange personal delivery to the agency, together with all labels (addressed). The agency should also be able to collect from you, if required, with charges levied as appropriate.

Useful links

    Animal Health (DEFRA)
  • To find you local Animal Health office, go to their website ( or call their import / export helpline on 0845 603 0807.

  • Airpets website – – or call them on 0800 018 5571.

Filed Under: Breeding



About the Author: Gerald Binks began breeding budgerigars when he was 12 years old and is now arguably the most knowledgeable budgerigar fancier in the world. He has bred his fair share of Best in Show birds, judged in no less than 20 countries, founded the World Budgerigar Association, and has published two of the three classic books on the hobby. His stud in the UK attracts fanciers from near and far and is always high on the list for those wishing to purchase BA23 quality budgerigars.

RSSComments (14)

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  1. Thank you Gerald B.

    It’s great that you care so passionately for the hobby, after so many years.

    You have givien the hobby so much.

    It is always interesting to follow your ideas. This site is a great idea and thank you for the advice. It makes it easier for me to export birds to the UK.

    Kind regards,
    Hans Oestergaard, Denmark

  2. Fadel says:

    I’m located in Bahrain and would like to buy English budgerigars.

    I’m looking for around 60 pairs.

    Fadel, Bahrain

  3. Darwish says:

    I am looking for someone who could help me to export budgerigars from the UK to Dubai.

    Darwish, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Jermaine L Ellis says:

    I would like to know how to go about buying birds from the UK and importing to the Caribbean – namely Barbados.

    I’d also like to know the cost per bird and other related stuff.

    I am interested in breeding English budgerigars, but the local stocks are quite small.

    Jermaine Ellis, Barbados

  5. aytunc tecel says:

    ı would lıke to know Can you send me a some birds to north Cyprus?
    Could you please send me a brief informatıon about trade?

  6. floristanbul2 says:


    ım budgied businessman türkey in istanbul pls send to me mail budgied coasted and transport türkey


  7. Marcella says:

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up plus
    the rest of the site is also really good.

  8. mohammed abu fillat says:

    I am birds importer from Jordan and have interested in 200 pairs , please send me your price list with freight cost to amman airport

    mohammed abu fillat

  9. Ric Estigoy says:

    Have you tried exporting to the Philippines?

  10. barry davenhill says:

    Hi I’m from the UK but now retired and living in Philippines. I was showing budgies in the UK from beginner to novice then to intermediate and was very successful at shows. I married a Philipino then retired here in the Philippines so sold all my stock and accessories in the UK. That was 5 years ago, so now I just keep budgies and colony breed but very small birds compared to the UK birds. It’s very difficult to get exhibition budgies over here but would love to have again and get a bird clubs going to show over here. Do you export to Philippines? Great site and enjoy reading all from the UK who are still showing their birds. Many thanks, Barry Iligan, City Mindanao, Philippines ……………….

  11. Fernando says:

    Have you tried exporting to Peru (South America)?
    Let me Know. I,m interested to by 7 pairs and your price list.

  12. Join here Barry Davenhill and i have few very good friends in Philippines. They will be more happy to see you from UK and will learn from your experience.

    Habib Ur Rehman,Pakistan

  13. SAARTJIE says:

    Does any one export to South Africa?
    Contact me ASAP

  14. wael says:


    I am from Egypt and i ask Have you tried exporting to Egypt


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