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Travelling to Norway with exotic animals

As a general rule, all importation of exotic animals is prohibited. In this context, "exotic animals" means mammals, reptiles and amphibians that do not live in the wild in Norway and that are not traditional production animals, animals for sporting use or pets in Norway


The non-commercial importation of these 19 reptile species is exempt from the prohibition:

English nameLatin nameCITES permit
Green tree pythonMorelia viridisCITES permit required
Ball pythonPython regiusCITES permit required
Carpet pythonMorelia spilotaCITES permit required
Garden tree boaCorallus hortulanusCITES permit required
Boa constrictorBoa constrictorCITES permit required
Rainbow boaEpicrates cenchriaCITES permit required
Common kingsnakeLampropeltis getula 
Corn snakePantherophis guttatus 
Milk snakeLampropeltis triangulum 
Crested geckoCorrelophus ciliatus (Rhacodactylus ciliatus) 
Common leopard geckoEublepharis macularius 
Madagascar day geckoPhelsuma madagascariensisCITES permit required
Ocellated spinytailUromastyx ocellataCITES permit required
Central bearded dragonPogona vitticeps 
Spiny-tailed monitorVaranus acanthurusCITES permit required
Jewelled lizardLacerta lepida (Timon lepidus) 
Hermann's tortoiseTestudo hermanniCITES permit required
Red-footed tortoiseChelonoidis carbonarius (Geochelone carbonaria)CITES permit required
Chinese pond turtleChinemys reevesii (Mauremys reevesii)CITES permit required when importing from China

Non-commercial importation

The importation is considered to be non-commercial if the animal is yours and you do not intend to sell it or otherwise transfer it to another person. You must be travelling with the animal yourself. You are allowed to import up to 5 animals non-commercial.

Here are two typical examples of non-commercial importation:

  • You travel abroad, buy a reptile and bring it home with you to Norway in your car, on the boat or by plane, to keep it as a pet.
  • You move to Norway with a reptile that you own and want to keep as a pet. 

You can also send the animal in the company of a person to whom you have given written permission to travel with the animal on your behalf. In that case, the animal may not be imported more than five days before or after your own journey to Norway.

If these conditions are not fulfilled, the importation is considered to be commercial. Commercial imports are subject to different, more stringent provisions than those described here.

Documentation accompanying the reptile

The reptile must be accompanied by an identification document issued by an official veterinarian in the country of departure. In this document the owner of the reptile, or the person travelling with the reptile, must declare that the import is non-commercial (Identification document).

In addition, the reptile must be accompanied by written documentation of species and origin. This documentation shall show the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and others that the animal belongs to one of the permitted species. The documentation must also show that the animal and its parents were born in captivity. The documententation must be signed by the seller.

You must be prepared to produce the documentation to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority when you import the animal.

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority has a form that everyone should complete to comply with the documentary requirements. The form is available here: 

Declaration that a reptile is a legal species and that the reptile and the reptile’s parents have been born in captivity (PDF)

You should fill in the form as fully as possible and attach a clear photo of the animal.

In addition to the form, you should have a contract or certificate showing

  • the pet shop or breeder you bought the animal from
  • the species of the animal
  • that the animal and its parents were born in captivity

Also bring any other documents that show the species and the origin of the animal.

Border crossing and control

You can import reptiles non-commercially from the EU member states, Andorra, Switzerland, the Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican State through all border crossings into Norway that have manned customs points. You must go through the red lane and show the animal and documents to the Norwegian Customs Service. This applies to all reptiles, both with and without CITES permits.

Non-commercial importation from other regions or countries is only permitted through Oslo Airport or Storskog in Sør-Varanger. Importation from Svalbard may also take place through Tromsø Airport, the Port of Tromsø or the Port of Bodø. The person travelling with the animal must contact the Norwegian Food Safety Authority at the point of entry and present the animal and necessary documentation for inspection. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority should be notified at least 48 hours before arrival to avoid a long wait before the inspection can be performed.

Gardermoen Airport (Oslo)

Tel.: (+ 47) 22 77 79 00

Storskog (Kirkenes)

Tel.: (+ 47) 78 97 00 40 / (+ 47) 95 77 91 21

Tromsø (port and airport) and Bodø (port)

Tel.: (+ 47) 22 40 00 00

Special protective measures

In the event of an outbreak of disease, the authorities may impose special protective measures that prohibit or set out supplementary conditions for the importation of reptiles from certain countries. For information about whether special protective measures are in place for the importation of reptiles from the country you are travelling from, contact the Norwegian Food Safety Authority

Alien or threatened species

As a rule, a permit from the Norwegian Environment Agency is required to import alien organisms, including reptiles. But this does not apply to the 19 reptile species that it is legal to import. For more information about importing alien organisms, contact the Norwegian Environment Agency (miljodirektoratet.no).

Some species of animal are also covered by the CITES regulations, which make export and import permits mandatory. The requirement for a CITES permit applies to 12 of the reptile species that it is legal to import into Norway. For more information about the CITES regulations, contact the Norwegian Environment Agency (miljodirektoratet.no).