of international shipping continues to move along- current
Canada- Many shipments went out to Canada this
past year, while they are in the midst of establishing new
policies regarding the shipment of live ornamental fish
into their country. New rules regarding the need for
import permits that must be obtained by the buyer did
not go into effect last December, but are said to go into
effect December 2012. I do not know if this will
involve any extra costs on the part of the buyer, or whether
tax fees may be put into place. So far that has not
been the case. However, during this transition, boxes of fish
have been held for up to a week, resulting in fish
arriving 7-12 days after being sent Express Mail, a service that
advertises 3-5 day delivery. In the past a box shipped
on Saturday from Denver would arrive the following Monday.
This past year boxes would arrive as early as the
following Friday, and occasionally as late as the next Tuesday.
I anticipate that as the process solidifies, that will
However, various provinces have been formulating their
own policies that may be stricter or different than
the national practices being put together. For example,
the process and paperwork, or restrictions on various
species of either fish or plants required to arrive in
British Columbia is different, at the moment, than a box
arriving in Alberta. It then becomes necessary for you
to check beforehand to ensure that any preparation is
met regarding your province before shipping. I will do
all I need to do for you, but a box held because a proper
form is not included, or a species that is fine in one
province but not in another may result in the delay of the
shipment. Currently Guppies and danios offered are not
allowed into Canada at all, there may be others.
I wish to ship to Canada regularly, and a small 3 lb.
box that ships in the US overnight Express Mail generally
runs about $35. To Canada, Express Mail is 3-5 days,
and runs about $40 to many large city locations. The
actual price may vary slightly based on your specific
the local efforts of a customer in Singapore, it is permissable
to ship fish from Select Aquatics
into Singapore without an import permit or US
inspection, when shipped for personal use only. Regarding
the shipping of fish, using USPS or FedEx for home
aquarium use, this response was sent from Singapore
import government authorities:
you may import these fishes via parcel post, provided the total
quantity to be imported in
the consignment is not more than 30 pieces of
ornamental fish (except koi and endangered species) in
not more than 3 litres of packing water, whichever is
less, per person per shipment into Singapore for
personal keeping without the need to apply for an
Upon arrival the parcel of fishes will first be
delivered to the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of
Singapore at Sembawang Research Station, Lorong
Chencharu 17 km Sembawang Road, Singapore
769194 for verification. You will then be contacted to
pick up these fishes from Sembawang Research
Station after verifications are completed.
We wish to remind you that these fishes are to be
imported for the purposes of personal keeping only.
You are required to apply for licence to import and
export ornamental fish if the fish are imported on
regular basis for local sales. The AVA will consider
enforcement action against any importer who imports
ornamental fish for local sale without a licence.
Please also note that the individual permissible limit
cannot be combined for the import of ornamental
fish via parcel post."
A 5 lb. box sent
from Colorado to Singapore 3-5 day Express Mail is $63.
Select Aquatics would like to ship anywhere, provided the
fish arrive in no longer than 3-5 days. In the
There have been many requests to ship to other countries, and
if you would like to purchase fish from
Select Aquatics, you will need to contact your local postal
authorities in your country to determine how
a package needs to be prepared and/or documented. We will do
our best to meet those requirements.
Many European countries, in particular, require a
veterinarian inspection before they are shipped by a
US government certified veterinarian inspector.
Unfortunately, this is not possible at this time, as the
fee for such an inspection is cost prohibitive. Combined with
the shipping expense, a $30 box of fish
can cost hundreds of dollars! A recent effort to start a
transshipping business has not been successful,
which would have affordably supplied this need. We are
continuing to work on this.
These regulations are all for very good reasons as the
invasion of foreign species into habitats where
they do not belong is a big problem around the world
(particularly the US), and Select Aquatics has no
desire to violate the laws and regulations in your country.
There are 3 primary ways to ship fish internationally using
the US Postal Service (USPS). Priority and
Express Mail both have extended delivery times with
international delivery. Priority is 7-10 days,
Express Mail is 3-5. To ship for a delivery longer than 5
days is obviously risky for the fish. The third
option is called Global Express, and this is the service that
provides overnight delivery. The cost for
Global Express is the most expensive.
Our experience has been that small fish when shipped as we do
in breather bags, each fish sealed into
its own chamber, will generally survive up to 6-7 days. At
that point losses begin to occur, and at 9-10
days up to half of the shipment may expire. The fish are not
fed for 1-2 days prior to shipment, so they
may experience 2 weeks without food. Surprisingly, many still
survive, but the customer must absorb the
loss. On a case by case basis we may resend a shipment with
no charge for the fish, but the customer
must again pay for the shipping costs. We cannot refund for
fish that are lost in shipment.
The cost of shipping is probably of greatest concern, but
it is affordable and we have shipped numerous
fish to Canada in the last 3 months. A 5 lb. box- about 10
smaller fish, to Quebec from Denver, 3-5 day
Express Mail, costs approximately $40. Global Express
Overnight is about $80. I understand that delays
are common with international delivery, and I will always
send extras of each species to cover any
I understand that some
of these fish are difficult if not impossible to find in other
countries, and we would
love to introduce them to the hobby where you are. With email
and text, we can discuss shipment to you,
and then look for ways to make the transport best for the
fish, and as inexpensive for you as possible.
Greg Sage, owner
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Receiving Shipped Fish