Bringing a Nonhuman Primate into the United States

Nonhuman primates (NHP), including monkeys, may not be imported as pets under any circumstances.

Since 1975, the Federal Quarantine Regulations (42 CFR 71.53) have restricted the importation of NHP to the U.S. CDC’s Division of Global Migration Health carries out these regulations. NHP may only be imported and distributed for bona fide scientific, educational, or exhibition purposes, as defined in regulation.

  • Scientific purposes refer to the use of NHP for research following a defined protocol and other standards for research projects as normally conducted at the university level.
  • Educational purposes refer to the use of NHP in the teaching of a defined educational program at the university level or equivalent.
  • Exhibition purposes refer to the use of NHP as part of a public display open to the public during routinely scheduled hours in a facility that meets or exceeds Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accreditation standards.

The majority of NHP imported into the U.S. each year are for scientific purposes.

These restrictions also apply to the re-importation of NHP that originated in and are returning to the U.S.

Regulations governing NHP importation are in place to protect U.S. residents from severe infections that can spread from monkeys to humans. These infections include

Importers of NHP must register with CDC and implement infection control measures. Registered NHP importers must maintain CDC-approved animal facilities where mandatory quarantine occurs after importation. Registered importers must report specific information to CDC about each importation prior to shipment arrival and throughout the quarantine period. Importers must make their facilities, vehicles, equipment, and business records, including employee health records, animal health records, and records of distribution, available to CDC for inspection and ascertainment of compliance with federal regulations. For information on how to become a CDC-registered importer, email

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other federal, state, and local authorities may also have requirements for importing live NHP and NHP products that importers must follow.

NHP Import Data

The data on this webpage summarize NHP importation to the U.S. since 2013 by species and country of origin.