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Veterinary Public Health Section

Importation of Non-human Primates

The following  non-human primate (NHP) species may  be imported into California only by authorization from the California Department of Public Health, Veterinary Public Health Section (VPHS):

            Family Lorisidae: Genera Arctocebus, Loris, Nycticebus, Perodicticus

            Family Galagidae: Genera Euoticus, Galago, Otolemur

            Family Callithricidae: Genera Calibella, Callimico, Callithrix, Leontopithecus, Mico, Saguinus

            Family Cebidae: Genera Cebus, Saimiri, Sapajus

            Family Aotidae: Genus Aotus

            Family Pitheciidae: Genera Cacajao, Callicebus, Chiropotes, Pithecia

            Family Atelidae: Genera Alouatta, Ateles, Brachteles, Lagothrix, Oreonax

            Family Cercopithecidae: Genera Allenopithecus, Cercocebus, Cercopithecus, Chlorocebus, Colobus, Erythrocebus, Lophocebus, Macaca, Mandrillus, Miopithecus, Nasalis, Papio, Piliocolobus, Presbytis, Procolobus, Pygathrix, Rhinopithecus, Rungwecebus,  Semnopithecus, Simias,Theropithecus,Trachypithecus

            Family Hylobatidae: Genera Hoolock, Hylobates, Nomascus, Symphalangus

            Family Hominidae: Genera Gorilla, Pan, Pongo

Non-human primates may be imported into California only upon receipt of a permit issued by VPHS. To apply for an importation permit, the importer must:

1.   Determine the purpose for which the NHP is to be imported: Exhibition, Research, Nonresident Short-term Exhibition, Re-Entry, or Assistant Animal.

2.   Review the Guidelines webpage for the type of permit desired.

3.   Verify that a VPHS-approved quarantine facility, either at the consignee's facility or at a facility contracted by the consignee, is available to receive and hold the animal for the designated quarantine period .
4.   Complete the importation permit application (PDF), collect necessary supporting documentation as specified under the permit guidelines, and email application package to

While VPHS endeavors to process permit applications in as timely a manner as possible, there is no guarantee that the permit will be issued by a specific date. Importers should submit permit applications to VPHS as soon as practically possible. The permit application form must be received by VPHS no less than ten (10) business days preceding the anticipated date of shipment. All supporting documents must be received by VPHS no less than five (5) business days preceding the anticipated date of shipment.


The permit will be issued via email; the NHP may be imported into California upon receipt of the importation permit. If indicated as required on the permit, the imported NHP must be placed immediately upon arrival into quarantine for 30 days. At the end of the 30 days, the NHP must be examined by a veterinarian and tested using a tuberculin skin test. If the veterinarian certifies that the NHP is healthy and free of evidence of communicable diseases, and the tuberculosis skin test is "negative", the veterinarian will complete, sign, date, and e-mail to VPHS the Veterinary Certificate of Quarantine (PDF). If information on the Veterinary Certificate of Quarantine is satisfactory, VPHS will issue a Release from Quarantine. The consignee may release the NHP from quarantine only upon receipt of the VPHS Release from Quarantine.​

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