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Old 11th September 2005, 07:08   #1 (permalink)
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Bringing Parrots into Turkey....

Found this posted elsewhere.... maybe will come in handy sometime. What a nightmare.

A few notes of caution from someone who has found quite a few problems importing parrots into Turkey. At the beginning of summer season, I imported an African grey and a blue and gold macaw. I started the process long before the import date to ensure all was in place, so for anyone wondering how to do it, here goes.

Turkey, not being an EU member seems to have slightly different requirements but first of all, a normal CITES document is required for each species. The Cites document process can be started by contacting DEFRA who will help over the phone with filling in the Cites request form. The CITES document is dated and can only be used within ten days of the date on the certificate, so be aware of your flying date when filling in the details. I contacted one of the UKs leading pet export companies with a view to arranging flights, customs, regulation cages etc etc for me. This company spent two months supposedly arranging everything and at each telephone call to them, I was told a completely different story as to how we would proceed. First they told me that I would be able to take the birds with me on my flight from my local airport [Teesside] and that I would require only a health certificate from my vet. They then changed their story to my needing a Cites certificate, but that as no-one had ever taken a pet parrot to Turkey before [!] there were no bird health certificates for Turkey, and that consequently, they didn’t know how we would go about it. They assured me that a certificate was also required from Ankara to allow import of the birds and that I must obtain it and bring it with me to Turkey. I telephoned DEFRA who issued me with a certificate for Northern Cyprus, which is of course Turkish. As the date drew nearer and nothing was forthcoming from this company, my wife rang them one Saturday morning to ask progress. The “gentleman” who answered the phone was so off-hand and then downright rude, that my wife was left in tears. I immediately talked to another company who were much more business-like and assured me that they could solve the difficulties in very few days. Indeed they were as good as their word and had appropriate paperwork organised and delivered to me, along with regulation cages in a matter of days. THE big change was that they told me there was no way I could import the birds from my local airport and that I needed to accompany them on the flight. This was due to only certain airports and certain airlines having authority to do the exporting and carrying of live cargo. I then had to abandon my flight tickets and buy new tickets from a different airline which had a licence to carry live cargo. On arrival at Manchester airport, at 3am, I had to present my dog [no problem] and my parrots to customs at the cargo terminal, with the assistance of a representative from the pet export company, who told me it would take ten minutes. At 6am, I finally got the pets into the bonded warehouse and ran for my plane, which was leaving at 7am. There then followed check-in problems and I was finally told that we could not fly as we were too late for the plane. Frantic explanations about the animals already being on the flight, got us fast-tracked through the airport onto a plane which was now 20 minutes late as it had missed its “slot”.

On arrival at Dalaman, the animals were fine and came out on the luggage carousel, much to the amusement of other passengers, BUT Turkish customs now became involved and we found that an important bag [which UK check-in would not let us take onboard] was missing and contained all of the Cites documents etc needed to gain entry to the country! One customs official took pity and after checking that we were indeed short of baggage, allowed us entry with the animals, but not until we signed a paper saying we must remove the birds from Turkey within 3 months!!! We have been given to understand that this is due to the value of such birds and the Turkish authorities wanting to ensure that we do not sell them. We are TOLD that we can return to customs before the 3 months is up, to pay duty on the birds which will then allow us to keep them in Turkey indefinitely. The whole process has been very frustrating and heart-breaking. I just hope this warning serves to make things easier for others intending to do the same as we did.
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