To get your pet onto a plane and through customs on the other side there are many requirements and documents that need to be prepared. In addition to this there are certain restrictions that countries have, which are all unique and can vary depending on which country you’re bringing your pet from.
In general you will always need a valid health certificate signed by an authorized veterinary surgeon, and rabies certificate signed by a local inspector of the veterinary service or another official. Your pet should have been vaccinated against rabies at least 28 days prior to departure. In some countries the vaccination is no longer valid if it is more than 1 year old. You will need to provide photos of the pet, microchip certificates and Serology test results if you are taking your pet to the European Union.
For more information about the specific regulations that will apply you can contact the embassy of the country you are travelling to, or see the below for country-specific information.
There are many different requirements when it comes to shipping your pet internationally. In addition, many countries have certain restrictions and require strict processes to be followed in order to bring your pet with you. These pages are general guideline on the requirements for the most travelled to locations, but please check with us or the relevant authorities if you are planning a move – requirements can (and often do) change quite frequently.
To import dogs and cats into Australia you must comply with the import conditions from the Department of Agriculture. You can check the latest requirements here. Thailand is a non-approved country, so the following steps must be followed.
You are only allowed to import a dog or cat from a non-approved country indirectly through one of the Department of Agriculture’s approved Category 3 countries. This is a two step process, you must first contact the quarantine service in the approved Category 3 country to ensure that cats and dogs are eligible for entry and your pet meets all of the pre and post-entry quarantine requirements of the approved Category 3 country.
Your pet must be prepared, i.e. examined, tested and vaccinated in an approved Category 3 country, and be exported from the same country. You pet may return to the non-approved country after the initial rabies vaccination and testing and return to the approved Category 3 country while final preparations are being done for export. You must have the appropriate paperwork signed by a veterinary authority in the Category 3 country, and your pets must meet all of the Department of Agriculture conditions that apply to the specific Category 3 country before being eligible for import into Australia.
All examinations, treatments, vaccinations, blood samples and blood testing that are required by the Department of Agriculture must be conducted by a veterinarian who is approved by the government of the approved Category 3 country. The Department of Agriculture will not recognize any examinations, treatments, vaccinations, blood samples, blood testing or certification completed in a non approved country.
As an example:
Your pet is currently in Country A
Country A is not an approved country
Country B is an approved Category 3 country
the Country B government allows cats/dogs to be imported from Country A to Country B
Your pet receives rabies vaccinations and testing in Country B and certification is provided by the Country B by a veterinary authority
Your pet returns to Country A
About 5 months later your pet returns to Country B until the time of export to have final preparations undertaken by an approved veterinarian
Your pet spends about a minimum of 45 days in Country B for the preparations to be completed
The final vet check is performed in Country B, 5 days before export to Australia
Certification of the permit conditions is provided by the Country B Official Government Veterinarian
Your pet is exported from Country B to Australia.
You can read through more information on the import conditions relevant to specific Department of Agriculture approved countries on the website here.
There are special requirements to bring dogs and cats into Hong Kong, and the full details can be seen here.
Depending on the country of origin there are different quarantine requirements. Animals are grouped into three different countries, and Thailand is in Group III. You can see the list of exempt countries here. Pets imported from Group III countries are subject to a minimum 4 months quarantine at the Animal Management Center. To prevent infection of diseases to other animals in quarantine, pets are required to be fully vaccinated before arriving in Hong Kong and have sufficient antibody’s to prevent against diseases such as rabies. You can see the full terms for import here. You should book your pets stay at the quarantine center at least 3 months in advance.
Special permits are required for animal transshipments in Hong Kong, for when change of aircraft or mode of transport is done in Hong Kong. Special care must be taken to ensure importers are complying with the requirements at the place of destination.
There are two sets of Special Permits that will be sent to the applicant. Keep the original (white) copy for the pick-up of your pet on arrival. The airline or shipping company may need you to produce a duplicate copy (the yellow set) before accepting to export your pet.
If you don’t have a Special Permit or an Import Permit don’t arrange for the transportation of your pets.
Pets which have been taken out of Hong Kong will be subject to the import and quarantine restrictions on their return to Hong Kong. You need to obtain all of the permits to bring them back into Hong Kong.
It possible that animals with a questionable history, or showing signs of diseases from any country will face an extended quarantine period.
If proper documentation is not produced your pets may be required to stay in a minimum 6-month quarantine at the importers expense or returned to the country of origin.
For disability assistance dogs and rescue dogs there are special circumstances, and please contact us so we can discuss your exact situation.
The regulations in place in Japan limit the import of pets to control the potential for rabies to be introduced. It’s the obligation of the importer to organize all aspects of the documentation and bear all related costs. This includes all of the treatments and inspections in the origin country, preparation of documentation, transport of pets, the import inspection procedures on arrival in Japan, all of the caretaking and feeding during quarantine, onsite examination and treatment by qualified veterinarians, completion of inspection, and reclaiming and return of the pet. In addition to this the examination and treatment is only allowed in the designated facility.
On arrival in Japan, there is a set quarantine period to screen out rabies and in the case of dogs also leptospirosis. To ensure that the pets have not contracted diseases in isolation from other animals or humans all pets will be held in quarantine at the Animal Quarantine Service (AQS). There are certain ports where dogs can only be imported, you can check out the details here.
Regardless of how you bring your pets to Japan, you are required to submit an Advance Notification Form to the Animal Quarantine Service office in the arrival port at least 40 days prior to arrival in Japan. After receiving the Advance Notification, the AQS will confirm the import quarantine timing and issue an Approval of Notification to the importer. If the quarantine facility is full, you will be told to use another arrival port. You will need both the Approval of Notification and the relevant Approval Number during import inspection in Japan.
The import of animals from specific regions can be as fast as 12 hours, so long as it has come from a designated region and specific requirements are met. Outside of these areas you need to follow this process. First your dog or cat needs to be identified with a microchip, which will be confirmed and checked against the number on the certificate issued by the responsible government agency of the country of export. If the microchip is not ISO compliant, please bring the required microchip reader with you. Rabies vaccinations are required, with inactivated or recombinant vaccines at least twice after the microchip has been fitted. Your pet needs to be at least 91 days old at the time of vaccination, and the second (or booster) vaccinations must be done more than 31 days after the previous vaccination and within the effective period of the previous vaccination.
After the second rabies injection blood testing must be done to determine the levels of rabies antibody levels at a designated laboratory. Results are valid for two years after the date of the blood sampling, which must be taken on the day of the second vaccination or within its effective period. For dogs you must accompany the serum with a health certificate, you can see an example form here.
Dogs and cats are required to wait for 180 days between the date of blood sampling and their arrival in Japan. If they arrive before this time they will be subject to AQS quarantine to make up the difference, and they must arrive in Japan within the two year period of the blood test result. Finally, you require a certificate from the export country that confirms your pet is not suspected of having rabies (as well as leptospirosis for dogs) if possible no more than two days before departure. Your pet should be in good health before departure. On arrival in Japan, all documents are to be submitted to AQS and if there have been any omissions the animal will be subject to up to 180 days stay in a quarantine facility. It’s the importers responsibility to take care of their pets during the quarantine period.
New Zealand is an isolated environment that is free from serious diseases and pests that live in the rest of the world. Because of this there are many strict requirements in place for importing animals to prevent the introduction of rabies, heartworm and most ticks.
Before your pet can come to New Zealand they must fulfill all of the requirements in the Import Health Standard (IHS). You can see additional information here. As follows are the general guidelines for importing pets to New Zealand.
You must ensure that your country is an approved exported for animals to New Zealand, which you can verify here. Following this you will need all of the Veterinary Certificates (A & B) for your country category – whether its 1, 2 or 3. All pets must have an approved microchip, which needs to be implanted and tested before doing and vaccinations, tests or treatments. Your scanned microchip ID must be recorded on all vaccination and treatment records.
If you’re in a category 3 country and it’s your pets first rabies vaccination it must be done at least 6 months before shipment, and not more than 12 months before shipment, or if a booster vaccination not more than 12 months before shipment. Your pet needs to have a blood test as well to determine the rabies antibodies present, and be booked in at a quarantine facility and apply for an import permit at least 6 weeks prior to shipment. The only country who doesn’t need to go through quarantine and import permit restrictions is Australia.
Especially for dogs you need to do both a heartworm test and a Leptospirosis test or treatment within 30 days prior to your scheduled arrival. The Babesia gibsoni tests, Brucella canis tests and Babesia canis treatments all need to be done, and you can check out the specific requirements here.
If medication is needed for your pet, you need a completed declaration as well as a copy of the veterinarians prescription to be inspected by an MPI inspector before (or on arrival) in New Zealand. Generally you can get clearance for up to three months supply. External parasite treatment and the first internal parasite treatment must be done 30 days prior to shipment, and at least two weeks prior to the second treatment – which has to be done in the 4 days prior to the date of shipment. For dogs the second heartworm treatment is to be done at this stage also.
You need to send advance notification of arrival to the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI), at least 72 hours before your scheduled arrival. In the 2 days prior to shipment all pets must be inspected and officially certified, where you complete your Veterinary Certificates A & B and also do an external parasite treatment.
The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) exercises a range of strategies to safeguard the introduction and spread of animal diseased in Singapore. For people wanting to import their pets, there are strict rules and regulations to follow. For further information you can see the attached fact sheet on import procedures here.
The first step for importing a pet is to get an import license from AVA within 30 days prior to the date of arrival. Please allow two working days to process the license after receiving the application and all supporting documents, and the license is valid for 30 days from the date of issue. For mixed breed dogs photos are required that clearly show the face and body, to help AVA verify it is not a breed that is prohibited from import into Singapore.
It is required that all dogs over three months of age are to be licensed with AVA. There are additional regulations for certain breeds of dogs, so please check the detailed requirements here.
There are certain conditions and requirements for the import of both dogs and cats, including health certification, quarantine and inspections by AVA. Based on the country of origin, there are certain restrictions on import of pets, which are broken down into four separate groups. Thailand is in Category D. The full list of import requirements for Category D Countries is here
Pets arriving from a Category D countries are required to go into quarantine on arrival in Singapore. This facility is typically heavily overbooked, so plan to make your reservations at least 3 months before your planned arrival in Singapore. You will also need the appropriate customs permits to be able to clear your pets through the checkpoints, and the appropriate documentation.
All pets coming to Singapore from a Category D country are required to have a rabies antibody titre test, and the process must follow an OIE-prescribed method. Successful results must be greater than 0.5IU/ml. You can carry out the test at any laboratory that can test according to an OIE-prescribed method. The AVA lab at the Animal and Plant Health Centre can carry out the rabies virus antibody indirect ELISA test, which is also an acceptable method for testing imported pets.
There are special processes that must be followed regarding the import of assistance dogs, you can see the full details here.
To transship your pets through Singapore, you need to get a Transshipment Licence from AVA. This licence will be valid for 30 days from the date of issue. Applicants must produce a copy of the health certificate and valid rabies vaccination (for dogs and cats only) as supporting documentation. Additional documents such as copy of the import permit or import license from the importing country may be required, it depends on the final country of destination. If your transit is longer than four hours your pet will be transferred either to the Changi Animal and Plant Quarantine (CAPQ) or the airline’s animal holding area.
The main stations for importing pets into Singapore:
All pets coming through Changi International Airport must be inspected at Changi Animal and Plant Quarantine Station (CAPQ). The following processes must be followed in order for pets to be successfully brought into Singapore.
First, the owner must notify Changi Animal and Plant Quarantine (CAPQ) of the confirmed pet import at least five working days before the pets scheduled arrival. All information needs to be provided, alongside the confirmed flight details and the import license number, and the owner’s details.
If your pet is imported as manifested cargo, when you arrive at the Changi Airfreight Centre, you have to present your AVA import license along with photo identification to get a visitor pass at the entrance of the cargo complex. From here you need to head to the relevant cargo office of the airline that brought your pet to Singapore and produce all required documentation that accompanies your pet, including original copies of their health certificate, vaccination records, original rabies serology test results, the airway bill of lading and if applicable a Captain’s declaration. From here you will be able to collect your pet and take them for inspection and clearance. Do not take your pet out of their travel kennel at this stage.
If you accompany your pet on the flight, or bring them as excess baggage you need to go to the Lost and Found counter and surrender your pet to the staff, and sign the handing over form. You are not allowed to take your pet out of the customs/immigration area of the arrival hall, instead the staff will transfer them to the AVA CAPQ office for inspection and clearance. Proceed to the CAPQ office yourself with the original health certificates, original vaccination records, original rabies serology test results and your pets AVA import licence.
At the CAPQ office the AVA officer will verify all of your documentation, and visually inspect your pet to ensure it is clinically healthy, in addition to verifying its microchip number. Pets that require quarantine on arrival in Singapore will be held at CAPQ after this veterinary inspection, and they will be transported to Sembawang Animal Quarantine Station (SAQS) to undergo quarantine.
Please note that there is a huge demand for quarantine space and it’s recommended you book and apply for quarantine space at least three months ahead of your pets anticipated arrival in Singapore. There’s a simple online application you can follow to use the Quarantine Management System, so long as you have their microchip number, valid rabies vaccination reports and serology test reports.
Sweden distinguishes between listed countries, and those outside that do not have adequate control systems in place for rabies. The greater risk that a pet is infected with rabies is higher in certain countries, which means that the import restrictions are also stricter, you can read through the requirements in full here, or see the country list.
Thailand is classified as an non-listed country, and as follows are the general guidelines for importing your pet from a non-listed country to Sweden.
Microchips are required in all pets that do not have an identification tattoo before 3 July 2011 and conform to ISO Standards. You must have your pet microchipped before you do and vaccinations. Vaccination against rabies is required, and be done according to the recommendations of the vaccine’s producer. Many cannot be used until your pet is three months old. Dogs, cats and ferrets all require rabies vaccination.
Following vaccination you must have a blood test done to identify the rabies antibodies in their system. You can see a list of the approved clinics to do the blood testing here. Samples must be taken more than 30 days from the final dosage of the vaccination, and once they pass the antibody test another is not required so long as you maintain their re-vaccination schedule.
If you have an EU Pet Passport, as soon as the vaccinations are done, identity marking is complete and they have passed the antibody testing they are ready to travel. If there is a group of more than 6 pets, you will need a special veterinary certificate. Also, if your pet has no EU Pet Passport then you will need a veterinary certificate. This will be issued 90 days from a successful passing of the rabies antibodies test. There are two different certificates, depending if the pet is travelling with you or if they are travelling alone, in a group of more than 5 dogs, or are to be sold.
The main entry points from outside the EU to come directly into Sweden is the Stockholm/Arlanda Airport and Gothenburg/Landvetter Airport, where they will be either inspected at border control if they are to be sold or carried through customs with all appropriate documentation. If foreign dogs are to be residing in Sweden permanently they must be registered with the central dog register.
If you’re planning a move to Sweden let us know how we can help, so we can take care of the process and requirements for you and your pets have a great trip.
The Department of Livestock Development is the regulatory body when bringing dogs and cats into Thailand. You can review the full list of import requirements here, or review the process in detail at the Thai Embassy page.
In short, these are the requirements you must follow.
Bringing a pet into Thailand:
An import permit, which can be obtained from the Bangkok Animal Quarantine Station, and is valid for 45 days from the date of issue.
A Veterinary Certificate which is filled out and certified by an accredited veterinarian within the export country, within 10 days of the flight. This certificate must state:
The pet is found to be healthy and free from any signs of infectious disease (including ectoparasites).
The country is free from Rabies for at least 12 months OR the animals have been vaccinated against rabies not less than 21 days before the flight.
Dogs are vaccinated against Leptospirosis at least 21 days prior to departure, OR the dog is tested for signs and found to be negative within 30 days of departure.
Vaccinations against Distemper, Hepatitis, and Parvovirus are done with official vaccines at least 21 days prior to departure.
A microchip that complies with ISO standards, or is accompanied with a microchip reader in order for the pet to be identified.
An original copy of the Rabies Vaccination Certificate, which also clearly states the pet’s microchip number, date of the vaccination and the period for which the vaccination is done for. The vaccine must be inactivated.
On arrival in Thailand the animals may be subject to quarantine at an approved premise for at least 30 days during which time they will be subjected to any tests/treatments as necessary.
Taking a pet out of Thailand:
A certificate of vaccination against rabies, not less than 30 days before the flight, and not over 1 year prior.
Obtain a health certificate from the Suvarnabhumi Airport Animal Quarantine Station within 3 days of the flight.
A copy of the owners passport (only the photo page is required)
An import permit (if required) depending on the country you are shipping them to.
To bring your animals into the UK, there are many restrictions that need to be met. You can check out the latest requirements.
In short, you need either an EU Pet Passport, or an official veterinary certificate. Your pet must be micro chipped, vaccinated against rabies and treated against tapeworm, in certain instances blood tested.
Specifically for cats coming from Australia you need a certificate showing protection against Hendra disease, and pets coming from Malaysia require a certificate showing protection against Nipah disease. it’s your responsibility to get all of the documentation prepared for pets you bring to the UK, and if it’s not completed correctly or your pet doesn’t meet the entry rules it won’t be allowed to enter the UK.
Microchips are required to be fitted, and the number has to be recorded on all of their documentation. Microchips will need to be read upon entry to the UK, which means the chip needs to be compatible with the ISO Standards. The exception is for pets that have been tattooed on or before 3 July 2011. If the tattoo is clearly legible, and was done before the pet was vaccinated against rabies then your pet doesn’t need to be micro chipped. After micro chipping your pet must be vaccinated against rabies.
There is a mandatory waiting period of 21 days from the date of your pets first rabies vaccination before a pet can enter the UK if travelling from the EU or a listed non-EU country. You can see the list of countries here. If your pet is travelling from an unlisted country different rules apply. A blood test must be done to ensure the vaccine has worked, and there is a three month waiting period.
The blood sample must be taken from the pet at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination, and sent to an EU approved blood testing laboratory. If satisfactory, the pet will be able to enter the UL three months after the date the blood sample was taken. There’s a limit of 5 pets that can be moved by an individual, but if certain requirements are met you can move more, here is where you can contact for more information.
You don’t need to accompany your pet on the flight, but there is documentation to complete. Without the declaration of an owner not accompanying pet, there may be additional fees at border control. If you’re travelling with your pet then this document is not required. Treatment is needed against tapeworms, not less than 24 hours before the flight and not more than 5 days (120 hours) prior to the scheduled arrival in the UK. This needs to be done by a qualified vet with the details registered in the EU Pet Passport.
Quarantine is not required from certain countries in the world so long as the rules of the scheme are met, and all documentation is in order. You can check out the different countries here. There are restrictions on the routes and the transport companies that can bring pets into the UK, you can see the list of approved sea and rail routes and the air routes.
You can get an EU Pet Passport from an Official Veterinarian, which is simple to get after a couple of tests at either your local vet (or they can refer you to a clinic with an Official Veterinarian).
Before your pet can board a flight they need a veterinary statement saying that your pet is fit and safe for travel. In addition you will need to prepare customs documentation We can assist to provide all of the required formalities, as well as making sure the border checks go smooth and according to plan. Let us help make the relocation process for your pet simple, so your best friend is home safe in no time.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has many regulations on importing dogs and cats into the United States. Your dog needs to be vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days before entry, except for puppies that are younger than 3 months and dogs that have originated or have been located (for 6 months) in an area that is considered to be free of rabies. You also need to have a health certificate for your dog. You can find more information on the specifics of the requirements. There is no vaccination regulation for cats
There are additional restrictions on specific breeds of dogs that are to be used handling livestock. Collies, shepherds, and other dogs imported from any part of the world except Canada, Mexico, and regions of Central America and the West Indies must be inspected and quarantined at the port of entry to determine their freedom from tapeworm. In addition, there are certain requirements for dogs that are returning from a country affected with screwworm. You can bring dogs from regions known to have screwworm if you have a veterinary certificate that states the dog has been inspected for screwworm, within 5 days of shipment to the United States. The certificate must state the dog is free from screwworm or was found to be infested and held in quarantine and treated until free from screwworm prior to leaving. Every pet will be subject to inspection at their port of entry for any infectious diseases, and if you are importing your pet to Hawaii there is a quarantine period of 130 days.
Do not use any natural bedding such as straw, hay or grass in their travel kennel because these products are not allowed to be imported to the Unites States. If you’re bringing your dog from a country that’s affected with Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) you need to take the following precautions.
Your pets feet, fur, and bedding should be clean and free of any excessive dirt or mud.
Your pet’s bedding should be free of any straw or hay, or other natural bedding.
Your pet should be bathed as soon as it reaches its final destination.
Your pet should be kept separate and apart from all livestock for at least 5 days after entry into the United States.
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