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International Pet Travel - Traveling to a Foreign Country With Your Pet
Know the Rules
Each country has its own regulations regarding live imports, aimed at keeping out diseases and invasive species. All countries require basic vaccinations and official proof of your animal's good health before letting it in. Some countries require a specific health certificate they have developed. Some countries require your pet to use the US-origin international health certificate APHIS FORM 7001 ("United States Interstate & International Certificate of Health Examination for Small Animals"). Download APHIS FORM 7001 Some countries even ask that "pet passports" be used to organize key documents (the EU requires these). And more and more often, you'll need to microchip your pet, too, to ensure its identity. the EU requires these).
If you are taking a pet to another country, contact that country's consulate or embassy for information about specific requirements that you must meet. A list of consulates can be found at Foreign Consular Offices in the United States
Health requirements and certificates may change at any time, so it is important that you check for the most current regulations before exporting your animals or traveling with your pet.
Prepare for Traveling
You must have your animal examined by a veterinarian. If the animal meets the destination country’s requirements, your veterinarian can issue the health certificate. Please contact your veterinarian to obtain a correct and properly completed export health certificate. Please have your veterinarian contact your local VS Area Office via e-mail, fax, or telephone if your veterinarian has questions on which health certificate to use. Contact information may be found at www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/area_offices/
Completed and signed international health certificates for the export of animals from the United States must be endorsed by a Veterinary Services area office in order to be valid. To obtain the USDA endorsement of an international health certificate or any other documents relating to traveling with your pet, the documents must be completed by an APHIS Accredited Veterinarian. To save time and effort, please contact your local VS Area Office to determine the best way to get your documents endorsed. You can locate veterinary services offices in your state at VS Area Offices the US
FAQ and More Info
Frequently Asked Pet Export Questions
International Animal Export Regulations & List of Countries
Since export requirements frequently change, obtain the current export requirements from the Veterinary Service office in your area before travel.
Regulations for Importing Pets, Customs and Pet Quarantine Restrictions
Import Permit Requirements for Pets: Name of person(s) traveling with pet; Country of origin; Breed of dog (eg Rottweiler); An original Health Certificate issued by a vet in country of origin stating that animal should be free of any infectious or contagious diseases and should not be in contact with any animal suffering from the same for the past sixty (60) days; Animal must be vaccinated against rabies more than one(1) month but less than one (1) year before the date of importation. Permit is only valid for one (1) month.
Antigua and Barbuda
To bring your dog and/or cat into Antigua, you must apply for a Veterinary Import License from the Veterinary & Livestock Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Antigua & Barbuda. The Country of origin will determine the procedure that is taken
Australia has a highly favourable animal health status and is free from a number of cat and dog diseases. In order to protect this status, cats and dogs entering Australia are required to undertake a period of quarantine on arrival. This quarantine period allows the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) to monitor the animal's health and become aware of any disease concerns prior to the animal's release into Australia. The length of time in Australian quarantine can vary depending on the country of export and the pre-entry preparations involved. AQIS operates three animal quarantine stations that are equipped to accommodate cats and dogs: Eastern Creek Quarantine Station (Sydney, New South Wales); Spotswood Quarantine Station (Melbourne, Victoria); Byford Quarantine Station (Perth, Western Australia). All import permits for dogs arriving from the USA (not including Hawaii) will be issued with a condition that vaccination for Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough) is mandatory. Copies of all vaccination certificates/records, endorsed by an official veterinarian in the exporting country, must accompany the animal when it arrives in Australia.
For dogs, cats, and ferrets: each animal entering the EU from a third country while travelling with a private person has to be identified and it has to be vaccinated against rabies. A certificate has to be carried along for each animal. Also, a serological test for rabies (titration test) is required for each animal that does not originate from a third country entered into the specific third country list in Annex II of Reg.(EC) No. 998/2003. Each animal has to be identified: After July 3, 2011 animals may only be identified by microchip. Tattoos applied before July 3, 2011 remain valid as long as they are clearly readable. Identification has to take place before anti-rabies vaccination.
An import permit must be obtained from the Chief Veterinary Officer before the importation of all animals, reptiles and birds. A Veterinary Officer must examine the animal before it is allowed to leave the customs area. Dogs and cats must be free of any communicable disease. These animals may be imported by permit directly from the UK, Ireland, Jamaica, St.Kitts - Nevis, Antigua, St.Lucia and St.Vincent. Cats and dogs originating from all other countries must undergo 6 months quarantine in Britain after which time an import permit can be secured. For further inquiries, contact Veterinary Services at Tel: (246) 427-5073 or Fax: (246) 420-8444
You don’t need to apply for an import or transit authorization from the FASFC for pet animals moving from a non-EC country to Belgium.
Dogs and cats can be brought into Belize without quarantine. Domestic pets will be allowed to enter the country provided that owners present the following: valid import permit; international veterinary certificate; valid rabies vaccination certificate; inspection by quarantine officer; US $12.50 entry fee + US $12.50 fax fee. To apply for an import permit, request application form from:
Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA)
Belmopan City, Belize
Tel: 822-0197 or 822-0818
All animals arriving in Bermuda must be accompanied by an Import Permit that was issued in advance by the Department of Environmental Protection, together with an original of a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian of the country from which the animal is coming to Bermuda. The health certificate and veterinary statements must be issued within 10 days before the animal's arrival in Bermuda, must be dated, must show the name, address and phone number of the veterinary facility, and must be signed by a licensed veterinarian. You must provide evidence that your animal complies with all of import requirements before an Import Permit will be issued. Certain dog breeds may be prohibited.
Pet dogs and cats may enter Brazil only upon presentation of an International animal health certificate APHIS 7001, issued in the area of origin of the animal. The traveler must also present a certificate of rabies vaccination. An import permit from Brazil is required for pet birds and any other pets other than dogs and cats
British Virgin Islands
Pets are permitted entry only after the Department of Agriculture's Veterinary Division issues an import permit. The BVI is a Rabies free territory and in order to protect against the spread of this disease, there are two sets of regulations regarding the importation of pets to the BVI. The first deals with pets from countries which are known to have outbreaks of Rabies, such as mainland USA & Canada. The second set of regulations is for countries which are believed to be Rabies free. For more information, call the Department of Agriculture, Veterinary Division, at: (284) 495-2532.
Pet cats and dogs can be imported into Canada for any period of time without quarantine from any country; however, there are different requirements for cats entering from either rabies-free countries or from those countries that Canada does not consider to be free of rabies.
Pet cats and dogs must be accompanied by a valid rabies vaccination certificate, which is issued by a licensed veterinarian(2), in either English or French and which clearly identifies the cats or dogs and states that they are currently vaccinated against rabies. This certificate should identify the animal as in breed, colour, weight, etc., and indicate the name of the licensed rabies vaccine used (trade name), including serial number and duration of validity (up to three years). Cats and dogs do not require a rabies vaccination or certification if they are less than three (3) months of age at the time they are imported into Canada. Cats and dogs three (3) months of age or older arriving from a country officially recognized by Canada as being rabies free do not have to be vaccinated against rabies, although vaccination is strongly recommended.
Canadian Customs does not require you to have a health certificate for your pet, but if the animal is travelling to Canada by air, the commercial airline may require a health certificate. Contact your airline for additional information on their requirements.
No dog or cat will be allowed entry into the Cayman Islands unless it is at least ten (10) months old. An Import Permit application for dogs and cats must be completed and submitted with an official health certificate of the pet(s), a rabies laboratory titre report and the processing fee for the import permit.
Travelers to China can bring only one pet dog or cat into the Chinese mainland. Other species of pets will be barred from entering. The country's inspection and quarantine authorities will also put dogs and cats in two categories: rabies-infected areas and non-rabies areas. Those from regions where rabies is a problem will be quarantined for 30 days while those from non-rabies areas will be isolated for seven days.
All dogs or cats must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian and endorsed by a Veterinary Services (VS) veterinarian.
The dog or cat must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian, and endorsed by a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS) veterinarian. That endorsement needs to be done by the APHIS Veterinary Services Area Office in your home state. The examination for the certificate must be conducted within 2 weeks of the departure date. For dogs, proof of vaccination against distemper, hepatitis, Leptospirosis, parvovirus and rabies is required. For cats, proof of vaccination against rabies is required. The official rabies vaccination certificate must accompany the health documents and is valid for the period of the vaccine (1 or 3 years).
All animals arriving in the Dominican Republic animals must be accompanied by a health certificate issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian. The certificate must show the animal was examined within 30 days prior to departure and found to be free of any infectious diseases, and treated for external and internal parasites; and the animal was vaccinated against rabies. (The rabies vaccination Certificate should include date of vaccination, established period of immunity, product name and serial number.)
European Union (EU)
The Member States of the European Union are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Pet dogs, cats, and ferrets must be identified with a microchip compatible with ISO standard 11784 or 11785 or the appropriate microchip reader must be provided along with the pet. Microchip implantation must occur PRIOR to rabies vaccination. Any rabies vaccination that occurs prior to microchip implantation is not considered valid regardless of whether the animal was up-to-date on its previous rabies vaccines. In this case, the animal must be revaccinated. 21 days must have elapsed after the first (primary) vaccination after implantation of the microchip before the animal is eligible to enter the European Union. A rabies vaccination is considered primary if either: (1) an animal was up-to-date on its rabies vaccination but vaccination occurred prior to microchip implantation, (2) vaccination was not carried out within the period of validity of a previous vaccination, or (3) the animal was vaccinated for the first time. Rabies vaccination is not required for pet dogs, cats and ferrets under 3 months of age, but not all EU Member States allow import of such animals. Import of unvaccinated animals must be authorized by the EU Member State.
Cats and dogs may be imported directly into Fiji BY AIR only from the following countries: Australia; Hawaii; New Zealand. Please note there are no exceptions to this list. If you wish to import your animals from a country that is not listed, you may do so by first exporting the animals to one of the above countries, satisfying ALL their quarantine requirements and then applying to re-export the animals to Fiji from that country. All of Fiji’s quarantine requirements will then have to be fulfilled for importing from this country. The conditions of importation including the period of quarantine differ for all of the countries listed above. It is a minimum of seven days if imported from Australia and New Zealand, and a minimum of thirty days if imported from Hawaii. All imported dogs and cats will be quarantined at the government Post-entry station located in Koronivia, near Nausori (Fiji). HOME QUARANTINE WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.
In order to bring their dogs, cats and ferrets from the United States into France, travelers must abide by the following conditions: Every animal must be identified by a microchip (standard ISO 11784 or annex A ISO standard 11785) or a tatoo and must have a valid rabies vaccination. Pets under three months old and not vaccinated against rabies are not allowed to enter into France. The animal is allowed to enter into France 21 days after its first full anti-rabies vaccination.
When traveling to Germany directly from the United States with dogs, cats or ferrets, you are required to have a health certificate issued by an official veterinarian in accordance with the EU uniform sample, as well as supporting documents, such as a vaccination certificate. Pet dogs, cats, and ferrets must be identified with a microchip compatible with ISO standard 11784 or 11785 or the appropriate microchip reader must be provided along with the pet. Microchip implantation must occur PRIOR to rabies vaccination.
Dogs, cats and other animals must be accompanied by veterinarian health certificate issued at point of origin, and an import permit from the "Direccion General de Ganaderia y Veterinaria" (General Direction for Cattle Breeding and Veterinary Services). Dogs also require an additional rabies vaccination certificate and distemper and hepatitis certificates.
Quarantine for pets varies from 0-6 months subject to their history and vaccination records. You may bring your cat, dog or bird into Hong Kong with a minimum amount of fuss if you are coming from a Category I or Category II country. Animals from a Category III country must go through quarantine at the owner's expense. For importing your pets to Hong Kong, you need to obtain in advance a special import permit from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. It usually takes 5 working days to process the application from the date of receipt of permit fee to the date of issue, subject to provision of all required information. Overseas applicants may nominate a person or agent in Hong Kong to apply for the permit on their behalf to minimize inconvenience and to expedite urgent applications.
As of April 2013, the import of two pet animals as baggage shall be allowed only to persons who transfer their residence to India after two years of continuous stay abroad.
The EU system of Passports for Pets allows cats, dogs and ferrets to travel between EU member states. This EU Pet Passport certifies that the pet has been identified by means of a microchip and vaccinated against rabies. Pets from higher risk non-EU countries will also require a blood test. Cats or dogs from qualifying low-risk countries (including the US, Canada, and Mexico) must undergo the following in this order: Be microchipped (this must be done before anything else); Be vaccinated for rabies subsequently; Have a Veterinary Certificate issued or endorsed by the competent authority in the country of origin; Dogs must be treated for tapeworm between 24 and 120 hours before travel and the time and date of treatment must be entered on the passport. Treatment for ticks is not compulsory but it is advisable to get it at the same time as the tapeworm treatment.
No dog or cat shall be imported into Jamaica except such an animal was born and breed in Great Britain, Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland. This applies to Guide Dogs also. Dogs and Cats vaccinated against rabies are not allowed entry into Jamaica.
On arrival in Japan dogs and cats from countries designated as rabies-free -- Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii, Guam -- must undergo import quarantine for a set period to screen out rabies (and in the case of dogs, rabies and leptospirosis), depending on conditions. Furthermore, in order to check whether they have contracted the diseases in isolation from other animals or humans, the animals are held in the quarantine facilities of the Animal Quarantine Service (AQS). Please bear in mind that even when a long quarantine period is necessary, quarantine cannot be allowed at any place other than the premises of AQS.
When trying to import dogs or cats, you must submit Advance Notification of the planned date of arrival, number of animals and other items to the Animal Quarantine Service which has jurisdiction over your intended port of arrival at least 40 days prior to arrival in Japan. Please note that you may be requested to change the date or place of import depending on the availability situation of quarantine facilities at the Animal Quarantine Service.
For a dog or cat from a designated region (rabies-free country or region), if you have a certificate for the animal issued by the responsible government agency of the country of export containing necessary information such as the microchip number for individual identification, the quarantine period will be completed within 12 hours.
For dogs and cats from regions other than designated regions, you must submit Advance Notification of the planned date of arrival, number of animals and other items to the Animal Quarantine Service which has jurisdiction over your intended port of arrival at least 40 days prior to arrival in Japan. Please note that you may be requested to change the date or place of import depending on the availability situation of quarantine facilities at the Animal Quarantine Service. If you have a certificate for the animal issued by the responsible government agency of the country of export containing necessary information such as the microchip number for individual identification, dates of rabies vaccinations and rabies antibody levels as well as stating that the animal underwent 180 days wait in the country of export, the quarantine period will be completed within 12 hours. In all other cases the quarantine period will be up to 180 days.
Upon bringing animals into Latvia, it is necessary to have an internationally recognized veterinary certificate attesting to the general health of the pet(s) as well as to the immunization and vaccination record (for dogs: against rabies, canine distemper, infectious canine hepatitis, and canine parvoviral infection; for cats: against rabies and feline infectious panleucopenia). The certificate must be in Latvian, English or Russian.
All pets imported to Malaysia must have a valid import license, be accompanied by a valid certificate giving a full description or identification of the animal, be identified by an ISO compliant microchip, be at least three months old at the time of import, and be accompanied by a Veterinary Health Certificate. Dogs anad cats imported from scheduled countries -- United Kingdom, Eire, Northern Ireland, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, Singapore -- are exempt from quarantine. Animals imported from non-scheduled countries are placed in an approved quarantine area for at least seven days. This period may be extended if the animal is considered at risk. The animal is released if found to be free from infection. Animals imported from Australia are placed in an approved quarantine area for at least ten days, where the animal is given an anti-rabies vaccination and health tests are carried out. The animal is released when found to be free from infection.
Dogs and cats traveling from the U.S. to Mexico must be accompanied by either a) An APHIS Form 7001 health certificate (HC) issued and signed by a USDA accredited veterinarian within 10 days prior to export. The certification statements (#2 and 3 below) need to be included on or with the 7001. The two statements should be in English and Spanish.The 7001 must be signed and sealed by a Veterinary Services veterinarian, OR b) The HC issued and signed by an accredited veterinarian on their letterhead certificate that includes the accreditation number of the signing veterinarian. The certificate must be issued within 10 days of export. The HC must contain the following information: 1. the name and address of the importer and exporter. When the exporter and importer is the owner, the home address and the destination address of the owner of the pet must be given, and 2. animal(s) has been vaccinated against rabies. Indicate the vaccination and expiration dates of the rabies vaccine. Animals younger than three months are exempted from this requirement.
There are special requirements for dogs and cats residing in the US border states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas: a) Pets traveling between the United States and Mexico will be allowed with a HC endorsed by Veterinary Services or a HC issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian residing at the border zone of the U.S. or Mexico. In this case the licensed veterinarian must use his letterhead and must write his license number in the certificate, and b) The health certificate will be valid for 6 months.
Traveling with Pets to Mexico
If arriving from any country other than Australia, you'll need an import permit (plan ahead!) and your animal will be quarantined for a minimum of ten days. Importantly, certain dog breeds are banned and will be refused entry. And you may not import birds, ferrets, guinea pigs, mice & rats (except laboratory animals), reptiles and snakes. Live animals may not enter New Zealand without meeting specific conditions. These will depend on the type of animal and country of origin. Entry conditions are described in the appropriate Import Health Standard (IHS) for the animal you wish to import. A Permit to Import may be required and animals may have to undergo Post Entry Quarantine at a MAF approved facility. Some animals may be prohibited due to their protected status (see the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). If your animal does need to be quarantined you must, before applying for a Permit to Import, contact a quarantine facility in New Zealand to reserve a space for your animal(s). From January 2, 2012, cats and dogs from the UK, Malta, Republic of Ireland, and Sweden will be required to have a rabies vaccination and rabies titre test
To import your pets (e.g. dogs, cats, ornamental birds, rabbits, guinea pigs etc), you must first obtain an import permit from the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) within 30 days prior to the date of arrival. Application for the permit can be made with the online form.
A Veterinary Import Permit is needed to import dogs and cats into South Africa. Cats are not routinely quarantined on arrival in South Africa. The cat must however have a valid import permit and a correctly completed health certificate, signed and stamped by a government veterinarian of the exporting country. If the originals of both the Veterinary Import Permit (VIP) and the Veterinary Health Certificate (VHC) are not available at the time of the cat’s arrival in South Africa, the cat will be kept in quarantine until the required documentation is presented at the quarantine station. Dogs and cats must have a valid rabies vaccination. In the case of primary (first) rabies vaccination the vaccination must be given not more than 12 months and not less than 30 days before the date of import. In the case of a booster rabies vaccination the vaccination must be given not more than 12 months before the date of import. Quarantine of 14 days will be imposed on some dogs, depending on the country of origin of the dog. Dogs from the U.S. and Canada do not need to go into quarantine on arrival in South Africa.
You must obtain a Veterinary Import Permit before entering St. Lucia. This may be arranged for by contacting the Ministry of Agriculture's Veterinary Department and must also adhere to the following requirements:
• The cat/dog must be electronically identifiable by having had an acceptable type of microchip implanted. Microchips must conform to ISO standard 11784.
• The cat/dog must be vaccinated against rabies at or over three months of age using inactivated and adjuvant vaccine approved by the veterinary authority of the exporting country.
• A blood test must be carried out not less than 30 days after the date the vaccination was done.
• The blood sample must be sent to an approved laboratory facility. In order to qualify for permission, the blood test must show a rabies antibody titre equal to or greater than 0.5 IU/ml. The blood test reflecting successful results must have been done not more than 24 months prior to importation. Your pet will not be allowed entrance until 6 months have passed from the date that your vet took the blood sample which led to a successful result. The original copy of the laboratory result must accompany the Health Certificate.
• The cat/dog must be accompanied by a valid Veterinary Health Certificate.
Dogs, cats and ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies according to the recommendations of the vaccine manufacturer. The vaccination must have been carried out at least 21 days before import using an inactivated vaccine with an efficacy corresponding to at least one international antigen unit (WHO standard). In the case of animals which have been vaccinated several times, the waiting period of 21 days does not apply if the animals always received booster vaccinations within the period specified by the vaccine manufacturer.
Trinidad and Tobago
All animals entering Trinidad and Tobago must have an import permit which must be applied for well in advance of travel and can take several months for pets to qualify for entry into the country. There are three categories of entry for dogs and cats into Trinidad and Tobago. Direct entry without quarantine; Entry with 6 months quarantine; Entry with at least 1 month quarantine. Dogs and cats originating from the U.S. or Canada now have an option for reduced quarantine of thirty (30) days.
United Kingdom (UK)
All pet dogs, cats and ferrets (including guide and hearing dogs) can enter or re-enter the UK from any country in the world without quarantine provided they meet the rules of the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), which will be different depending on the country or territory the pet is coming from. Animals which do not meet all the rules must be licensed into quarantine until they are compliant. Dogs, cats and ferrets entering the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme may only do so on approved routes.
United States (including US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico but not Hawaii)
CDC regulations govern the importation of animals and animal products capable of causing human disease. Pets taken out of the United States are subject upon return, to the same regulations as those entering for the first time.
The CDC does not require general certificates of health for pets for entry into the United States. However, health certificates may be required for entry into some states, or may be required by airlines for pets. You should check with officials in your state of destination and with your airline prior to your travel date.
Proof of Rabies Vaccination:
Dogs must have a certificate showing they have been vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days prior to entry into the United States. These requirements apply equally to service animals such as Seeing Eye dogs.
Cats are not required to have proof of rabies vaccination for importation into the United States. However, some states require vaccination of cats for rabies, so it is a good idea to check with state and local health authorities at your final destination.
Importation of Unvaccinated Dogs
Dogs not accompanied by proof of rabies vaccination, including those that are too young to be vaccinated (i.e. less than 3 months of age), may be admitted if the importer completes a confinement agreement and confines the animal until it is considered adequately vaccinated against rabies (the vaccine is not considered effective until 30 days after the date of vaccination).
Unvaccinated dogs may be imported without a requirement for proof of rabies vaccination if they have been located for a minimum of 6 months or more in countries that are free of rabies.
Restricted Animals - Monkeys
Monkeys and other nonhuman primates (NHP) may not be imported as pets under any circumstances.
United States - Hawaii
Dogs and cats meeting specific pre- and post-arrival requirements may qualify for 5-day–or-less quarantine program, which has a provision for direct release at Honolulu International Airport after inspection. Dogs and cats not meeting all of the specific 5-Day-Or-Less program requirements must be quarantined for up to 120 days upon arrival In Hawaii.