Domestic dogs and cats must be free of evidence of diseases communicable to humans when examined at the port of entry. If the animal is not in apparent good health, further examination by a licensed veterinarian may be required at the owners expense.
(lists all countries effected and complete regulations) has imposed stringent requirements on dogs imported from Screwworm infected regions of the world. Generally, the countries where screwworms are prevalent are Africa, Asia, Central America (& Caribbean), Middle East, Pacific Islands, and South America. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Inspectors will check the origin of dogs entering the United States and if the dogs originate from one of the afore mentioned countries and do not meet USDA policy - the dogs will be held. To meet the requirements dogs must have:
1. A health certificate signed by a veterinarian official certifying that the dog was inspected for screwworm within 5 days preceding shipment to the U.S. and was found free of screwworms.
2. Dogs infected with screwworm must have been held in quarantine and treated until free prior to leaving their country.
Dogs and cats must be vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days before entering the United States. This requirement does not apply, however, to puppies or kittens less than three months of age or to dogs and cats originating or located for at least six months in areas designated by the U.S. Public Health Service as being rabies-free.
The following procedures pertain to dogs arriving from areas that are not free of rabies:
- A valid rabies vaccination certificate should accompany the animal. This certificate should be in English or be accompanied by a translation. It should identify the animal, the dates of vaccination and expiration, and be signed by a licensed veterinarian. If no expiration date is specified, the certificate is acceptable if the date of vaccination is no more than 12 months before the date of arrival.
- If a vaccination has not been performed, or if the certificate is not valid, the animal may be admitted if it is confined immediately upon arrival at a place of the owners choosing. The dog must be vaccinated within four days after arrival at the final destination, but no more than 10 days after arrival at the port of entry. The animal must remain in confinement for at least 30 days after being vaccinated.
- If the vaccination was performed less than 30 days before arrival, the animal may be admitted but must be confined at a place of the owners choosing until at least 30 days have passed since the vaccination.
- Young puppies must be confined at a place of the owners choosing until they are three months old, then they must be vaccinated. They must remain in confinement for 30 days.
Dogs and cats that arrive in Hawaii or Guam, both of which are free of rabies, are subject to the states or territorys quarantine requirements, in addition to whatever other Public Health Service requirements, above, apply.
Dogs, cats, and turtles are free of duty. Other pets imported into the United States, if subject to a customs duty, may be included in your customs exemption if they accompany you and are imported for your personal use and not for sale.
For additional information please consult with the following agencies that govern pet importation to the United States: Customs and Border Protection, Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).