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At first glance, pet importation regulations seem so daunting that most people would like to wave a proverbial "magic wand" over the process and be done with it. We don't blame anyone for feeling overwhelmed, which is why we've put together a general outline of what you need to do in order to clear most country's customs' hurdles.

Our "short course" on pet importation should ease your concerns and help jump start your iinternational pet travel planning. After reading through our suggestions, check out the Pets on the Go™ database of international pet importation regulations. We cover over 125 countries, provide their rules and regulations, consulate information, telephone numbers and direct links to their websites. The only caveat? Always contact the country's official source before making your travel plans.

First Contact -- the Embassy or Consulate

Once you determine the general restrictions of the country(s) that you plan to visit, you must contact the individual embassy/consulate(s). They have all of the information that you need on pet importation and are generally very helpful. When you contact the embassy/consulate, please ask the following questions:

  • Are there any special restrictions for pets being imported? If there are quarantine restrictions, where are the local quarantine confinement areas and do I need to make a reservation?
  • What documents will I need to import my pet? Most countries require a health certificate signed by the country's health official or a licensed veterinarian within a set number of days before entering the country. This is often in the country's native language. Some countries make their certificates available via the web, while others will send you .
  • Are there age restrictions?
  • Are there special vaccinations or tests that my animal needs to have?
  • How will my pet clear customs?

Pet Importation Regulations

United States
Mexico
Canada
Hawaii
Guam
Great Britain

Pets on the Go™ members can log-in to our international database of over 110 additional countries, their importation requirements, and links to the appropriate consular agency.

Getting Additional Information -- Go to the Source

We provide a great deal of specific information on pet importation requirements. If, after looking through our data and then contacting the embassy/consulate, you want an even more definitive source on pet importation requirements, then please contact either one of the following sources:

  • The Department of Animal Health -- this is the primary source for health requirements in most countries. You can generally get their contact information through the embassy or consulate.
  • The embassy or consulate in the destination country will put you in touch with the Agricultural Officer. They should be able to provide the import health requirements and the documents written in the language of the originating country.

General Requirements -- The Bare Minimum

  • International Health Certificate

International health certificates (IHC) for the export of animals from the United States are completed by the APHIS accredited veterinarian who certifies animal health status, conducts tests, and records test results for the individual animals being exported. Often the country requires that the International Health Certificate also be in their official language and bear an official stamp. Securing an IHC is a two-step process.

  • First, contact the embassy or consulate to see if they require an international health certificate. Often the country requires that the IHC be in their official language and bear an official stamp. This can be provided by your local embassy or consular office.
  • Then take the certificate to an APHIS accredited vet to complete the process.

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.

The APHIS Area Office for your state can assist you with your questions relating to traveling with your pet, help you locate an Accredited Veterinarian, and inform you of the fee(s) for the USDA endorsements. You should check with your current Veterinarian to determine if he/she is an APHIS Accredited Veterinarian. You can locate the VS Area Office for your State at : http://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/area_offices.htm.

Since export requirements frequently change, obtain the current export requirements from the Veterinary Service office in your area before travel.

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