(239) 344-8959

Get a Quote

How To Get A Country-Specific Import Permit For Pets

Published on: July 14, 2022  |  Author: Starwood Pet Travel

two cats cuddling

If you and your pets will be traveling to a foreign country, perhaps to complete an international move, your dogs and/or cats may each need a country-specific import permit. If so, this will be in addition to other documentation required for international pet travel. There are several sources you can check to learn whether you’ll need this extra permit and where to obtain a copy. The worst mistake you can make is to assume anything regarding what you need, how to obtain it or when. If you’re wrong and your pets don’t have all the proper paperwork, they may be refused entry or have to spend additional time in quarantine.

Your airline may have some information, because the destination country’s rules affect their pet travel policies. You can also check the USDA's APHIS Pet Travel website, which has a drop-down menu of foreign country pet import requirements. The USDA website has other helpful information as well. 

Check the country’s official website for information on pet importation.

Usually you can find downloadable import forms in addition to complete country-specific pet health requirements. Any documents specific to a particular country will indicate exactly what you need to do to complete the forms. This might involve additional veterinary treatments, USDA endorsement of paperwork, quarantine reservations, etc.

Call the nearest consulate or embassy and ask.

They may be able to email the import permit information to you, or if the location is close, you can simply pick up the paperwork yourself.

Search online for information posted by pet travel companies or private third parties.

A number of foreign countries with sizable expat populations have forums devoted to moving to and living in that country, including pet-related rules and personal experiences. These resources can help you get a feel for your new country and “meet” like-minded pet owners even before you arrive.

Be wary of misinformation.

Inaccurate “facts” can come from almost any source, even those you expect to be reliable such as airline officials and websites and the country’s own representatives. Things change, but online information isn’t always updated immediately. Field staff or desk agents don’t always get the word right away, either. Double-check everything you read or hear to make sure you have what you need.

Start your research early.

Your pets may need only minimal documentation – a rabies certificate and international health certificate - but no additional import permit. However, specific timeframes apply to virtually every document and treatment.

If your pets will need additional blood tests, treatments or vaccinations, you’ll need to allow enough time to complete all of that. You may need to obtain separate official USDA endorsement of your pets’ paperwork. Meanwhile, you’re busy getting ready to make a momentous move, so scheduling all these activities will have to fit in with other timely tasks.

Hire a professional.

An experienced international pet transport company has the latest and most accurate information because their day-to-day work depends on that. They can tell you whether or not you need a country-specific import permit as well as other required documentation.

They can typically obtain the import permit and other paperwork on your behalf, so you won't have to worry about it at all. They can make your pets’ flight arrangements, pick up your pets to start their journey, clear customs and retrieve them at their destination. And if quarantine reservations or interim boarding are necessary, they can deal with that on your behalf, too. You can go on about your other move-related business, confident all the details of your pets’ move are under control.

New Call-to-action

Starwood Animal Transport has rebranded to Starwood Pet Travel. We are still the same great company with the best team, just now with a slightly different name.