Bringing Pets to Australia

Cats and dogs may only be imported to Australia from approved countries. Conditions for importing cats and dogs from approved countries vary depending on the country of export.

Under the legislation of the Australian Customs Service (ACS) dogs of the following breeds are not eligible for importation into Australia. The ACS can be contacted on 61 2 6245 5484 or 1300 363 263

  • dogo Argentino
  • fila Brazileiro
  • Japanese tosa
  • Pit bull terrier or American pit bull

Under the legislation of Environment Australia domestic/non-domestic animal hybrids eg bengal cats or wolf crosses are not eligible for import, unless they are proven to be 5th generation or more away from any pure-bred non-domestic ancestor. Please contact Wildlife Permits and Enforcement Section, Environment Australia on 02 6274 1111 for further information.
Category 1: New Zealand: No quarantine in Australia

Category 2: 30 days quarantine in Australia

Bahrain, Barbados, Cyprus, Falkland Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia (includes Tahiti, Society Islands, Marquesas Islands, Austral Islands, Tuamotu Islands, Gambier Islands), Guam, Hawaii, the Republic of Ireland, Japan, Malta, Mauritius, New Caledonia, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Vanuatu.

Category 3A: 60 days quarantine in Australia

American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Wallis and Futuna, Western Samoa.

Category 3B: 60 days quarantine in Australia

Christmas Island, Cook Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Kingdom of Tonga,Tuvalu.

Category 4: Minimum 30 days quarantine in Australia

Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Macau, Peninsular Malaysia, Monaco, Montenegro and Serbia, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Reunion, Sabah, Sarawak, Seychelles, Slovenia Republic, South Korea, Spain, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent Grenadin, Saipan, Switzerland (including Liechtenstein), Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, US Virgin Islands, Uruguay.

Category 5: 120 days quarantine in Australia

Republic of South Africa

Category 6: All other countries

Cocos (Keeling) Islands: No quarantine required in Australia

Norfolk Island: No quarantine required in Australia

Further advice can be found at www.agriculture.gov.au or by phone on General enquiry: 1800 900 090 or (61 3) 8318 6700 (outside Australia).

AQIS – Live Animal Imports

GPO Box 858

Canberra 2601

Australia

Fax: 61 2 6272 3110

Phone: 61 2 6272 4454

Category 1: New Zealand: No quarantine in Australia

Residency

Dogs and cats must have been continuously resident in New Zealand for 90 days immediately prior to shipment, or since birth, or since direct importation from Australia. The animal must not have been in quarantine or under quarantine restrictions in the 60 days immediately prior to shipment.

Age at time of export

Dogs and cats must be more than two months of age.

Pregnancy

Female dogs and cats must not be more than 42 days pregnant at the time of export.

Permission to import

An Import Permit is not required. A Statutory Declaration signed by the exporter is required that:

  • identifies the dog/cat by breed, sex and age
  • states that dog/cat has been continually resident in New Zealand or Australia for the 90 days immediately preceding export to Australia, or since birth
  • states that the dog is not a Pit bull terrier, Japanese tosa, dogo Argentino or a fila Brazileiro

Health and Certification Requirements:

The animal must also be accompanied by a health certificate signed by a registered veterinarian certifying that:

  • New Zealand is free from rabies
  • [Dogs only] canine brucellosis, canine erhlichiosis and leptospirosis due to Leptospira canicola have not been confirmed in New Zealand in the 12 months prior to export..
  • he/she examined the animal within 72 hours prior to export and found it fit to travel.
  • [Dogs that have resided in Africa]. Since last in Africa and before entering Australia the dog was treated as in Option 1 or Option 2 or where the dog is not treated in New Zealand a copy of the certification of the treatment as in Option 1 or Option 2 must be endorsed by MAF and accompany the dog to Australia.
  • Evidence that either the dog has been continuously resident in New Zealand since birth or the dog has been continuously resident in New Zealand since it’s importation from Australia. If the dog has not lived all of its life in New Zealand or if it has not resided only in New Zealand since import from Australia, a negative test (IFAT at 1:40) result for Erhlichia canis must be presented to the Official Veterinarian.

Transport

The dog/cat must be transported to Australia in accordance with the container requirements specified in the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Live Animals Regulations.

For more details regarding IATA regulations contact your airline.

Quarantine

Any animal arriving in Australia having not met the above requirements may be ordered into quarantine or returned to New Zealand at the importer’s expense.

Importation procedures
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Documentation must be in order and all import requirements must be met.
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AQIS must be given at least three days notice of the animals arrival in Australia.

Fax Numbers

NSW 02 9364 7350

Victoria 03 9338 0844

Queensland 07 3246 8660

SA 08 8305 9823

WA 08 9334 1537

NT 08 8999 2094

Your fax must include

  • Date and estimated time of arrival
  • Flight number
  • Air waybill number
  • A short description of your pet
  • A phone number in New Zealand or Australia; should we need to contact you
  • The address at which the animal is to reside in Australia

1.

Cats and dogs imported from New Zealand are cleared at the first point of contact in Australia. ie animals destined for Canberra are first cleared in Sydney.
2.

The AQIS costs to clear your pet are as follows:

$10.00 Quarantine entry per animal

$35.50 Document clearance per animal

Payment of the AQIS bill is usually collected by the airline with which your pet travels before your pet leaves New Zealand.

Category 2 – Category 5: pets requiring quarantine in Australia

All animals entering Australia require an import permit, issued by AQIS. To obtain an import permit, an application to import your pet must be completed. Your application must include your pet’s microchip number. An import permit will be returned to you. The import permit contains Veterinary Certificate A and B which must be completed and endorsed by an Official Veterinarian in the country of export prior to the arrival of your pet in Australia. The steps below provide information for completing the entire import process.

STEP 1: GENERAL ELIGIBILITY

Residency: Dogs and cats must have been continuously living in the country of export for a minimum of 6 months immediately prior to shipment, or since direct importation from Australia, or since birth. Your pet must not have been under quarantine restrictions in the 30 days prior to export.

Age: Your pet must be at least 12 weeks old at time of export.

Pregnancy: Female pets must not be more than 6 weeks pregnant nor be suckling young at time of export.

STEP 2: MICROCHIP CAT OR DOG

Dogs and cats must be identified by a microchip that can be read by an Avid ?, Trovan?, Destron? or other ISO compatible reader.
STEP 3: APPLY FOR A PERMIT TO IMPORT

The AQIS import permits are only valid for 6 months from the day that AQIS receives your application. Your pet will not be allowed to enter Australia without a valid AQIS permit to import.
STEP 4: AQIS PERMIT TO IMPORT

An AQIS import permit will be sent to you immediately following approval by AQIS of your application. You may request the import permit to be faxed, a copy of the import permit may be used.

The permit includes Veterinary Certificates A and B.

STEP 5: FIND A GOVERNMENT APPROVED VETERINARIAN, AN OFFICIAL VETERINARIAN AND A GOVERNMENT APPROVED LABORATORY.

An Official Veterinarian: is a government officer usually employed by the government veterinarian administration in the exporting country. Official Veterinarians generally do not work in private practice. Official Veterinarians are able to sign certificates on behalf of the government’s veterinary administration. Official Vets endorse Veterinary Certificate A and complete Veterinary Certificate B that are provided with your AQIS import permit.

A government approved vet: This government approved veterinarian will prepare your pet for export to Australia and fill in the details of this preparation on Veterinary Certificate A provided with your AQIS import permit.

Government approved laboratories: are approved by the government veterinary service for testing samples from animals destined for export. If you wish the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) can do all testing for you. Fax: 613 5227 5555 Ph: 613 5227 5329

STEP 6: COMMENCE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS

Your pet can only come into Australia through the following airports, Mascot Airport in Sydney (New South Wales) or Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne (Victoria) or Perth Airport in Perth (Western Australia). AQIS strongly advises booking direct flights due to health and welfare concerns, eg pets missing connecting flights and remaining in airports for extended periods.

If you are not able to organize travel yourself there are animal transport agents in most countries who can make arrangements on your behalf.

STEP 7: GENERAL VACCINATIONS

Vaccinations must be valid for the entire period spent in quarantine in Australia. If vaccinations expire prior to your pet’s release from quarantine they may be re-vaccinated at the owner’s expense.

Dogs must be vaccinated against distemper, infectious hepatitis, canine parvovirus (parvo), para-influenza and Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough)

Cats must have been vaccinated against feline enteritis (feline panleucopenia, feline distemper), rhinotracheitis and calicivirus.

Note: Pets from certain countries require a Rabies Neutralising Antibody Titre Test (RNATT) in order to determine your pet’s antibody response to rabies

STEP 8: DOGS ONLY – BRUCELLOSIS, EHRLICHIOSIS, LEPTOSPIROSIS AND EXTERNAL PARASITES

Blood tests: Arrange for a government approved veterinarian to scan your dog’s microchip and draw blood samples for brucella and ehrlichia (tropical canine pancytopaenia) and leptospira. Brucellosis: Your dog/s must be tested for Brucella canis infection by a serum agglutination test. Leptospirosis: Dogs must be tested for Leptospira canicola by a microscopic agglutination test within 30 days of export.

Note: Vaccinations against Leptospira interrogans.var. canicola is not recommended within 6 months of export as your pet’s high antibody response will most likely result in it being ineligible for export to Australian

Ehrlichiosis: Your dog/s must be tested for Ehrlichia canis infection by the indirect fluorescent antibody test.

Treatment for external parasites: A government approved veterinarian must treat your dog with a long lasting acaricide that is registered for the control of ticks and mites eg Frontline® or Permoxin®.

STEP 9: DOGS THAT HAVE LIVED IN AFRICA ONLY, BABEOSIS

Option 1: A government approved veterinarian must treat your dog once with imidocarb dipropionate (Forray-65®, Hoechst or Imizol® by Coopers) at a rate of 7.5 mg per Kg body weight by subcutaneous injection.

Option 2: A government approved veterinarian must treat your dog twice with imidocarb dipropionate (Forray-65®, Hoechst or Imizol® by Coopers) at a rate of 6.6 mg per Kg body weight by subcutaneous injection given two weeks appart.

STEP 10: INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL PARASITE TREATMENT

External parasites:

For dogs: You must have already commenced external parasite treatment for dogs. Your dog/s may require repeat treatment for external parasites and will need to be treated for fleas.

For cats: Cats must be treated with a product approved for the treatment of ticks and fleas.

Internal parasites: Cats and/or dogs must be treated with a product approved for the treatment of nematodes and cestodes.

STEP 11: COMPLETION OF VETERINARY CERTIFICATE A, INCLUDING PRE-EXPORT INSPECTION

You will have to bring your pet/s and all documentation to this inspection. Your pet will be required to be free from clinical signs of infectious or contagious diseases, external parasites and be fit to travel.

STEP 12: COMPLETION OF VETERINARY CERTIFICATE B,

SEALING ANIMAL IN THE SHIPPING CONTAINER.

The following documents must be presented to the Official Veterinarian at this time for signature and stamp (endorsing) and then travel with your pet/s to Australia.

  • Original or copy of the AQIS import permit
  • Completed Veterinary Certificate A for endorsement by Official Veterinarian.
  • Veterinary Certificate B for completion and endorsement by the Official Veterinarian
  • General vaccination certificates for endorsement by the Official Veterinarian.
  • Brucellosis, Ehrlichiosis, and Leptospirosis laboratory reports (dogs only) for endorsement by the Official Veterinarian

STEP 13: CHECK PET IN WITH THE AIRLINE

The import permit, Veterinary Certificates A and B, blood test results and vaccination records must travel to Australia with your pet/s. These documents may be originals or copies but must bear the original signature and stamp of the Official Veterinarian.

Please make photocopies of all documents. AQIS recommends taping one set of photocopied documents onto the cage while keeping another set with you.

ON ARRIVAL IN AUSTRALIA

On arrival your pet will be met by AQIS staff and transported to the quarantine station. AQIS provides housing, bedding, food, water and care for your pet for the duration of its stay. All quarantine costs must be met by the importer, an invoice for these charges will be posted to you after arrival of your pet in Australia and must be paid prior to release of your pet.

HEARTWORM – Dogs

Please note that heartworm disease of dogs is endemic in Australia. Heartworm is caused by the microorganism Dirofilaria immitis and is spread by mosquitoes. No testing or treatment is required for importation into Australia, however drugs are available on arrival to prevent heartworm.

If you would like your dog to be placed on heartworm medication please contact the quarantine station and they can refer you to a private veterinarian to organize preventative treatment for your pet. The private veterinarian will bill you separately for this service.

Category 6: All other countries

AQIS does not allow the direct importation of dogs and cats from non-approved countries.

Importation of dogs and cats from non-approved countries can only occur indirectly via a country approved by AQIS. Cats and dogs must be continuously resident in an approved country for at least six months prior to export to Australia. If you intend to import an animal indirectly via an AQIS approved country, you must first contact the quarantine service in the approved country to ensure that your dog is eligible for entry. Your animal must meet all of the pre and post-entry quarantine requirements of the approved country.

Animals that have been resident in an approved country for a minimum of six months then become eligible for import into Australia under the AQIS import conditions that apply to that particular approved country. AQIS recommends that you commence import requirements for Australian quarantine as soon as possible after your arrival in the approved country.

Cocos (Keeling) Islands: No quarantine required in Australia

General eligibility Your cat ((dogs are prohibited on the island) must be at least 12 weeks old at time of export. Female cats must not be more than 6 weeks pregnant nor be suckling kittens at time of export.

Residency: Importation is restricted to cats that have been resident in Cocos Islands either:

– since birth or

– since direct importation from Australia, or

– for the whole of the six month period prior to export to Australia, and

– the cat must not be under quarantine at the time of export to Australia.

Health Certification: Each cat must be accompanied by the import permit and appropriate Health Certificate.

Norfolk Island: No quarantine required in Australia

Conditions for the importation of dogs and cats from Norfolk Island;

1.

An AQIS import permit must be obtained prior to exporting pets to Australia.
2.

 

 

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