How To Get A Country-Specific Import Permit For Pets
Published on: December 3, 2015 | Author: Starwood Animal Transport
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 website’s “International Regulations for Pet Travel” page, which has a drop-down menu of foreign country pet import information. The USDA site has other information you’ll need, too, such as universally-required kennel specifications for cats and dogs traveling by air.
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 can involve additional veterinary procedures, USDA endorsement of health certificates or permits, information about when and how to file the paperwork as well as how to make quarantine reservations, if needed.
Call the nearest consulate or embassy and ask.
They may be able to email the import permit to you, or if the location is close, you can simply pick up the paperwork.
Search online for information posted by pet travel companies or private third parties.
A number of foreign countries with sizeable 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.
Start your research early.
Your pets may need only minimal documentation – a rabies certificate and the USDA Form 7001 health certificate, but no additional import permit. However, specific timeframes apply to virtually every document.
If your pets will need extensive additional 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.
Consult a professional.
An experienced international pet transport company has the latest – 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 handle all or part of assembling that paperwork. They can make your pets’ flight arrangements, whether they’re flying on their own or with you. They can even pick up your pets to start their journey 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’ travel are under control.
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