Pet Relocation: Can I Bring My Pet to China?

Josh Wilson
Josh Wilson

Don’t be 60 years old and say… "I could have done that!" Do it now!

 / May 16, 2019

Can I bring my pet to China? The short answer is YES.  Although it is not as easy as just showing up in China with your pet.  Each country has a different process for pet relocation, including China.  To help get you started, we have broken down a couple of steps needed to make sure of a smooth transition when bringing your pet to China.  


*Recently quarantine rules for pets have been changed (effective May 1, 2019), so make sure you read the rules carefully!


Contact Your Embassy to Confirm the Process


Below is a guideline of the different steps based on our research as of the date of this blog post.  However, procedures do change without notice.  While Career China has our own in-house Visa Team to help prospective teachers stay up on current policies, ultimately it is the teacher's responsibility to ensure they follow all the proper steps to bring their pet to China.  



Major Embassies in Beijing, China


United States Embassy - https://china.usembassy-china.org.cn/

Canadian Embassy - http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/china-chine/offices-bureaux/index.aspx?lang=eng

United Kingdom Embassy - https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-beijing

South African Embassy - http://www.dirco.gov.za/beijing/

Australian Embassy - http://china.embassy.gov.au/

New Zealand Embassy - https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/countries-and-regions/north-asia/china/new-zealand-embassy


TIP:  Bring Your Pet Through a Major Airport


Most people arriving in China will either fly through Beijing or Shanghai international airport.  In fact, we highly recommend that if you are bringing a pet that you route through these major hubs.  Because Beijing and Shanghai are the main airports, they will have more experience in dealing with pets coming to China than a small airport would.  That could help the process go smoother.


When it comes to quarantine, please note that depending on the country that you are coming from, there will be different quarantine lengths from 7 days to 30 days.  Please check with your local embassy & department of agriculture to confirm the length for your country. There are different quarantine rules effective May 1, 2019, so your pet may not have to to be quarantined.


Steps To Bring a Pet to China (Based on US Policy)


While we cannot document the process for every single country around the world (because they all vary), we have decided to follow the US policy because it is some of the most detailed we could find.  Likely, other countries will follow similar processes (again, be sure to check with your Embassy to confirm).  



Step 1:  Get a Pet Microchip


In order for your pet to enter China, you pet needs to have a 15 digit, ISO 11784/11785-compliant pet microchip. You can bring your own microchip scanner if your pet's microchip isn't ISO compliant.



Step 2:  Get Proof of Vaccination Shots


The first step is making sure you have all proper vaccines and documents of vaccines for your pet.   These documents will need to be given to officials upon arriving in China.  Make sure you have plenty of copies of all documents at all times. 


- Your pet must be vaccinated for rabies within 1 year of entry into China.


- For your pet to avoid quarantine, your pet needs to be vaccinated twice for rabies (new rule effective May 1, 2019).


- Pets under 3 months do not need to be vaccinated for rabies. 


Step 3:  Rabies Titer Test


China does not usually require a rabies titer test (FAVN). Starting from May 1, 2019, though, if your pet is entering China and has already been chipped and vaccinated twice for rabies, your pet can also take a Rabies Titer Test to avoid quarantine. The test sample needs to be processed and approved by a lab recognized by the GACC (General Administration of Customs). This rabies titer test will be valid for 1 year after the blood is drawn.


The titer test can be done at the same time or later than the second rabies vaccination. Results must be greater than 0.5 iu/ml. Samples have to be processed at approved laboratories in Canada, China, France, Germany, South Korea, Mexico, South Africa, United Kingdom or the United States.


Step 4:  Proper International Health Certificate 


You will need to make sure that all your vaccine documents meet USDA standards prior to arriving in China.  This means that your Veterinarian must be USDA Accredited Veterinarian or your paperwork may not be valid and up to China standards.  


- Only 1 pet is allowed per traveler.  The traveler’s name MUST be on the pet’s health certificate documents.  The name needs to match the name on your passport.


- Each pet must have its own set of health certificate documents. (1 pet per certificate)



Print & Fill out Health Certificates for your Pet in China


DOG - https://www.aphis.usda.gov/pet-travel/health-certificates/non-eu/china-dog.pdf

CAT - https://www.aphis.usda.gov/pet-travel/health-certificates/non-eu/china-cat.pdf


Step 5:  Color Copy of Passport of Pet Owner (Traveler)


Each pet needs to have a color copy of the owner/traveler's passport.  Again, this name must also match what is on all the pet's health certificate papers too.


- Make sure that this color copy of your passport has your address in China & your phone number on it.  More info on where you are staying in China the better.


Step 6:  Color Photograph of Your Pet


Each pet will need to have colored photo (preferably multiple).  This will be kept with all the records of your pet as it is processed for their arrival in China.


- A color copy would be better to help identify your pet.

- Digital copy on regular copy paper is acceptable. 

- One photocopy per pet.


Step 7:  Chinese Customs & Quarantine for Your Pet


***New Quarantine Rules effective May 1, 2019***


Pets That Are Not Subject to Quarantine


Starting on May 1, 2019, pets that pass inspection will no longer be subject to quarantine if coming from these certain countries: New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hawaii, Guam, Jamaica, Iceland, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Cyprus, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Macao.


If your pet is not entering China from one of these countries, they may avoid quarantine by being microchipped, getting vaccinated for rabies twice, and having a rabies titer test done (see steps 1, 2, and 3 above for details).


Effective May 1, 2019, guide and rescue dogs entering China after May 1 with microchips and certificates from professional training organizations are also exempted from quarantine and can enter China at any international point of entry.


More information about new quarantine rules effective May 1, 2019: https://www.pettravel.com/immigration/china.cfm


Pets that are Subject to Quarantine


Pets entering China from non-designated countries without a microchip, 2 rabies vaccinations, health certificate and results from a rabies titer test will be subject to 30 days of quarantine.


- Notify Chinese Customs of your pet’s arrival to China.  This will give them a heads up to know that you are bringing your pet with you to China.


- Once you arrive you will need to take your pet, fees of 280 元 ($35), and proper documents to the Animal & Plant Quarantine Office (CIQ) at the airport. 


- Your pet will be required to complete a 30-day quarantine in the CIQ designated facility.  This could change and be even less time, but it will be best to plan on 30 days.  


- During your pet’s quarantine, if clinical symptoms are observed, pets will be required to have an examination and undergo laboratory testing.   


- Your pet will be released only after your pet is determined to be healthy and has passed the required testing.



To learn more about quarantine & if you are traveling through somewhere other than Beijing or Shanghai please contact Inspection & Quarantine Bureau -  

http://www.shciq.gov.cn/english/affairs/201405/t20140527_33426


Step 8:  Register Your Pet with Local Police


Once you have picked up your pet from quarantine and you get to your city, then you will need to get it registered.  In fact, all foreigners moving to China need to register in China -- so the process is similar for you to register your pet too.


Breeds Banned By Certain Cities in China


Currently there is a list of breeds that are banned by different cities in China, even with proper vaccinations and documents. Check this list carefully to see if your pet's breed is on the list.


Additional Resources for Pet Relocation to China


It's great to know that we can bring our pets with us if we move to China.  However, it does take some advanced planning and additional expense to do this.  So be sure to do your research accordingly and contact your embassy to ensure you are following all the current steps.  With a little work, you will be able to enjoy your time in China with your beloved furry friend! 


Be sure to check out the additional resources / links below for additional information.


Disclaimer:


- It is the responsibility of the pet owner to make sure their pet has met all the requirements of the destination country. 


- Failure to meet the requirements may result in problems gaining certificate endorsement or difficulties upon arrival to China.


- Health Certificates must be legible, accurate, and complete.


Pet Relocation Services:  


https://www.petrelocation.com/

http://www.petmovershk.com/

http://www.sae-asia.com/

http://www.globypetrelo.com/import.asp

http://pacpet.com/

https://www.ipata.org/ipata-pet-shippers-air-and-ground

https://www.pettravelstore.com/



Other Helpful Links:


More information about new quarantine rules effective May 1, 2019: https://www.pettravel.com/immigration/china.cfm


Find a USDA Credited Veterinarian - https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel/find-a-vet


Steps to Obtain an International Health Certificate for Pets - https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel/pet-travel-info-and-guidance-document/steps-to-obtain-intl-health-certificate


Checklist for Obtaining an International Health Certificate for Pets - https://www.aphis.usda.gov/pet-travel/checklist-for-obtaining-international-health-certificate.pdf


More FAQs on International Travel with your Pet - https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel/pet-travel-info-and-guidance-document/pet-travel-faq


User Fees - Changes for Health Certificate Endorsement - https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel/pet-travel-info-and-guidance-document/pet-travel-endorsement


Pet Travel Guide - https://www.worldcarepet.com/pdf/guide_to_pet_travel.pdf


Learn more about relocating to China with The Ultimate Guide for Moving to China





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Josh Wilson

Don’t be 60 years old and say… "I could have done that!" Do it now!