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Pet Quarantine Australia

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All cats and dogs entering Australia from a category 2 country require an import permit issued by AQIS. To obtain an import permit, an application to import cats and dogs to Australia must be completed. An import permit will be returned to the person nominated on the application form.

The AQIS import permit contains Veterinary Certificates A and B which must be completed and endorsed by an Official Government Veterinarian in the country of export prior to the departure of the animal. The steps below provide detailed information for completing the entire import process.

The person listed as the importer on the AQIS import permit is responsible for the collection of the animal from quarantine and payment of all fees associated with the importation and quarantine accommodation of the animals imported to Australia.

Step 1: General Eligibility

Time Frame: Confirm eligibility before proceeding.
Residency: Cats and dogs must have been continuously living in the country of export for a minimum of six 6 months immediately prior to export, or since direct importation from Australia, or since birth.
Cats and dogs must not be under quarantine restriction at the time of export.
Age: Cats and dogs must be at least 12 weeks old at time of export.
Pregnancy: Female cats and dogs must not be more than 3 weeks pregnant nor be suckling young at time of export.
Breed: Under the legislation of the Australian Customs Service (ACS) dogs of the following pure-breeds are not eligible for importation into Australia:

  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brazileiro
  • Japanese tosa
  • Pitbull terrier or American pitbull
  • Presa Canario

The ACS can be contacted on ph: +61 2 6245 5484 or on 1300 363 263 (within Australia).

Under the legislation of the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), domestic/non-domestic animal hybrids (e.g. bengal cats or wolf crosses) are not eligible for import unless they are proven to be 5 or more generations removed from their pure-bred non-domestic ancestors. Contact the Wildlife Permits and Enforcement Section, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts on ph: +61 2 6274 1111 for further information.

Step 2: Microchip

Time Frame: Must be completed before continuing with the import permit process

Cats and dogs must be identified by a microchip that can be read by an Avid â, Trovanâ, Destronâ or other ISO compatible reader. The microchip must be implanted before any testing takes place.

Step 3: Apply For a Permit to Import

Time Frame: Once microchip has been installed
AQIS import permits are valid for 6 months from the date of issue.
Complete the import permit application form located at the end of this information package, refer to the checklist and view the how to complete an application to import cats and dogs page on the AQIS website to ensure that the application form is completed accurately.

Forward the import permit application with all relevant documentation to:

AQIS – Live Animal Imports 

GPO Box 858

Canberra 2601

Australia

Fax: +61 2 6272 3110
Email: animalimp@aqis.gov.au
Phone: +61 2 6272 4454

Copies of the documentation are only required to approve an AQIS Import Permit, originals are not required. Emailed applications must be scanned first as signatures are required. 

AQIS aims to approve all import permit applications within 10 working days, provided that all required information has been received at the time of submission.

The omission of any required information will result in an extended processing period. We will attempt to email you requesting the missing information or documentation.

Please allow additional time for the import permit/s to be received by fax or delivered by mail.

 

TOTAL FEES FOR DOG AND CAT APPLICATION – MANUAL LODGEMENT

Total number of dogs and cats

Manual Lodgement (AUD$130.00)

Assessment fee for import permit (AUD)

TOTAL

First dog or cat

$130

$200

$330

Second dog or cat

(Only one manual lodgement fee is charged if the applications are received together)

$80

$410

Third dog or cat

$80

$490

Fourth dog or cat

$80

$570

Fifth dog or cat

$80

$650

 

If payment is by cheque, the application form should be posted. If payment is by credit card you may post, fax, or scan and email the application. Amex, Visa and MasterCard credit cards are accepted. Bank cheques must be made out to the “Collector of Public Monies – AQIS” and in Australian dollars.

Refunds will not be granted if you are unable to import the animal(s) within the import permit validity dates. A re-issue of an import permit for an extended 3 months can be granted (this is assessed on a case by case basis) at a fee of AUD$130 (Manual Lodgement) and must be requested prior to the import permit expiry date.

Cats and dogs are only eligible for importation to Australia with a valid AQIS import permit and when all conditions provided on the AQIS import permit (veterinary certificates A and B) have been met in full.

Step 4: AQIS Permit to Import

Time Frame: An AQIS import permit contains Veterinary Certificates A and B. The AQIS Import Permit will be sent to the person/company nominated on the application form immediately following approval by AQIS of the application.

Note: The import permit can only be faxed, posted or emailed to a single location. 

A copy of the import permit may be used. The import permit contains Veterinary Certificates A and B.

You may continue to prepare the animal(s) for export before the AQIS import permit containing Veterinary Certificates A and B are received.

Step 5: Book Quarantine Accommodation 

Time Frame: On receipt of the AQIS import permit.

The issuance of an import permit does not guarantee a space at your preferred Animal Quarantine Station

BOOKINGS MUST BE MADE FOR CATS AND DOGS.

On receipt of the import permit you will need to contact the preferred Animal Quarantine Station directly to make a reservation for your animals.

Provision of an airway bill number to the Animal Quarantine Station will be required to confirm the reservation closer to the date of departure.

Information regarding the operation of the Animal Quarantine Stations along with the station contact details can be viewed at www.daff.gov.au/aqis/cat-dogs/accom.

Step 6: Locate an Official Government Veterinarian, A Government 

Approved Veterinarian and a Government Approved Laboratory  in the AQIS approved country of export. 

Time Frame: As soon as possible

An Official Government Veterinarian: is a government officer usually employed by the government veterinarian administration (e.g. in the UK – Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs) in the exporting country. Official Government Veterinarians generally do not work in private practice. Official Government Veterinarians are able to sign certificates on behalf of the government’s veterinary administration. Official Government Veterinarians endorse Veterinary Certificate A and completes Veterinary Certificate B which are a part of the AQIS import permit. The Official Government Veterinarian may assist you with locating a “government approved veterinarian” and a “government approved laboratory”.

A Government Approved Veterinarian: You should contact the government veterinary administration in your country to determine which veterinarians you can use to prepare the animal for export. This government approved veterinarian will prepare the animal for export to Australia and fill in the details of this preparation on Veterinary Certificate A of the AQIS import permit.

Government Approved Laboratories: are approved by the veterinary service in the country of export for testing samples from animals destined for export. AQIS accepts the use of laboratories approved by the veterinary service within the country of export for testing for export purposes provided that the testing laboratory is in an AQIS approved country.

AQIS does not have a list of Government or Official Veterinarians. To locate appropriate veterinarians and testing laboratories contact the government quarantine, agriculture or food departments in the country of export.

A list of useful contact links can be viewed at www.daff.gov.au/aqis/import/live-animals/links

 

Step 7: Commence Travel Arrangements

Time frame: A copy of the AQIS import permit is required to start travel arrangements

Cats and dogs can only arrive into Australia through the following airports; Sydney (New South Wales), Melbourne (Victoria) or Perth (Western Australia).

AQIS does not place any restrictions on the airline you choose, however the animal must travel as “Manifested Cargo” (not in the cabin) and in an International Air Transport Association (IATA) approved container for cats and dogs. Strict compliance with container specifications is vital for the safe and secure transport of your animal. Problems occur if the animal can escape from this container or if any part of its body (nose, limbs, or tail) can protrude. Your airline can help you with these requirements.

During transport to Australia cats and dogs may transit (touch down but stay on the same plane) in any country AQIS approved or not. They may only trans-ship (change aircraft or vessel) through Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Frankfurt or Heathrow airports, or, any country recognised by AQIS as rabies free territory (i.e. AQIS category 1, 2, 3A or 3B countries).

Trans-shipment may also require approval from the quarantine authority in the country of trans-shipment. AQIS strongly advises booking direct flights wherever possible due to health and welfare concerns, eg animals missing connecting flights and remaining in airports for extended periods of time.

If you are not able to organise the animals travel yourself there are animal transport companies in most countries who can make arrangements on your behalf.

There is an additional fee of AUD$25 applicable to the pick-up of cats and dogs if arriving in Australia outside the business hours of 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. You are also required to seek the approval of the relevant quarantine station for after hour’s pick-ups prior to import. There are no pick-ups on Australian public holidays or weekends.

AQIS accepts no responsibility for animals that escape en route, and all transport costs are at the expense of the importer.

Step 8: General Vaccinations 

Time frame: Between 1 year and 14 days prior to export.

Vaccinations must be valid for the entire quarantine period in Australia. If the general vaccinations expire prior to the animal’s release from quarantine, booster vaccinations will be administered at the importer’s expense. All vaccinations must be administered within an ‘AQIS’ approved country.

Dogs must be vaccinated against distemper, infectious hepatitis, canine parvovirus (parvo), para-influenza and Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough). If Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough) vaccination is not available in the country of origin, dogs may be vaccinated for kennel cough on arrival in Australia at the importer’s expense.

Note: Vaccination against Leptospira interrogans are not recommended as they can interfere with testing which may result in dogs being ineligible for export to Australia.

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

Step 9: Dogs Only – Brucellosis, Leptospirosis, Ehrlichiosis, External Parasites and Leishmaniosis

Time frame: Within 30 days of export.
Blood tests: Arrange for a government approved veterinarian to scan the dog’s microchip and draw blood samples for brucella, ehrlichia (tropical canine pancytopaenia), leptospira and leishmaniosis testing. The dog’s microchip number must be recorded on the blood tube and on the laboratory submission form. The blood must be sent to a government-approved laboratory for testing. The laboratory report must be in English and link the dog’s microchip number to the result.

If there is no microchip number on the laboratory report or the testing requirements are not met the dog may be re-exported or re-tested whilst in quarantine at the importers expense.

These results must be recorded on Veterinary Certificate A of the AQIS import permit. Copies of all laboratory test results must be endorsed by an Official Government Veterinarian and accompany the dog to Australia. Contact AQIS if the dog does not meet the requirements of these tests.

Brucellosis: Dogs must be tested for Brucella canis infection by a serum agglutination test within 30 days of export. The test must produce a negative result. Once blood is collected for this test the dog must not be mated or inseminated prior to export to Australia.

Leptospirosis: Dogs must be tested for Leptospira canicola by a microscopic agglutination test within 30 days of export.

Dogs that record a negative result (less than 50% agglutination at a serum dilution of 1:100) are eligible for import.

Dogs that record a result of positive at 1:100 or more, but negative at 1:800, must be re-tested 14 days or more after the first test. The second test must also show a titre result of negative at 1:800 or less.

Dogs that record a result positive at 1:800 or more are ineligible for import.

Note: Vaccination against Leptospira interrogans are not recommended as they can interfere with testing which may result in dogs being ineligible for export to Australia.

Ehrlichiosis: Dogs must be tested for Ehrlichia canis infection by the indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT). The test must produce a negative result at a dilution at 1:40.

Treatment for External Parasites

Note: You will have to commence treating dogs for external parasites at the same time as taking blood for ehrlichia as this disease is spread by ticks.

A government approved veterinarian must treat the dog with a long lasting acaricide that is registered for the control of ticks and mites, permethirin, fiprirol eg Frontline® or Permoxin®. Oral products and medicated collars are not satisfactory, neither are products that kill ticks only after biting your animal. Washes and rinses that prevent ticks and tick bites are acceptable. The treatment must be repeated according to the manufacturer’s instructions for the product used from first use to the date of export in order to prevent infestation with ticks and mites.

Leishmaniosis: Dogs must be tested for Leishmania infantum. infection by an indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) or an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The test must produce a negative result.

Dates of treatment must be recorded on Veterinary Certificate A of the AQIS import permit.

Step 10: Dogs that have lived in Africa – Babeosis

Time frame: Within 28 days of export.

Note: This treatment should not be given within 48 hours of treatment for external parasites as the chance of side-effects may increase.

Option 1: A government approved veterinarian must treat the 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 the 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 apart.

Details of treatment/s must be recorded on Veterinary Certificate A of the AQIS import permit.

Step 11: Internal and External Parasite Treatment

Time frame: Within 4 days of export. This can be done at the same time as the completion

of Veterinary Certificate A of the AQIS import permit.

External parasites: 
For dogs: You must have already commenced external parasite treatment for dogs (refer step 10).The dog/s may require repeat treatment for external parasites.

Oral products, injections and medicated collars are not satisfactory nor are products that rely on the tick biting the dog. Washes, rinses and spot on products that kill ticks on contact are acceptable.

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

The active ingredient, dose rate and treatment date/s must be recorded on Veterinary Certificate A.
Internal parasites: Cats and dogs must be treated with a product approved for the treatment of nematodes and cestodes e.g. Drontal ®.

The active ingredient, dose rate and treatment date/s must be recorded on Veterinary Certificate A. 

Step 12: Completion of Veterinary Certificate A of the AQIS Import Permit 

Including Pre-Export Inspection

Time frame: Within 4 days prior to export.

Ensure that you read over Veterinary Certificate A prior to the appointment. You will have to bring the animal and all documentation (eg. Vaccination certificates, laboratory reports) to this inspection. The animal will be required to be free from clinical signs of infectious or contagious diseases, external parasites and be fit to travel and undergo quarantine in Australia.

Veterinary Certificate A is to be completed by a government approved or by an Official Government Veterinarian.

Any corrections to the entries made on Veterinary Certificate A will only be accepted if the original entry has been struck through and remains legible – correction fluid must not be used. An Official Government Veterinarian must sign each correction. No alterations may be made to the AQIS import permit.

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