All you need to know about international pet transport to India
Pet travel to India is a long process and involves extensive documentation. There are several steps to the process, and it is crucial to follow every step for your pet to fly to India. Since the pet import process to India is long and complicated, partnering with an experienced pet travel partner can help make it easier and less stressful.
Indian pet import regulations state that only two pets can travel per pet parent. If you are planning to travel to India with your pet dog or cat, here are the pet import regulations you must follow:
All pet dogs and cats travelling to India need a 15-digit ISO-compliant non-encrypted microchip implanted under the skin. The microchip has a unique identification number used by airlines and customs officials to identify your pet. The microchip number has to be recorded on all your pet’s documents. Make sure the microchip is implanted before your pet receives their vaccinations and other health tests.
Pet dogs and cats travelling to India must be fully vaccinated against rabies and other common pet diseases. The vaccinations must be administered more than 30 days and less than 365 days from the date of the journey. They must be valid and given according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Dogs – Pet dogs travelling to India must be vaccinated against rabies, canine distemper, parvovirus, Leishmaniasis and leptospirosis.
- Cats – Pet cats travelling to India must have valid vaccinations against rabies, distemper, feline enteritis, feline panleukopenia and FVRCP.
All vaccinations must be recorded in the pet’s official health certificate with the microchip number and other information such as date of immunisation, batch number, manufacturer, etc. Pet dogs and cats travelling to India do not need a rabies neutralising antibody test (RNATT).
Documentation for pet travel to India
International pet travel to India is complex because of the amount of documentation involved in the process. An experienced pet relocation agent can help ensure you have all the correct documentation to transport your pet to India. These are the required documents for your pet to fly to India:
- No objection certificate (NOC) – The NOC is issued by the quarantine officer at the Animal quarantine station in India.
- Veterinary health certificate – The certificate must be in the prescribed format with the following details: pet parent information, pet description including breed, colour, age and microchip number, country of origin, and health treatment and vaccination details.
- Pet pictures – Three photos of your pet from the front, side and full body
- Pet vaccination record – Original vaccination records of your pet dog or cat.
- Pet parent and spouse passport – Cover to cover scan.
- Marriage certificate – If the pet is travelling in the spouse’s name
- Short visit stay record – A spreadsheet listing all countries visited in the last two years with arrival date, departure date and the total number of days of travel.
- Employee contract – Both from the country of origin and India on the company letterhead
- Utility bills – Electric, water or telephone bills for the last two years
- Work visa letter request from the employer – A copy of the letter
- Work visa or OCI card.
- Quarantine declaration form
- FRRO permit for foreigners
- Employment start date letter – A letter on the company letterhead stating when the employee commences work in India.
- Bill of lading – Copy of the airway bill for your household goods provided by your moving company
- Proof of residence in India – Rental/lease or hotel information
- Airline reservation – A copy of your flight ticket
- Boarding pass and India entry immigration stamp – A copy of your boarding pass and a copy of the stamp to show you have entered India for the customs clearance of your pet.
Arriving in India with your pet
Flying into India with your pet is not as simple as booking a flight into the country. A pet travel agent can help with the customs clearance of your pet and make the process easy and stress-free. Here’s what you need to remember when your pets arrive in India:
- Only two pets are allowed to travel into the country per family. If you want to travel with other pets, you will have to apply for an exception ruling before travel.
- Pet ownership is determined by the name in the pet parent’s passport, and the same name must appear on all the pet’s documents.
- Pets must arrive after 30 days of the pet parent’s arrival in India.
- Foreigners need an FRRO permit upon arrival, which is required to apply for the NOC for the pet. The pet parent’s passport is also required to apply for the NOC, which is the first permission to bring the pet to India.
- Pet dogs and cats must arrive at New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad or Kolkata. Pets must fly in only on weekdays between 5 am and 12 noon. Do not book your pets on a weekend flight, as pets might be held at the airport until the following Monday. Arriving on public holidays is not recommended for the same reason.
Pet quarantine in India
The quarantine officer will examine all pet dogs and cats as they enter the country. If the pet’s documentation is in order and the pet does not show any sign of illness, they will not be quarantined.
If the pet dog or cat shows signs of illness, they will be moved into a quarantine centre for further testing at the pet parent’s expense. It is rare for a pet to be quarantined upon arrival in India; pets arriving into the country are usually advised home quarantine for 30 days.
Pet transport to India
International pet transport to India is complicated, especially since the pet parent must submit a considerable amount of documentation before the pet can travel to the country. The rules are many, and the procedure is lengthy; therefore, it is advisable to partner with an IPATA-accredited pet transport agent to help with the relocation.