Bringing your pet to Hong Kong: Pet import rules and regulations
Hong Kong has much to offer to pet families. If you are travelling to Hong Kong with your pet, there are several pet import regulations you must follow. Hong Kong is a rabies-free country and therefore has complex pet import rules. It is essential you meet all the pet import requirements to be able to bring your dog or cat into the country.
Apply for a special permit
Dogs and cats entering Hong Kong need a special import permit issued by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department of Hong Kong. The permit must be applied for in advance, so make sure you apply much before you begin the travel process. The special permit will be despatched to you by regular post and is valid for six months for one consignment only. You will have to plan your travel accordingly.
To apply for the special permit, you need to submit copies of your passport or HKID, a vaccination certificate, date of birth of your pet, and the microchip number.
Check your country category
Hong Kong has categorised countries into three groups depending on the country’s rabies status. The rules are different depending on the country your pet is flying from.
Group I countries: These are countries which have no incidence of rabies. Dogs and cats flying in from these countries are usually exempt from quarantine, provided all other import requirements are met satisfactorily. Group I countries are: Australia, Fiji, Hawaii, Ireland, New Zealand, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
Group II countries: Group II countries are countries with less incidence or rabies, and where rabies is controlled. Dogs and cats flying from these countries are also usually exempt from quarantine, as long as all the import requirements are met. Group countries are: Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Belgium, Bermuda, Brunei, Canada, Cayman Island, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Guam, Iceland, Italy, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Norway, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Taiwan, USA (Continental), Vanuatu and Virgin Islands.
Group III countries: All the countries that have not been mentioned under Group I and II belong to Group III. If your pet is entering Hong Kong from a Group III country, he or she will be in quarantine for four months
Microchip and vaccinations
All pets entering Hong Kong must be implanted with an ISO-compliant microchip that can be read by a universal scanner. Make sure the microchip is implanted before you begin the vaccinations schedule.
Dogs entering Hong Kong need the following mandatory vaccinations: Canine distemper, infectious canine hepatitis, canine parvovirus and rabies. Cats need the following vaccinations: feline panleukopenia, feline respiratory disease complex and rabies.
If you are flying from a Group I country, the rabies vaccine is not mandatory, but is recommended. Rabies vaccination is compulsory for pets flying in from Group II and Group III countries and must be done between 30 days and 12 months before entering Hong Kong.
Hong Kong does not allow the entry of certain aggressive dog and cat breeds. Restricted dog breeds include Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brazilero and crossbreeds of these breeds. Bengal cats and crosses are not allowed entry into the country unless there is documentation that certifies that the cat is 5th generation and above.
Pets flying in from Group I countries need a document stating that your pet has lived in that country since its birth or for at least 180 days before flying to Hong Kong. Pets from Group II countries need this certificate too. In addition, you have to furnish a certificate stating that there haven’t been any reported cases of rabies in the area within 10km of your pet’s home for at least 180 days before flying to Hong Kong.
Also, your pet will need a veterinary health certificate endorsed by the relevant governing authority of your home country.
Pets flying in from all country groups need a statement from the airline stating that your pet has not left their crate or been in contact with other animals during travel. If your pet has stopped in transit in a different country, the affidavit must state that your pet has not left the cargo area of the airport.
It is a good idea to book your pet on a direct flight to Hong Kong, or if he must transit through another country, try booking it in such a way that he does not transit through a high-rabies country. Take advice from an experienced pet relocation company to help you with the best travel plans for your pet.
Upon entry into Hong Kong, your pet will be examined for evidence of communicable diseases and good health. Pets travelling from Group I and Group II countries will be released to you immediately if they are in good health and they fulfil all the veterinary requirements.
Take expert help
Bringing your pet to Hong Kong involves many time-bound steps, and a single mistake could mean your pet is refused entry into the country or face extended quarantine periods. An experienced pet relocation company can help you make this process smooth and stress-free. If you are relocating to Hong Kong with your pet dog or cat, reach out to Petraveller for a comprehensive pet travel plan.