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Exporting Pets From the Philippines to Australia

Posted by on Sep 16th, 2009
Filed Under: Walkabout Pinas


Tourism Philippines Walkabout Pinas ColumnistWhile moving pets to the Philippines is relatively easy and inexpensive, sending pets to Australia can be quite a difficult process. To quote former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating, Australia is at “the arse end of the world”. The result of this geographical isolation is that Australia has managed to remain free from many diseases. To maintain freedom from these diseases, Australian quarantine is very strict. However, a responsible pet owner can still bring their furry friends to the land down under if they prepare well in advance.


Rajah, Exporting Pets From the Philippines to Australia
My Siamese cat from the Philippines: Rajah Kidlat doing Research
Photo by Scott Allford

AQIS Requirements

The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) has a very informative website on all requirements for bringing your pets to Australia http://www.daffa.gov.au/aqis. However, if you do your research you will find that pets cannot be brought from the Philippines to Australia. This is mostly because Australia is Rabies-free and wants to stay that way. But if you do have pets in the Philippines, it is still possible to get them to Australia.

I have spoken to a few Aussie expats with pets in the Philippines and have found that most of them simply plan to leave their pets here in the Philippines when they leave. Either leaving them with friends or co-workers or just releasing the said pets onto the streets. When I hear such things I am appalled, as I grew up knowing that a pet is a responsibility for life. You would not simply leave your child and release it onto the streets, and likewise, you should not do this with your pets. If you plan to leave a pet, don’t bring it into your family in the first place.

While pets cannot be exported directly from the Philippines to Australia, there are nearby countries who can export pets directly to Oz. Most Pacific Island nations are on the approved list. In Asia, the following places are also accepted:
Brunei
Hong Kong
Japan
Macau
Malaysia (Peninsula, Sarawak, Sabah only)
Singapore
South Korea
Taiwan

So you can actually send your pet to these countries and then on to Australia. But then it’s not that simple still. An Aussie expat, and owner of two cats, contacted me a few months ago asking how to get her cats to Australia. She also told me that she was leaving for Australia in two weeks time. If you want to send your pets to one of the above listed countries and then onto Australia, they must stay in that country for no less than 6 months. Your pet must also have vaccinations, blood samples and blood tests to enter Australia and they must be conducted whilst the cat or dog is resident in an AQIS approved country. AQIS will not accept any pre-export vaccinations, blood samples or blood testing completed in an AQIS non approved country. If you have further questions, you can contact AQIS Ph: +61 2 6272 4454, Fax: +61 2 6272 3110, Email: animallive@aqis.gov.au.

If you plan to send your pet to an AQIS approved country you should also check that they allow pet imports from the Philippines. I have a couple of options I am considering; either sending my boys to stay with a friend in Malaysia for 6 months or moving to Taiwan for a year and taking them there. Both Taiwan and Malaysia allow pet imports from the Philippines. All AQIS approved countries have their own requirements and fees for pet imports, so please check their respective quarantine sites for specific details.

Getting into Australia

To my knowledge the budget airlines do not allow pets on their flights, however, most of the major airlines do. Please contact your airline well in advance to book your pet on the flight. You will have to pay for your pet to fly, this is worked out by how much your pet weighs.

There are only 3 points of entry for pets entering Australia. They are located in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth and you need an import permit, and once it has been granted you can contact and book a place at one of these quarantine stations on arrival. You will not be able to see your pet at the airport as they will be collected by a quarantine officer and taken to the quarantine station. Pets must not arrive on Australian public holidays, weekends or outside the quarantine station office hours. You can arrange with the station to visit your pet, organize toys and treats and have your pet groomed or walked. Two animals of the same species may share the same accommodation and their food and bedding are supplied by the quarantine station.

The period of quarantine differs depending on the country of export. For Taiwan, Singapore and Japan there is a minimum of 30 days quarantine. For other countries it varies. Below are the charges that you will incur while your pet is undergoing quarantine.

Quarantine entry

Fee is charged for each animal
$15
Veterinary inspection of animal Fee per 15 minutes. In the majority of cases only half an hour is required. This fee is charged for each animal. (Generally 30 minutes of time applies.) $40 Document clearance. This fee is charged for each animal. If additional information is required to complete document assessment an additional $40 per 15 minutes will be charged. $40

Accommodation of a cat

Daily rate for the first cat – $29
Accommodation of an additional cat in the consignment, if sharing accommodation with the first cat
Daily rate for subsequent cats – $23

Accommodation of a dog

Daily rate for the first dog – $39
Accommodation of an additional dog in the consignment, if sharing accommodation with the first dog
Daily rate for subsequent dogs – $33
Any additional veterinary care Additional veterinary care (e.g. booster vaccinations), are provided by a private veterinarian. The owner will be charged by a private veterinarian for stowage of goods. For animals not removed after quarantine finishes, the same fee that would apply if animals were still in quarantine will be charged.


Aslan, Bringing Pets out of Philippines
Aslan Angma – exhausted after all that research
Photo by Scott Allford

As it is quite a complicated process to get your pet into Australia, you must ensure you allow yourself plenty of time to adequately prepare so that you can meet all of the AQIS requirements. And when your pet arrives at your new home in Australia, very happy to see you again, you will know that all the hard work was worth it.

Exporting Pets to Other Countries (aside from Australia)

Each country has its own import requirements. Please check the following sites for the respective country’s requirements:
U.S.A – http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/index.shtml
U.K – http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/quarantine/
New Zealand – http://www.maf.govt.nz/quarantine/
Or you may also check with your local embassy for the country you wish to export your pets to.

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Scott M. Allford has lived and worked in Australia and South Korea and has travelled extensively throughout Asia- Mongolia, China, Tibet, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia and Japan – fell in love with the Philippines and decided to allocate at least two years to comprehensively cover the country. Learn more about me [+]

Tourism Philippines thrives on the knowledge of the community. Got a tip, photo or even a guide on a place you been to in Philippines? We will love to hear from you!

35 Responses to “Exporting Pets From the Philippines to Australia”

  1. Jennifer says:

    Hi Scott, I’ve enjoyed your writings! Although I’m not planning to move to the Philippines, but reading your column let me understand what expats are going through there. Do share more of your personal experiences here.

    Love your two cats, so you planning to move back to Australia soon?

  2. Scott says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    Glad you’re enjoying reading my articles. If you’re not planning to move to the Philippines you should at least think about travelling here. It’s a great country. I really want to see a lot of places here in the Philippines so I’m not planning to move back to Oz for at least another 2 years.

  3. Rachel says:

    Hi Scott,

    Im doing research on export & import for my pets, and found your article very useful.

    Im planning to leave Manila in a month time, I have 4 cats which I picked up from the street 7 mths ago here.

    I learned that I’ll need Health & Vaccine Certificate issued by local vet to apply an import pet permit in Malaysia at Putrajaya.

    Apart from that, could you advise me in term of export from Philippine what are the thing I need to get it done before I fly them out?

    I’ll probably take Malaysia Airline with my cats, I haven’t book the ticket yet. I wonder is there special requirement on the pet carriage. Im thinking to get them sedated for the journey, so they would not be so traumatized. How many hour the drug will last?

    What is Aslan’s experience when he get into Malaysia? How long he was quarantine? It is possible to get cats quarantine less than 7days? Where were he quarantine? How is the condition of the place?

    Hope to here from you soon. Thank you.

    Rachel

  4. Scott says:

    Hi Rachel,

    I haven’t taken pets into Malaysia yet. There is no way to get around the quarantine period of 7-30 days if you are bringing your cats from the Philippines as Malaysia classes the Philippines as a non-scheduled country. Meaning a country that doesn’t have strict disease control measures or has many deadly and contagious diseases. It will cost RM 3.00 per day per cat in quarantine. I hear Malaysia Airlines offers very good services for transporting pets but it can be quite expensive. Please talk to them right away so you can organise moving your cats.
    At least 7 days before you fly you have to contact the Quarantine station at KL Airport and remind them of the date the cats will be arriving. You’ll also have to get an import license from the Malaysian Department of Vetrinary Services, and when you get this book a place for the cats at the quarantine station.
    When it comes to sedation I am very cautious. As I said in the article, Aslan is very sensitive to drugs so I did not sedate him. I talked to my vet in Korea about sedating him and she advised me not to. So I suggest you should speak to your vet or contact CARA +632 8825323 and talk to them about it. As far as I know, if you want to sedate your pets you have to arrange for a vet to do that at the airport. As for how long the sedation will last, it differs between each animal.

    I hope this helps. If you have any other questions please ask and I’ll do my best to find the answers. It’s great to hear from responsible pet owners like you.

  5. Shelagh says:

    Hi there,

    Just want to suggest also that if you are transporting several pets, best to check that the airline can accomodate all of them on the same flight. When I moved from Manila to Mongolia two years ago, the plane would not take my 2 dogs and 4 cats at the same time as there was a limit on the number of animals per flight. This was on Korean Airlines and I think I filled their quota for the flight — must have been maximum 4 or 5 animals. So my family split up over two days to get the furry family members here!

    Just another mention, I’ve transported our pets to a number of countries and in all cases, I have been advised against sedation, for dogs and cats alike. Good luck!

    Cheers,
    Shelagh

  6. Esther says:

    Hello.
    I was wondering if anyone could help me. My husband has three German shepherds in the Philippines. He will be moving to Australia at the end of the year permanently. We desperately want to bring the dogs to Australia as soon as possible. I know that they must be boarded in one of the above mentioned countries for 6 months minimum. Can anybody recommend to us a boarding kennel in one of the approved countries, that would look after them for 6 months?

  7. Scott says:

    Hi Esther,
    Malaysian airlines offer kennels but I think they’re pretty expensive. If you don’t have friends in the approved countries maybe you can contact organisations here like PAWS and CARA to see if they can connect you with people or kennels in the approved countries.

    On a side note: I recall that in some states in Australia, if you have more than 2 dogs you need to have a kennel license to keep them. So I advise that your husband should contact the local government in Australia to see if they require this.

    Let me know how things go and if you want more information please feel free to ask.

  8. kai says:

    Hi scott

    One of The req. for Oz and NZ and Hawaii import is a FAVN blood test. Anyone know of such a service in RP or Asia?

    aloha
    kai

  9. Scott says:

    Hi Kai,

    I know that for Oz they require blood samples. However, these blood samples can only be taken and sent from approved countries. So while there are places in the RP that can do the blood test, the tests will not be accepted because they are done in the RP.

  10. Rachel says:

    Hi Scott,

    This is Rachel, me and my cats moved back to Kuala Lumpur on 30sept finally. My cats has been released from quarantine. What a great experience for us. Here would like to share experience to whoever may concern.

    Bringing your pet From Manila to Kuala Lumpur

    Permit Requirement:

    Manila Airport Quarantine Custom
    1. Veterinary Health Certificate & Export Certificate issued by Bureau of Animal Industry Department ( I went to Visaya Avenue at Quezon branch) (Valid for a month)

    -To get this permit, they need to verify your pet health condition, which you can bring your pet directly to the bureau for physical check (free) plus show them vaccine certificate. The permit (free) will take an hour to process.

    OR

    -Get a local licensed vet to issue Health Check Certificate (valid only 3days, cost around P400 for each pet), you bring this and vaccine certificate to the bureau apply the permit.

    Kuala Lumpur Airport Quarantine Custom
    1. Veterinary Health Certificate issued by government of departing country
    2. Vaccine Certificate

    Malaysia Airline requirement:
    I brought my pets to KL via excess baggage not through cargo

    -They charged US9/kg for Manila to KL, you can’t use the baggage allowance. If your pet size is too big, they will require to send via cargo instead.

    -So, a week before you fly should start calling them, informing them you flying with pets. ‘Them’, I mean reservation, ticketing, cargo and airport office. My experience told me, they don’t really communicate to each other and no official can really tell you the complete steps of preparation and requirement before you fly. By calling these departments, you can get bit and pieces of information to form a full picture.

    -You need to ensure the aircraft do have ventilation cabin that handle live animals.
    They can’t confirm the aircraft model not until a day or two before you fly. So keep calling to confirm it because some aircraft don’t handle live animals.

    -Cages must have secured lock to avoid escape. And place a label on the cage.

    -On the day you fly, bring the pet to Manila Airport Quarantine Custom counter first. The officer will signed and return a copy to you. Then, you can proceed to check-in

    -For my case, the airline staff brought my pets to boarding gate, and loaded them to cabin last. So, you still can company your pets at the boarding gate.

    -Once you reach KLIA airport, you can pick up your cat at the baggage belt, the airport staff will carry the cage to there. Then, proceed to Quarantine custom to handover your pet and all permit documentation to the officer. (You should inform them in advance to expect your pet arrival time)

    Quarantine Period in KL
    In general, cats and dogs minimum quarantine period is 7days.

    The closest quarantine office in KL area is near airport, Quarantine Office KLIA Sepang. The facilities there are in good condition. For cat, they place it in a cage where 2 cages share a room. Room is spacious and secured.

    If you plan to visit your pet in quarantine office, take note no public transport directly reach this place. You can take the budget LCCT bus from KL sentral to LCCT airport (cost RM10), from LCCT airport take a taxi to the quarantine office (cost around RM5). Call the office to tell the taxi driver direction to the place. Otherwise, taxi from home to quarantine office (easily cost above RM80).

    Get the visitor pass first at the admin office then proceed to the quarantine house. Some visitors get the taxi wait for them, else you will have to figure out your own way to get out of the place.

    You can bring food for your pet if you don’t like the food provided by the quarantine office.

    • Scott says:

      Hi Rachel,

      Glad you and your cats are together in your new home and everything went well. Thanks for all this great detailed information. I’m sure many people will find it useful.

  11. bluefairy says:

    How I wish I can bring my dog to Australia! But I know I can’t because he has the tendency to bite anyone he doesn’t know if he feels threatened. He is so pampered and spoiled so if he feels even the tiniest bit of discomfort in the hands of other people, he will growl and bite.

    I’m just thankful my parents will take care of my precious.

  12. Ally says:

    Hi Scott,

    My friend is looking for a Bengal Cat to be shipped to me here in Philippines. My friend is currently in Australia. What do we need to do?

    • Scott says:

      Hi Ally,

      From Australia to the Philippines it should be relatively easy. First you need to contact the airline and secure a place on the plane for the cat. Then you need to get a letter from the vet in Oz saying the cat is healthy and that all of its vaccinations are up to date (I think now the Philippines requires a microchip as well). Then you need to make a trip out to Quezon City or call up BAI and organise getting an import permit and get a copy to whoever will be meeting the cat at NAIA. When the cat arrives, take it to quarantine in NAIA so they can check it and the papers. You will have to pay for the import permit if you haven’t already and you will have to pay 50% of the cats original cost (if you just say the cat was a gift then just write down 500 pesos that should be ok).

      Hope that helps.

  13. Chesca says:

    Hi Scott!

    Thanks for this very informative blog. I am from the Philippines and I really want to bring my 6 year old poodle to Australia when I migrate to the land down under. It seems so complicated and costly thou- Just another thing-will I be able to bring my dog to Singapore then to Australia? And around how much will all cost after?… just a rough estimate will be a great help :) THanks!

  14. Scott says:

    Hi Chesca,

    Singapore is actually one of the most difficult and expensive routes. You will need to have the poodle’s rabies vaccinations and rabies blood test which would be in the area of 20,000 pesos. Then your dog will have to go into quarantine in Singapore. Before your pet can enter Australia it has to spend 6 months in an approved country before going to Oz. I think the cheapest country in the region would be Malaysia.
    Here is the info on Singapore http://www.ava.gov.sg/AnimalsPetSector/ImportExportTransOfAnimalRelatedPrd/AnimalQuarantine/
    Let me know if you need any more help.

  15. Juliet Tan says:

    Hi Scott,

    I am saddened to read that some expats plan to leave their pets out on the streets when they leave. That is just plain cruel. Manila’s streets are cruel to animals. I don’t know how people can do this to their pets. You are right… people who plan to leave their animals should not have pets in the first place.

    Thanks for a very informative blog on Philippine tourism. Was it you I met at a certain event at Folk Arts Theater on May 1?

  16. Andrew Robertson says:

    Hi Scott,

    You are a legend my friend.

    I will be moving to Australia later this year with my wife and kids. We have a 5 year old Rotweiler (Beyonce) that I bought in Dubai and took with me to Kabul for 3 years.
    When my wife went back to the Philippines we shipped our Rotweiler to Manila via Delhi/Kuala Lumpa, it proved relatively easy with the assistance of some vetinary contacts in Kabul.
    Now the challenge is to ship Beyonce from Manila to Brisbane. I will be back in Manila next week and we will start with the process of sending Beyonce via Kuala Lumpa – Sydney.
    Many thanks for this excellent blog, I will be in touch again soon to let you know how it goes, and no doubt looking for some advice.

  17. Andy says:

    Scott,

    In order for Beyonce to complete her Rabies vacanations I will need to put her in a boarding kennel for 4-6 weeks. When the RNATT Certificate is approved Beyonce can follow us to UAE. Can you advise us of any good boarding kennels in the Manila area ?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Scott says:

      Hi Andy,

      I haven’t found any vets with boarding kennels that I would recommend in Manila. However, I did speak to some people from CARA about this and some of their members take care of people’s pets. I suggest you contact CARA and they can introduce you to one of their members who can take care of Beyonce for you.
      Otherwise, contact Vets In Practice in Mandaluyong and they may be able to help.

  18. Anita says:

    Hi Scott,
    I plan to bring my two dogs to Taiwan. I need to send the dogs’ blood samples to lab, but i ask Fedex in Philippines. they don’t know how to do this. Could you give me some advice. thank you .

  19. Scott says:

    Hi Anita,

    I did mine through Vets In Practice in Mandaluyong. I actually had my cats’ blood checked in Australia and VIP organised everything for me. Remember, if you want to take your dogs to Taiwan you must wait for at least 180 days from the date the blood is taken for the rabies test before they can enter Taiwan.

  20. Anita says:

    Hi Scott,
    Thank you for the imformation. and Could you give me the VIP number or address? Where is it? I am taiwanese, I have been in Philippines since March last year. I want to go back to Taiwan, but don’t know how to do the procedure, maybe i also need to go the Vets In Practice .

    Thank you

  21. Scott says:

    Hi Anita,

    Here is their contact information:
    Vets In Practice
    531-1581 to -1584
    63 Maysilo Circle corner Boni Avenue
    Plainview, Mandaluyong City

  22. Ana says:

    hi,

    I’m currently in Singapore right now and I’m a proud owner of a 4 month old ragdoll kitten.As I will be moving early part of 2010 to Perth, (my cat will be by then around 7-8 months old) found that bringing pets into Australia really is testing one’s patience.My cat received ALL her vaccines,dewormed etc from Singapore but enroute to Oz I will be coming home for a month or 2 to the Philippines and thus complicating matters.I aleady emailed them of my inquiry but so far no reply yet.I shudder at the thought of the 30- day stay at Perth (Byford Quarantine) but it can’t be helped! Plus her staying for a month or 2 in the Philippines (which is a non-AQIS approved country) makes me shudder at the thought she might have to stay again in Singapore?If all her vaccinations are current,am pretty sure Philippines will clear her for import no problem-it’s getting her IN to Australia I’m worried about.It’s like they’re discouraging people from bringing their pets with them…as she is an indoor cat am pretty sure she’s clean but it really is disheartening to part with her that long :o(

    • Scott says:

      Hi Ana,

      If your cat is in Singapore then do not take it to the Philippines before going to Australia. If you do, then it will make the whole process really difficult when it could be really easy from Singapore in comparison. I know it sucks to be away from your pet for so long, but it’s the only way.

  23. Anita says:

    Hi Scott,
    Thank you for your helping . I sent my two dogs serum to England. I got the report for anit-rabbies , they all passed. so I just need to wait for 6 months, then can bring them back to Taiwan. Thank you again

    Anita Hsu

  24. violla says:

    Hi Scott,

    I’m planning to take my Collie to AU asap through HK. Is this doable? Is there any faster way to proceed?

    My dog is currently in BJ with me, but we are planning to go home to Manila first before heading to AU. Any suggestion?

  25. Kym says:

    hi scott,

    im extremely wanting to bring my dog to sydney. im following your advice and thinking of quarantine my dog in kl, singapore or whatever that has aqis approved. i know that it will take about 6 months for him to stay there. the question is, will it be safe? or do you have any idea where i can bring him? i dont know anybody from any one of those places actually. maybe i can bring him and leave him there for 6 months and go back to that place and process the papers and send him to australia?

  26. Nibbler says:

    :) I’m happy I found this article since I’ll be leaving for Australia soon and my doggie’s going to be aloooonee!!! D: but my parents will come back for it. We really wondered what to do with our pet since we can’t leave it on its own plus we love it too much to just let others take care of it. ):

    Btw Aslan looks like my old chubby cat too bad he went and left us but still comes around to eat :)

    I’m really glad and thankful you wrote an article about bringing animals to Australia this gave us hope for our beloved pet. :)

    Thank you!!!

  27. LYN MURASE says:

    Hello Scott. I’m planning to bring home 2 shih thus from Philippines to Japan, I’ve read the procedure, and they have to wait for 180 days befor coming to Japan. 1st step microchipping, 2nd step vaccines, 3rd step 2nd vaccines 4th step rabies, 5th step is that they will undergo a blood test(hi titer?) and will be sent to Japan, correct me if I’m wrong, from then we should wait 180 days after completing the procedures. 40 days before coming to Japan, we should inform the quarantine the date I’m bringing my dogs. My question is, a veterinarian told me that it will costs me 20thou pesos or more/dog, do you think it will costs me that amount per dog? If ever do you know someone who could charge me cheaper and I could trust with respect to this procedures. Thanks in advance.

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