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Importing Pets to the Philippines

Posted by on Sep 11th, 2009
Filed Under: Walkabout Pinas


Tourism Philippines Walkabout Pinas ColumnistImporting dogs and cats into the Philippines is a relatively simple and inexpensive process, especially in comparison to countries such as Australia. So animal lovers and loyal pet owners do not need to be concerned about leaving their four-legged family members behind in their home countries.


Aslan, Bringing Pets to Philippines
My Korean street cat Aslan Angma
Photo by Scott Allford

Official Documentation

If you plan to bring your pet to the Philippines with you the first thing you need to do is contact the Philippine Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), Animal Health Division (AHD). If you know people in Manila they may be able to make the trip out to the head office which is located at Visayas Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, for you. Otherwise you can check the website www.bai.ph (However, at the time of writing this article the site was undergoing maintenance) or contact the Bureau by Telephone +632 928 2743; or Fax +632 928 2836. What you will need to do is send a letter to the BAI Director DAVINIO P. CATBAGAN, DVM containing the following information:

1. The species and breed of your pet.
2. The sex, colour, and how many pets you are bringing. (If you are bringing more than 5 pets they will have to be inspected at the quarantine site)
3. The date you will arrive.

You will then be sent an import permit which costs 50 pesos (about US$1). You can pay this fee when you arrive at the airport or your friends in Manila can pay this for you.

Once you have that out of the way you have to organise a valid health certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian which states that your pet has been examined and is free from communicable diseases at least 10 days before the move. This is not that difficult, just ask your pet’s vet and they should be able to do this. I organised this in Korea with a vet who spoke very little English for a fee of 20,000 Won (about US$20 at the time).

If the country you are importing the pet from is not free from rabies you have to get certification stating there have been no rabies cases within a 20 kilometer radius of the pet’s home in the last 6 months. My Korean vet couldn’t do this so I went to the Icheon City Hall and they gave me this for free.

The last form you need is your pet’s vaccination card showing they have been vaccinated against the following:
rabies, canine distemper, infectious hepatitis, leptsopirosis, canine parvovirus, or feline panleucopenia and proof that your animal was treated for internal and external parasites.

Flights

Once these things are organized you’re ready to take your pet to the airport. To my knowledge, the budget airlines do not allow pets to fly. However, most major airlines will carry pets but you must inform them in advance when you book your ticket. I brought Aslan over with Asiana Airlines. For pets under 5kg you can have them in the cabin with you. Sadly, Aslan is a bit fat (close to 7kg) so he had to ride under the plane as cargo. Asiana charged 7,000 Won (About US$7 at the time) per kilogram and I didn’t actually pay anything as they gave me the option of using my frequent flyer points to cover the cost.

If you want, you can organize for your pet to be sedated for the flight as it can be stressful for them, speak to your vet and contact the airport about this. As Aslan is very sensitive to drugs I didn’t have him sedated, he was a bit frightened and unusually quiet but only took a few hours to get back to his usual habits.

On Arrival

After getting off the plane and going through Immigration you can pick up your pet with your bags. Then the Quarantine personnel will do a quick inspection of your pet. This is also when you have to present your pet’s documents and pay for the Import Permit if you haven’t already. You will also have to pay 165 pesos (About US$4) for the first 2 pets and 220 pesos for each additional pet (3 or more). In addition to this you will have to pay 50% duty of your pet’s value + 10% tax. As Aslan was a street cat I just put down that he cost US$15.

If you don’t meet any of the documentation requirements then your pet will be placed in quarantine and possibly even “disposed of”, as the BAI site so graphically states. If you can meet all of these requirements then you and your pet can leave the gritty Ninoy Aquino International Airport and go to your new home.

Aslan has settled in very well and following in my footsteps, has started to explore the Philippines himself.


Aslan, Bringing Cats to Philippines
Enjoying the view in Lipa, Batangas
Photo by Scott Allford

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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 [+]

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109 Responses to “Importing Pets to the Philippines”

  1. Aiai says:

    Hi!

    I’m planning to take my dog with me on my way back to the Philippines this September. what should I say or tell the officer if they asked the price of my dog? I didn’t bought it. It was given to me. Im currently here in Bangkok.

    Thank you

    • Scott says:

      Hi Aiai,

      Just do what I did and wrote about in the article, say that it cost 15 bucks or some other small amount.

      • Aiai says:

        Hi Again Mr, Scott,

        I seem to have a trouble in get a health certificate and the certification about the rabies. My vet doesn’t speak English. I tried to explain in Thai but he said he don’t understand. Hahaha.. Can you send me a sample of those documents? I will show it him. Or I might be the one to make it and let him sign it. Here’s my email : aiai_21_pedroso@yahoo.com

        It will be very much appreciated.

        Aiai

  2. Orville says:

    Hi Scott, Good Day!

    Maybe cats and dogs is easy, but what about ferrets, turtles, chameleons, rare/exotic animals? Do they have the same process/requirements? My sister is in Canada right now and thinking i’d let her buy there and let her bring home the pets when she comes back next year, or my brother in NZ, I can maybe handle the papers here and all they have to worry about is bringing the pets here…

    Thank you so much, i’ve come upon your bLog site and it is really helpful and informative, thank you! ^_^

    Sincerely,
    Villy

    • Scott says:

      Hi Villy,

      Exotic animals are different. As I’ve never travelled with exotic animals, I can’t give you any advice other than contact BAI. I also know that in some countries you have to provide documentation for exotic animals before departing. This documentation has to show that a government authority has allowed this species of animal to leave the country.

      • Captn Jim says:

        I brought a Gibbon back to the US from Thailand. I checked all the different agencies with regard to exotic pets in Thailand and wound up with about 20 pages of permission. I had the gibbon since she was about a week old. I guess a Thai had shot its mother but then couldn’t find the baby. I had more trouble getting the gibbon IN the states than out of Thailand. Everything worked out well.

  3. Orville says:

    shoot… >.< thank you very much though! ^_^

    regards,
    villy

  4. Wardell says:

    Hello Scott
    How are you? I am planning to go to manilla in September 2011. I want to bring my Beagle with me instead of paying some $1000 to keep him. He is 9 years old. We will be flying from Chicago, IL to Korean to manilla. Will it be hard for him since its a 22 hours flight? His shots are updated and he is in good condition. How much money do I need? Thanks!

    • Scott says:

      Hi Wardell,

      It’s always hard for animals to fly. It’s up to you whether you choose to sedate him, I suggest discussing this with your vet. You will need to contact the airline to find out how much they charge per kilogram to work out the cost. Then you just need to follow the information in the article for other documentation and costs.

  5. Brian says:

    Hi Mr. Scott,

    I am planning to bring my pet rabbit to the philippines, I am presently working here in Singapore, I sort of adopted this rabbit.

    What are the necessary fees and documents should I prepare in order for me to able to bring my pet with me?

    Thank you.

  6. Cindy says:

    Hi Scott, I have not perused the back pages of comments yet but my issue is that we are currently living in India, have a cat we brought with us here from the states 3 1/2 years ago, and we are moving to Manila at the end of June. I KNOW there has been rabies within 20 kilometers of here in the last six months, it is not uncommon in many areas of India. If I am dealing with an honest vet, there is no way I an get a statement saying otherwise. Do you know if there are any alternatives for situations like this? Our cat has been a mostly indoor cat, but she does go out sometimes and I know she has been close to other cats, though not dogs. Thanks in advance for any help you, or anyone else, are able to give!

  7. star says:

    hi scott,ur blog is very helpful,,i am planning to take my dog in philippines on sept.but i was a liitle bit confused on how to put what kind breed my dog is,because i brought it in pet shop and the owner don’t know what is the english breed of my dog…do you think it could be a big problem for me to take my dog in philippines?thanks a lot..hope u coud answer my question..more power!!

  8. Sage says:

    Hello Scott

    Thank you so much for your blog, before I saw your blog I thought it would be impossible to take my 2 most loved pet dogs to the philippines and hopefully next week were going the 3 of us to Manila. Thank you so much……………

    Sage

  9. Brian says:

    Hi Scott, am hoping you or one of your readers can shed some light on what I thought was going to be a simple process.

    Could you suggest a reputable airline that I could travel will my chiwawa and yorkie along with my cat FROM Philippines to Toronto, Canada – I seem to be going around in circles. I’m open to any airline – however I cannot seem to get a straight answer as to how I go about booking through the airline (any will do) the most STRESS FREE yet economical way.

    Cheers!.

  10. Leonora Uy Tiongco says:

    Scott,

    Thanks for the inputs on how to import pets here . God bless !!!

  11. ely says:

    hello there.
    im planning to bring with me a pigeon when im going to vacation. what will be the requirement for pigeons coming from saudi arabia.

  12. edz says:

    hi Scott! ^_^

    i’m here in taiwan and planning to bring my dog to philippines. my vet doesn’t speak english. can you please send me the sample of the documents so that i would be able to show it to him or do i need to write it and let him sign it?

    here’s my email edz.misty@yahoo.com

    thank you very much! (^_^)

  13. Douglas says:

    Thanks for the useful article.

    I recently made the move to the Philippines from the UK with 2 cats.

    I managed to apply for the Philippine import permits online (at https://www.intercommerce.com.ph) – not the most user friendly website by a long way but I managed to work out what I had to do – register oneself to be able to log in, then when logged in select to create an SPS import permit application, select your name, create an application, add items/pets. After submitting, go back after a few days to check it has been approved and print off the SPS permit. You will not be sent any e-mail reminders.

    I was congratulating myself at having done that but then realised from the UK one needs to get an export permit from DEFRA through a local vet practice – not just a simple health certificate. Enough time needs to be allowed for DEFRA to process the application and send the certificate to your vet (more than 10 days) and then the vet will examine the animals within 3 days of them travelling and treat them for internal/external parasites, and issue the certificate (equivalent of health certificate together with their vaccination/health records. Make sure animals are chipped and have their EU pet passports and all in order if you want to bring them back later without any issues (check with DEFRA website).

    Arrive at Manila airport, collect pets with luggage (glad I got through Immigration quickly since pets were brought through with the first luggage to come onto the belt – they were in the hold), go to Customs red route, they will direct you to Quarantine office in left hand corner (before final exit), show export/import documents and health records, pay fees (I had pesos on me – not sure what would happen if one only has foreign currency), exit.

    • Wardell says:

      Hello Douglas
      How are you? That link you post with with your message wasn’t the BAI. Did you give your cats any mediciation at all. How much was the fee in pesos to get your 2 cats. I am planning to bring my dog from the USA to manila. Thanks!

  14. victor darmanin says:

    i would like to know how much per kilo is it for my dog to enter the philippines no one seems to know or tell me.

    they said 20 k which is 500 dollars australian for him.

    is that right i need answer quick he leaves on oct 24th which is only few days please

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