Importing Pets into Singapore

Quarantine

Any dog or cat entering Singapore is required to undergo a 30 days quarantine period under the Animals And Bird (Quarantine) Rules. Only animals originating from United Kingdom, Eire, Northern Ireland, Australia or New Zealand are exempted, if accompanied by the required certificates and documentation. Quarantine must take place at the Jurong Animal Quarantine Station.

Quarantine is intended to prevent the introduction of animal diseases, especially rabies, into Singapore & therefore benefits both animals and people. Singapore has been rabies free for nearly 50 years.

Dogs have to be vaccinated prior to entry into Singapore. They must have current routine vaccinations (more than 2 weeks, less than 1 year) for distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus. Puppies under 4 months of age must have received 2 vaccinations, one month apart, the latter at least 2 weeks prior to entry into Singapore. There is no vaccination requirement for cats.

There is no requirement for anti-rabies vaccination prior to entry since all dogs and cats have to be vaccinated for rabies on arrival regardless of its vaccination history. The quarantine period starts from the date of the anti-rabies vaccination. In additional to the vaccination, the animal will also be ear-tattooed.

Any animal whose routine vaccination status is unknown or overdue must be vaccinated on arrival. It is necessary to provide a verifiable vaccination history to avoid unnecessary duplication of vaccinations.

Microchip

All imported dogs must be identified with an ISO-compatible microchip. Dogs with unreadable or no microchip may be returned to the country of export or detained for any necessary action at the discretion of the Director-General, Agri-food & Veterinary Services. The importer shall bear the cost of the re-exportation, detention, and implantation of microchip, if any.

The Regulations

The relevant regulations are the:-

  • Animals and Birds Act
  • Animals and Birds (Quarantine) Rules
  • Animals and Birds (Importation) Order
  • Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act

The requirements for the importation of cats or dogs are:

  • Import licence from the Agri-food & Veterinary Authority (AVA). The Application for Permit to Import Animals / Birds as Personal Pets form must be completed and delivered to the Regulatory Services Branch at least 2 weeks prior to import. A fee of S$50 per animal is payable.
  • Application & Acceptance for Quarantine Space Form. This AA Form must be completed & sent to the Regulatory Services Branch, AVA.
  • Health certificate from the country of export dated not more than 7 days from the date of export. Pregnant and “incapacitated” animals will not be permitted entry. The AVA must be notified of arrival at least one working day in advance.
  • ISO-compatible microchip (dogs only).
  • Quarantine for not less than 30 days unless from the exempted countries aforesaid. It is vital to reserve quarantine kennels well in advance due to limited accommodation space.

Importing pet birds require the following:

  • Import licence from the AVA.
  • For CITES listed birds, CITES import permit from Singapore and CITES export/re-export permit from country of export.
  • Veterinary health certificate from country of export dated not more than 7 days from date of export (maybe waived for personal pet birds accompanying owners).

Endangered Species

Importing exotic animals that are endangered species are covered under the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act. It requires a CITES import permit from Singapore and CITES export/re-export permit from country of export.

CITES is the acronym for The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. It is an international agreement to ensure that trade does not threaten wildlife species with extinction. CITES regulates international trade in CITES-listed species of live animals and plants, and their parts and derivatives, based on a system of permits which must be presented before consignments leave or enter a country. Singapore became a signatory to the Convention on 30 November 1986 and the AVA is the authority responsible for the implementation of CITES.

A Singapore CITES permit must be obtained in advance from AVA to import or export endangered animals. Import applications must be accompanied by the CITES export permit from the exporting country and substantiated with documentary evidence of legal acquisition of the specimen. The application form and a copy of the CITES export or re-export permit should be submitted to the CITES Unit at least one week before the arrival of the animals. The permits may be collected on the following working day from the date of application.

CITES permits from the exporting countries must be issued by CITES Management Authorities and its counterparts. The original CITES export/re-export permit must be presented to AVA immediately after Customs clearance.

Animals without a CITES permit may be confiscated. First time offenders can be fined up to S$5,000.00 and/or jailed up to 12 monhts. Repeat offenders can be fined up to S$10,000.00 and/or jailed up to 12 months.

You can visit the following website for more information on CITES: www.cites.org.