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Pets
   Also see in Services: Pet Services Veterinarians

Pets in Hong Kong

Pets are big business in Hong Kong with grooming facilities, veterinarians and other necessary services plentiful and of a high standard. 

It is probable that your living conditions in Hong Kong will be somewhat smaller than what you and your pet are used to, so it is important to be realistic about what your budget will afford you in terms of space and how this will effect your pet.
If your pet is used to having a large garden or fields to romp around in, Hong Kong will be a rather big change for him/her.  Houses and apartments with gardens are available but are enormously expensive, especially on the Hong Kong side. If you don't have a  garden, you or your domestic helper can take your pet out for regular walks, although there are relatively few places that you will be allowed to take your dog off his leash.  Your dog should be leashed whilst on public roads and footpaths, as heavy traffic is a real hazard.  Trails in country parks and outlying islands are especially good for weekend canine entertainment and Shek O beach is one of the very few that is dog friendly.


Importing a Pet to Hong Kong

Procedure for Importing a pet

The following information, supplied by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department, is a guideline. Please see Agriculture and Fisheries website for the Special Permit Application Form and any updated information that we may not have been able to include here.

You can choose to either handle the importation on your own or have pet importers take care of the whole process for you.  Their services normally include:

  • The special permit application
  • Informing the Agriculture and Fisheries Department of the pet's arrival
  • Booking the quarantine quarters
  • Pick up at the airport
  • Customs clearance
  • Delivery to kennels or directly home.

Export-a-Pet
Shop B2, Marina Cove Shopping Centre
Sai Kung
New Territories
Tel: (852) 2358 1774
Fax: (852) 2358 0875
Website
Email

If you choose to do it yourself:

Step 1: Obtain a Special Permit

Animals and birds (mammals, birds and reptiles) may not be brought into Hong Kong (either to import or for transshipment/transit) unless a Special Permit to do so is obtained IN ADVANCE from the Agriculture and Fisheries Department. Applications may be made with the prescribed form (Form AF240) in person or by mail. The Permit, once issued, will normally be valid for 6 months and is good for one consignment only.  One permit is issued per pet.  The processing time is usually five working days from the receipt of permit fees.  The Permit will be issued in duplicate, you must retain the white copy to be shown on retrieval of your pet.

(Form AF240: http://www.afcd.gov.hk/quarantine/lsk/download/af240.pdf )

Types of Special Permits for Dogs and Cats

Group I Countries

Dogs and cats imported directly from the following countries are normally exempt from quarantine subject to full compliance with the permit conditions:

  • U.K
  • Ireland
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Fiji
  • Hawaii

Group II Countries

Dogs and cats imported from the following 40 countries/areas may be exempted from quarantine subject to full compliance with the permit conditions.

Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Belgium, Bermuda, Brunei, Canada, Cayman Island, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Guam, Iceland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Norway, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, The Netherlands, USA (continental), Vanuatu, Virgin Islands

There is a possibility that the rabies-free status or other factors may change in these countries. The above list is subject to ongoing review.


Group III Countries

Dogs and cats imported from countries other than those listed above are subject to a minimum of 4-month quarantine period.


Note
If deemed necessary (for instance, animals of doubtful history; animals showing suspicious clinical signs during quarantine), the quarantine period for dogs and cats from all countries (Group I, II and III) may be extended to a minimum of 6 months.


General Terms and Conditions

  • All pets must be transported by the fastest and most direct route to Hong Kong
  • Dogs and cats under 2 months old may not be imported or transshipped
  • All pets must be carried and caged in such a way as to ensure human management at all times
  • A veterinary health certificate is required from competent veterinary authorities dated not more than 14 days before departure.


Step 2 : Before you leave your Home Country

1) Book your pet on a flight. Pets must travel as manifest cargo.
2) Overseas Certification Requirements:


Dogs/Cats- Group I Countries 

Veterinary Health Certificate
This should be dated not more than 10 days before the departure of the animal from the home country and certify that the animal is free from any clinical signs of infectious or contagious disease, is fit to travel and, if female, is either not pregnant or less than 4 weeks pregnant.
N.B. please refer to Remarks column

Residence Certification
This is certification that the animal has been continuously residing in the country of origin during the preceding 6 months, or since birth, prior to departure from that country.
N.B. please refer to Remarks column.

Rabies Vaccination Certificate
Not Applicable


Other major infectious Diseases Vaccination Certificates

These should certify that the animal has been fully vaccinated against the following canine/feline infectious diseases not less than 10 days and not more than 1 year before coming to Hong Kong.

DOGS:
Canine Distemper, Infectious Canine Hepatitis and Canine parvovirus.

CATS:
Feline Panleucopaenia (Infectious Enteritis) and Feline Respiratory Disease Complex (Cat Flu).

Airline Certification or Captain's Affidavit
This is to certify that the animal has traveled the entire journey on one aircraft without leaving the aircraft en route and/or without any stopping/changing-over in a country of lower health status and were at no time in contact with any other animals.


Remarks

Dogs and cats under 8 weeks of age must not be imported.

Note
A combined Veterinary Health, Residence and Vaccination Certificate is acceptable. The certificates must be signed and stamped by either a full time salaried government veterinary officer or a registered veterinary surgeon.


Dogs/Cats- Group II Countries

Veterinary Health Certificate
This should be dated not more than 14 days before the departure and signed and stamped by the government veterinary authorities or by a qualified veterinary surgeon of the exporting country. N.B. please refer to Remarks column.

Residence Certification
This is certification that the animal has been continuously residing in the country of origin during the preceding 6 months, or since birth, prior to departure from that country.
N.B. please refer to Remarks column.

Rabies Vaccination Certificate
Certifying, with full details of vaccine(s),(i) that the animal has been vaccinated against rabies less than one year and more than 30 days prior to departure. In the case of primary vaccination the animal was at least 3 months old when vaccinated.(ii) showing a good history of anti-rabies vaccination (with details) extending back over a period of more than 1 year (or since puppyhood or kittenhood) be included.

Other major infectious Diseases Vaccination Certificates
This should certify that the animal has been fully vaccinated against the following canine/feline infectious diseases not less than 14 days and not more than 1 year before coming to Hong Kong

DOGS:
Canine Distemper, Infectious Canine Hepatitis and Canine parvovirus.

CATS:
Feline Panleucopaenia (Infectious Enteritis) and Feline Respiratory Disease Complex (Cat Flu)

Airline Certification or Captain's Affidavit
As Above

Remarks
Animal under 2 months old and or more than 4 weeks pregnant must not be imported. Animals will not be released from quarantine unless they are over 5 months old.

Note
A combined Veterinary Health, Residence and Vaccination Certificate is acceptable. The certificates must be signed and stamped by either a full time salaried government veterinary officer or a registered veterinary surgeon and endorsed by a full time salaried government veterinary officer.
To facilitate correct certification, a Zoo-Sanitary Certificate (Form VC-9R, issued together with the permit) or equivalent should be used. 

(FormVC-9R: http://www.hongkongpropertyman.com/hkpropman/forms/Zoo.doc )
 

Dogs/Cats-Group III Countries

Veterinary Health Certificate
This should be dated not more than 10 days before the departure and signed and stamped by the government veterinary authorities or by a qualified veterinary surgeon of the exporting country.

Residence Certification
Not Applicable

Rabies Vaccination Certificate

If Possible


Other major infectious Diseases Vaccination Certificates

This should certify that the animal has been vaccinated against the following canine/feline infectious diseases not less than 14 days and not more than 1 year before coming to Hong Kong:

DOGS:
Canine Distemper, Infectious Canine Hepatitis and Canine parvovirus.

CATS:
Feline Panleucopaenia (Infectious Enteritis) and Feline Respiratory Disease Complex (Cat Flu).

Airline Certification or Captain's Affidavit
Not Applicable

Remarks
Quarantine is generally reduced to 4 months if the terms and conditions of the permit are fully complied with.  Quarantine facilities are listed below. Book a quarantine facility in advance of your pet arriving in Hong Kong.

 

Step 3: Picking up Your Pet (Procedures to Collect Your Pets)

Arrival by air under Manifest Cargo

  • Notify AFCD Import Control Officers at the airport of the actual arrival details at least 2 working days in advance (Tel: 2182 1001, 2182 1002 or Fax: 2769 8600)
  • Approach the cargo office of the airline concerned at the Hong Kong Airport Cargo Terminals or the Asian Airfreight Terminal Co. Ltd. and obtain from them the related documents (e.g. Air Way bill, Shipment Release Form, Airline Certification, etc.) for the release of the animal consignment
  • Present the above documents to the AFCD Import Control Officers at the relevant offices for documentation clearance and relevant quarantine assessment.


    AFCD Cargo Office at HACTL
    1/F, East Office Block
    Super Terminal 1
    HACTL
    Hong Kong International Airport
    Tel: (852) 2769 6576 / 2116 0175
    Fax: (852) 2116 0176


    AFCD Cargo Office at AAT
    Room 2, Ground Floor
    0 Chum Ping Road
    Hong Kong International Airport
    Tel: (852) 2160 0185
    Fax: (852) 2116 0187

  • Present the "Shipment Release Form" to the Supervisor of the Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd. (HACTL) or the Asian Airfreight Terminal Co. Ltd. (AAT) for the retrieval of your pet(s). You will be directed to the Customs Examination Hall for health inspection and customs clearance. If there are no discrepancies or non-compliance with the terms of the permits, the pet(s) may be released to you or transferred to the Airport Animal Hostel or to the Quarantine Kennels as appropriate.

Arrival by other routes
Contact AFCD well in advance for special arrangements.
 

Kennels

Approved Quarantine Kennels


All government kennels are under the supervision of ACFD Veterinary Officers but owners are required to nominate their own private veterinary surgeon to provide veterinary care and treatment at the owner's expenses.


Government Kennels:

Government Kennels
Sung Wong Toi Government Kennels
Tel: (852) 2362 4147

Victoria Road Government Kennels
Tel: (852) 2551 8586

ACFD Airport Animal Hostel
Tel: (852) 2182 1001
Note: Caters mainly for animals or birds in transit


Private Kennels:


Pokfulam Kennels
Tel: (852) 2551 6661

Prior booking with the respective kennels is required. Schedules of quarantine fees can be obtained from the respective kennels.
 

Export of Pets & Veterinary Health Certification

Subject to prior approval from the Veterinary Officer, pets may be released from quarantine for re-export. These pets will be escorted by authorized officers to the point of departure. All pets for export should be securely and humanely crated and cared-for during transportation. There are no other restrictions imposed on the exportation of pets from Hong Kong unless they are an endangered species.
As there may be restrictions imposed by the destination country, you are advised to obtain, well in advance, details of requirements in writing from the relevant government authorities and from the carrying airline before departure. To facilitate the export of pet animals, endorsement of health certificates issued by a locally registered private veterinary surgeon may be provided by the ACFD on a charged basis. Appointment for this service should be made in advance (Tel: (852) 2733 2232).


Reminders

Live endangered species must also be covered by appropriate CITIES Import/Possession Licenses issued by the Agriculture and Fisheries Dept. separately.
Fees are imposed for such licenses. Transportation service will not be provided by the ACFD.
Owners must ensure that they or their agents will meet their pets on arrival and will provide suitable transportation to quarantine kennels.
Quarantine of dogs and cats will be assessed upon their arrival. Failure to comply fully with the permit terms and conditions may render the animals liable to 4-6 months in quarantine and, in some exceptional cases, even longer.
For dogs and cats please ensure that the relevant certification requirements are complied with in full. The process lead-time for the issue of Special Permit is normally 5 working days from the date the permit fee and the application form are received. The permit will then be dispatched by ordinary mail or airmail (for overseas application) to the address as indicated on the application form.
Please note that request for dispatch by fax will not be entertained.
Two sets of permits will be sent to the applicant. Please keep the original (white) copy for the retrieval of the pet(s) on arrival. The carrying airline/shipping company may require the shipper to produce the duplicate (yellow) copy before accepting the carriage of pets in the exporting country.
Do not arrange for the actual transportation of your pets unless a Special Permit has been obtained from the ACFD.

Re-entry of Pets

Pets that have left Hong Kong are subject to the same importation and quarantine restrictions as outlined in this section on their return to Hong Kong. Special Permit to bring back pets that have previously left Hong Kong need to be obtained from the ACFD well in advance.

Payment for Permit Fees

Fees are imposed for the issue of permits and must be paid at the time of the application. Fees are charged in accordance with the Fee Schedules issued separately. Separate permits are required for different categories consigned.

Pet Import License Application Fees

Category of Pet  Quantity  Fees per Unit  Fees Per Additional Unit 
Dogs or Cats  1 HK$ 432 HK$ 102
Birds 1-50  HK$ 344 HK$ 78
Rodents, Lagomorphs & Reptiles 1-200  HK$ 344 HK$ 78 
Horse & Equine  HK$ 743 HK$ 106 


Payment In Person


Cash or crossed cheque payable to HONG KONG GOVERNMENT is to be paid at the time when an application is submitted.


Payment By Post

A crossed local cheque is acceptable for local application. Cash should not be sent by post. For overseas application, payment shall be by bank draft in HONG KONG CURRENCY payable to the 'HONG KONG GOVERNMENT' drawn from a bank in Hong Kong.
To minimize inconvenience, an overseas applicant may nominate a friend or the transportation agent in Hong Kong to apply for permits on his/her behalf.


Contact Information 

Import Control Section, Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department 
5/F, Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department
Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices
303 Cheung Sha Wan Road
Kowloon
Enquiry: (852) 2150 7070
Tel: (852) 2150 7068
Fax: (852) 2152 0320

 

 

Last Updated: 18 November, 2004

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