Expat guide for bringing your pet
All pets that are bought into Singapore must comply with the requirements of the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA). While many pet owners successfully manage the AVA requirements themselves bringing your pet, it is often worth enlisting the services of a professional pet moving service. They will be in the best position to ensure that your pet is adequately cared for throughout the duration of the move and that all importation requirements are met and unnecessary quarantine is avoided.
Regardless of whether you choose to enlist a professional pet importer or decide to handle the process yourself, it is crucial that you start the process as early as possible in order to ensure that you have all the correct paperwork in place ahead of your move.
There is a large amount of misleading information concerning the quarantine requirements of Singapore posted throughout the web, this being the result of a recent AVA rule change, which many people are still unaware of. The good news is that many animals are no longer required to endure thirty days in quarantine providing all the correct documentation is in place.
Importing personal pets
In order to import a pet (dog, cat, bird, rabbit, guinea pig, mouse etc), you will need to acquire an import license from the AVA and this must be done within thirty days of the intended arrival of your pet. Applications can be made using an online form that can be found on the AVA website.
It generally takes a minimum of two days to process the application so bear this in mind when you apply. The license will only be valid for thirty days and will cost $50 SGD per application. If you require a license within a period of time less than 2 days you will need to pay an additional fee.
If you are the owner of a mixed breed dog then you are required to include a photograph of the animal with your application. Many breeds of dogs are prohibited from entry into Singapore (see below) and the AVA therefore need to see an image of your dog in order to ensure that the animal will not be refused entry upon arrival.
Banned breeds of dogs
The following breeds of dogs are banned in Singapore and will not be permitted entry into the country under any circumstances.
- Pit Bull, including the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the American Bull Dog;
- Neapolitan Mastiff;
- Dogo Argentino;
- Fila Braziliero; and
- All crosses of these breeds.
All dogs and cats brought into Singapore from May 1, 2001 must be implanted with a microchip matching their veterinary papers to cut down on the risk of rabies and other diseases. The health documents will have to indicate the microchip identification code besides certifying that the dog/cat has been vaccinated, examined and healthy. The microchip implanted under the skin of a dog’s/cat’s neck would minimize the introduction of disease by tracing where an infected animal came from so that further imports can be blocked.
Veterinary Conditions & Quarantine Requirements
There are currently four categories of conditions governing the importation of animals and these vary according to the country from which the pet is to be imported from. The categories, together with the location of documentation relating to veterinary conditions are detailed below. Depending upon where in the world you are importing your dog from the quarantine requirements will vary.
|Category||Countries of export||Veterinary Requirements||Quarantine Requirements|
|A||Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom||Category A requirements||No Quarantine requirement provided all veterinary requirements have been met.|
|B||Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, USA (Guam and Hawaii only)||Category B requirements||No Quarantine requirement provided all veterinary requirements have been met.|
|C||Belgium, Canada, Netherlands, Spain, United States of America (except Guam and Hawaii)||Category C requirements||Between 10 and 30 days depending upon when the dog or cat last received their rabies vaccination.|
|D||All countries other than those listed in Categories A, B or C||Further requirements|