Before dogs can be imported the dog needs to be certified free from thefollowing five diseases by means of blood tests:
1 Brucella canis2 Trypanosoma evansi3 Babesia gibsoni4 Dirofilaria immitis5
The dog’s blood can either be tested in the country of origin or the bloodsample can be sent to South Africa for testing, if negative proceed to thenext step;
Health certificate done by an official veterinarian;
On landing in South Africa your pet must be cleared by the South AfricanCustoms Department, the following is needed to clear customs:
A copy of the official health certificate;
A copy of the pet’s invoice stating value
Airline service charge must be paid to the airline cargo department.
The Pets Taxi South Africa can assist you with the following:1
Collection of Import Permit (we do not use the postal service);
Arranging with a pet transport company in your foreign area;
Please see the complete information document on all of the requirements to import pets into South Africa below: INFORMATION DOCUMENT ON THE IMPORTATION OF DOGS AND CATS INTO THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
A veterinary import permit is needed to import Dogs & Cats into South Africa.
Cats are not routinely quarantined on arrival in South Africa. The cat must however have a
valid import permit and a correctly completed health certificate, signed and stamped by a government veterinarian of the exporting country. If the originals of both the Veterinary Import Permit (VIP) and the Veterinary Health Certificate (VHC) are not available at the time of the cat’s arrival in South Africa, the cat will be kept in quarantine until the required documentation is presented at the quarantine station.
Dogs and cats must have a valid rabies vaccination. In the case of primary (first) rabies
vaccination the vaccination must be given not more than 12 months and not less than30 days before the date of import. In the case of a booster rabies vaccination thevaccination must be given not more than 12 months before the date of import.
Vaccination against rabies is not required for cats/dogs imported from Australia, New
Zealand, United Kingdom and Northern Ireland but vaccination against rabies forcats/dogs imported from these countries is advised. This will ensure that the cat/doghas sufficient immunity against rabies on arrival in South Africa to prevent it fromcontracting rabies in South Africa.
Puppies/Kittens under three months of age do not need to be vaccinated for rabies. But
puppies/kittens less than 3 months of age can only travel to South Africa if thedam/queen of the puppy/kitten has been vaccinated for rabies more than 30 daysbefore and less than 12 months before the birth of the puppy/kitten. Thesepuppies/kittens must be vaccinated for rabies after arrival in South Africa at 3 months ofage and proof of the vaccination must be presented to the South African VeterinaryAuthorities.
Quarantine of 14 days will be imposed on some dogs, depending on the country of origin
of the dog. Dogs from the following list of countries below do not need to go into quarantine on arrival in South Africa. The dog must however have a valid import permit and a correctly completed health certificate, signed and stamped by a government veterinarian of the exporting country. If the originals of both the Veterinary Import Permit (VIP) and the Veterinary Health Certificate (VHC) are not available at the time of the dog’s arrival in South Africa, the dog will be kept in quarantine until the required documentation is presented at the quarantine station.
Europe. Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France,Germany, Greece, Iceland , Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta,the Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden,Switzerland , UK, Norway, Hungry, Bulgaria and Romania.
Information document on the importation of dogs and cats into the Republic of South Africa. Updated on the 04/05/2011. Page 1 of 10
Botswana, Comoros, Malawi, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Mauritius,Reunion.
Dogs imported from countries not mentioned in the above list will be quarantined on arrival.
Before a quarantine booking for a dog can be confirmed, the importer must sign anindemnity form. Copies of the indemnity form can be obtained from the permit office andfrom the two quarantine stations (see contact details below). The original signedindemnity form needs to either be handed in at the quarantine station were the dog will bequarantined or the original signed indemnity form needs to be posted or couriered to thequarantine station. Faxed and scanned copies will not be accepted. Bookings at thequarantine stations will only be confirmed on receipt of the original signed indemnityform.
If you are importing a dog from an island please contact the Import Export Policy Unit to find
out if your dog will be quarantined on arrival in South Africa.
All dogs and cats imported into South Africa must be permanently identified with a
microchip (tattoos will not be accepted).
The microchip must be able to be read by an ISO 11784 or ISO 11785 scanners.
Dogs that will be quarantined on arrival in South Africa may only be imported into South
Africa via OR Tambo (Johannesburg) or Cape Town International Airports. Dogs andcats that are being imported from countries not subject to quarantine can also beimported into South Africa via Durban International Airport. Dogs and cats will not beallowed to enter South Africa via any other airport or port of entry.(including land borderpost)
All dogs and cats imported into South Africa must be registered, as manifest cargo and can
not fly as excess baggage. The Directorate Veterinary Services does not have veterinary officials at the passenger terminal of OR Tambo (Johannesburg) and Cape Town International Airport to check the paper work of dogs entering South Africa via the passenger terminal of the respective airports. The dogs and cats can only disembark via the cargo terminal of the respective airports.
Information document on the importation of dogs and cats into the Republic of South Africa. Updated on the 04/05/2011. Page 2 of 10
Dogs and cats may travel in the cabin with the owner, if allowed by the airline, but the pets
must be registered as manifest cargo and the airline staff must take the pets from theowner on landing so that they can be off loaded from the plane via the cargo terminal.
On arrival at the airport the original Veterinary Import Permit issued by the Directorate
Veterinary Services and the original Veterinary Health Certificate signed, stamped and certified by Veterinary Authorities of the exporting country must be presented to the veterinary officials at the airport before the dog or cat can be released. The documents can either travel with the animal or the person collecting the animal must present the documents to the officials at the airport. The latter is only for animals that are not going into Quarantine on arrival in South Africa. The paperwork of animals going into quarantine must travel with the animal. Testing of Dogs
Before dogs can be imported the dog needs to be certified free from the following five
diseases by means of blood tests. The dog’s blood can either be tested in the country oforigin or the blood sample can be sent to South Africa for testing.
If the Veterinary Authorities of the exporting country can certify that the exporting country
is free from one or more of the above mentioned five diseases then the dogs exported to South Africa do not need to have blood tests done for the disease that the exporting country is free from. Dogs imported from EU Member States must be tested for all five diseases, as listed above. The onus is on the importer to check that the correct veterinary health certificate has been issued with the veterinary import permit, as it is named on the veterinary import permit, in point 2.2.
The Directorate Animal Health require the following test or tests to be used for the abovementioned five diseasesBrucella canis
serum agglutination / rapid slide agglutination test
card agglutination test and giemsa blood smear
Immunoflourescence antibody test & giemsa blood smear
Dirofilaria immitis microfilarial filtration test
Leishmaniosis: Indirect fluorescent antibody (preferred test)
Information document on the importation of dogs and cats into the Republic of South Africa. Updated on the 04/05/2011. Page 3 of 10
If the samples need to be sent to South Africa, these must be sent by air, accompanied by a copy
of the OVI master import permit for the import of diagnostic specimen, under cover of an airwaybill/courier waybill for testing to –
DIRECTOR (ATTENTION: DR LAURA LOPEZ e-mail LopezL@arc.agric.za) ONDERSTEPOORT VETERINARY INSTITUTE DIAGNOSTIC REGISTRATION TEL. NO.:27/12/529 9272 100 OLD SOUTPAN ROAD FAX NO.: 27/12/529 9275 ONDERSTEPOORT REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
Please note that some of the blood tests for dogs are performed only on a Thursday. It istherefore recommended that samples are sent to arrive at the latest on a Wednesday. Ifsamples arrive later, the tests will only be done the following Thursday.
The samples specimens required for testing each dog are as follows: -
2ml. Whole blood collected in an evacuated blood collecting tube with
2 x 2ml Whole blood collected in a normal evacuated blood collecting tube-
2 x blood smears - unfixed and unstained – wrapped separately in tissue
paper - then protected from moisture in a water proof plastic bag.
The samples are to be securely packed and clearly marked “Keep Refrigerated”. The
Samples are to be accompanied by a copy of the Onderstepoort Veterinary InstituteMaster Veterinary Import Permit for the Import of Diagnostic Specimens (OVIMVIP) andby a certificate issued by the Veterinary Authorities of the exporting country in which thefollowing information is furnished.
1) Number of the OVIMVIP referred to above2) Full description of the dog(s)3) Type and Number of Samples4) Tests required - see above5) Consignee6) Consignor7) Air Way Bill number and Flight Number
Arrangements must be made with the OVI regarding payment for the tests prior to
commencement of the tests. Contact the laboratory at the above telephone numbers/e-mail to get more information on what samples have to be submitted, how the sampleshave to be packaged and the cost of the tests.
The blood samples must be sent by air as cargo and cannot be brought in by private
individuals as part of their luggage. The samples can only enter South Africa via ORTambo (Johannesburg) International Airport.
Information document on the importation of dogs and cats into the Republic of South Africa. Updated on the 04/05/2011.
Please contact Dr Lopez at e-mail address LopezL@arc.agric.za for a copy of the Master
Veterinary Import Permit referred to above.
Please note that any dog testing positive for any of the above-mentioned five diseases will not
be eligible for import into South Africa.
Bloods must be drawn within 30 days of the date of export to South Africa. Dogs may only be
imported if all blood results are negative.
Dogs imported from countries not certified free from Trypanosoma evansi must be tested
and will only be allowed into the Republic of South Africa on negative testing.
Dogs imported from countries not certified free from Dirofilaria immitis must be treated
from the date of negative testing until export at the required intervals with:
- Diethylcarbamazine (5-6 mg/kg per os daily)
- Ivermectin (6 micrograms/kg per os monthly)
- Milbemycin oxime (0,5 mg/kg per os monthly)
- Moxidectin (3 micrograms/kg per os monthly)
- Selemectin (6mg/kg)- (Revolution) Prophylactic only
- Proheart SR12 (Subcut injection yearly)
* If the date of the negative test falls within 11 months of giving the Proheart SR12
subcutaneous injection then no further Dirofilaria immitis treatment is required.
Sufficient Dirofilaria immitis medication needs to accompany the dog to South Africa so thatthe dogs can receive a six month course of medication after importation into South Africa.
All dogs that have to be quarantined on arrival in South Africa will be retested for the above
mentioned five diseases. This is regardless of the results of the blood tests done before thedog was exported to South Africa and is done at the owner’s expense.
Dogs found positive for the above mentioned five diseases will not be released from
If, while in quarantine, a dog is found to be positive for Brucella canis, Lieshmania or Babesiagibsoni, the dog will either be returned to the exporting country or euthanized in thequarantine station. This will be done at the owner’s expense.
Information document on the importation of dogs and cats into the Republic of South Africa. Updated on the 04/05/2011.
If, while in quarantine, a dog is found to be positive for Dirofilaria immitis or Trypanasomaevansi, the owner will be given the option of treatment for the dog while in the quarantinestation or sending the dog back to the exporting country. If the dog is treated in quarantine,it will be re-tested following treatment and will only be released from quarantine onceacceptable test results are received to indicate that the dog does not pose a disease risk. All costs for quarantine, testing, treatment or return of the dog will be at the owner’sexpense. Applying for a veterinary import permit
The required permit application form can be obtained from the Permit Office of the
Room G52, Delpen Building, c/o Annie Botha and Union Street, Riviera, Pretoria +27 (0) 12 319 7514 +27 (0) 12 319 7503/7406 +27 (0) 12 319 7414 +27 (0) 12 319 7632/3
The Director: Animal HealthImport Export Policy UnitPrivate Bag X138PRETORIA0001SOUTH AFRICA
OR fax to: +27 (0) 12 329 8292
To obtain a Veterinary Import Permit you need to deposit the permit fee into the
A payment of R120-00 for the import permit must accompany the application. Name of bank : Name of account holder : Account nr. Name of the branch IMPORTANT NOTICE Reference must be Importers Name & Surname PLEASE NOTE: You are responsible for your bank charges as well as the Foreign Bank charges; the Department will not issue a permit if the full fee of ZAR 120.00 for permit is not received.
Information document on the importation of dogs and cats into the Republic of South Africa. Updated on the 04/05/2011.
In cases where you are applying on behalf of someone please make sure that you pay
under that person’s name or company’s name.
Please take note that no application will be processed without proof of payment.
Proof of the deposit must be faxed to: +27 12 329 8292; +27 12 319 7644; +27 12 319 7491 for attention: Ina Labuschagne OR
A cheque for R120-00 made payable to the Director-General National Department of Agriculture may be attached to the application form and posted to the above-mentioned address.
Payments can also be made at the following office by the National Department ofAgriculture:
C/o Annie Botha and Union StreetDelpen BuildingRivieraPretoriaTel. No. (012) 319-7461
Kempton Park Quarantine Station
Mudfish Drive no. 3Bonaero ParkExtension 3Tel. No. (011) 973-2827
In cases where quarantine of animals is required, the importer must contact the
Johannesburg Tel +27 (0) 11 973 2827 or Fax +27 (0) 11 973 2828
Cape Town Tel +27 (0) 21 551 2050 or Fax +27 (0) 21 551 1378
The Quarantine Officer will make the reservation for accommodation at the Quarantine Station and must complete the applicable part of the application form.
An Indemnity Declaration (in respect of imported animals undergoing quarantine) mustalso be completed and attached to the application form. This Indemnity Declaration formcan also be obtained from the Permit Office.
Following receipt of the completed application form, a Veterinary Import Permit will be issued.
A Veterinary Health Certificate will also be sent to you with the Veterinary Import Permit. This needs to be completed, in English, by a veterinarian authorized thereto by the Veterinary Administration of the exporting country, within 10 days of departure.
Information document on the importation of dogs and cats into the Republic of South Africa. Updated on the 04/05/2011. Page 7 of 10
The following must be presented to the South African Veterinary Import Control Officer at the Port of Entry:
i) Original Veterinary Import Permitii) Original Veterinary Health Certificateiii) Any other documentation specified, e.g.: Indemnity Declaration, Rabies
The Directorate Animal Health, Sub-Directorate Import Export Control in
Pretoria will be able to assist you should any further information be required. Mrs Ina Labuschagne +27 (0) 12 319 7514 +27 (0) 12 319 7414/7633 +27 (0) 12 319 7632 +27 (0) 12 319 7503 +27 (0) 12 319 7406
Please state on the application form whether the permit will be collected or mailed
Please also note that it takes three (3) to four (4) working days to process the permit
In cases where the permit is going to be collected, please confirm with permit office telephonically whether the permit is ready before you come to collect. Dogs & Cats from Neighbouring Countries
Dogs and Cats entering South Africa from Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesothoand Swaziland do not need an import permit. These dogs and cats need a healthcertificate that certifies that the dog or cat has been vaccinated against rabies in the
last 12 months but more than 30 days before the date of departure. The cats anddogs need to have a health check within 7 days of export. This does not apply for dogs entering South Africa from Mozambique. These dogs can only be imported into South Africa with a veterinary import permit. The
dogs need to have the necessary blood tests (see testing procedure above) doneprior to export and must be flown from Mozambique to either Johannesburg or CapeTown International Airports were the dogs will be placed in quarantine forapproximately 14 days and will be re tested according to the normal protocol for dogs in
quarantine. The dogs may not enter South Africa by road. An import permit is needed tobring cat into South Africa from Mozambique but cats can enter South Africa by roadand do not need to be placed into quarantine.
Information document on the importation of dogs and cats into the Republic of South Africa. Updated on the 04/05/2011. Dogs & Cats from other African Countries
Dogs being imported from other African countries must have a veterinary import permitand cannot enter by road via one of our neighbouring countries. The dogs need to havethe necessary blood tests (see testing procedure above) done prior to export and must
be flown to either Johannesburg or Cape Town International Airports were the dogs willbe quarantined for 14 days and will be re tested according to the normal protocol for dogsin quarantine.
Dogs and cats from Malawi do not need a veterinary import permit. These dogs and cats need a health certificate that certifies that the dog or cat has been vaccinated against rabies in the last 12 months but more than 30 days before the date of departure. The cats
and dogs need to have a health check done within 10 days of export.
Cats from other African countries need a veterinary import permit and a veterinary healthcertificate that has been stamped and signed by a certifying veterinarian in the country oforigin. This must accompany the cats. Cats must also have had a rabies vaccination lessthen a year but more than 30 days before the date of export. These cats can enter SouthAfrica by road. Dogs and Cats in Transit through South Africa to other African Countries
Dogs and cats that are moving in transit through South Africa by road to other
African countries are considered as normal imports and therefore need to complywith South Africa’s veterinary health requirements. These animals need to have aveterinary import permit from South Africa. The dogs need to have the necessaryblood tests (see testing procedure above) done prior to export.
All dogs and cats travelling in transit by air to SADC countries must be accompanied
by a South African veterinary intransit permit for dogs/cats and must comply with theSouth African import health requirements for dogs/cats. The countries that thisrequirement applies to are: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique,Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia, Tanzania, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo,Tanzania, Kenya, Mauritius, Malawi and the Seychelles.
All dogs/cats travelling by air to countries other than the countries listed in the
previous paragraph need not conform to the South African import healthrequirements for dogs/cats, provided these dogs/cats do not leave the customs areaof the international airport in South Africa. These dogs/cats need to be accompaniedby a standard South African veterinary intransit permit.
If a dog or cat is travelling intransit from Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland,
Lesotho or Malawi via South Africa to another country the dog or cat does not needto have an intransit permit from South Africa. The dog or cat must however complywith the requirements as indicated under the section of “Dogs and Cats fromNeighbouring Countries” above.
Information document on the importation of dogs and cats into the Republic of South Africa. Updated on the 04/05/2011. Page 9 of 10
Dogs leaving South Africa for recreational purposes (shows or Holidays) for a period of 10 days
A veterinary import permit for dogs travelling out of South Africa for recreational
purposes is needed for the import of such dogs that have travelled outside SouthAfrica for a short period of time.
These permits will only be issued for dogs travelling to countries for which South
The dog must be permanently identified with a microchip. The description ofthe dog, i.e. the name, breed, sex, colour and microchip number must bewritten on the application form when applying for the permit.
No blood tests are required for the dog to be re imported back into SouthAfrica as the dog will not have been out of South Africa for 10 days andtherefore the blood tests to be of any value as even if a dog is infected withone of the above mentioned five diseases the dogs will not show a positivereaction to the blood tests.
Instead of testing these dogs, the owners are required to take preventivemeasures to ensure that the dogs do not get infected with the diseases.
The dog must have a valid rabies vaccination. The rabies vaccination must
have been done less then a year and more than 30 days before travelling.
If the country the dog is travelling to is not free from Dirofilaria immitis then
the dog must, on arrival in the exporting country be put on one of the followingmedications as a preventative treatment for Dirofilaria immitis :Diethylcarbamazine (5-6 mg/kg per os daily), Ivermectin (6 micrograms/kg peros monthly), Milbemycin oxime (0,5 mg/kg per os monthly), Moxidectin (3micrograms/kg per os monthly) or ProHeart SR 12 (subcut injectable yearly). The medication must be sufficient to treat the dog for six months.
If the country the dog is travelling to is not free from Trypanosoma evansi then
the dog must be treated with either Suramin or Diminazene aceturate,according to the instructions for use thereof by the manufacturer on the day ofdeparture back to South Africa.
If the country the dog is travelling to is not free from Leishmania and orBabesia gibsoni then the dog must be treated with an effective acaricide andwith insect repellent registered in South Africa, before departure andthroughout their stay.
Please contact Dr Caroline Gibbs, State Veterinarian, Import Export Policy Unit,Directorate Animal Health, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries at telephone
+27-12-319-7673 or e-mail CarolineG@daff.gov.za, for more details on the import of dogs intoSouth Africa.
Information document on the importation of dogs and cats into the Republic of South Africa. Updated on the 04/05/2011. Page 10 of 10
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