Pet Travel to Australia – Changes in Import Rules in 2014

Traveling with your pet to Australia? Changes are coming in 2014We get a lot of questions about traveling to Australia with a pet. It is an exciting and beautiful destination and worth spending time exploring with your pet.

Australia just announced changes to its import policies which will make it easier and less expensive for pet owners to bring their dog or cat Down Under. Starting in February 3, 2014, pets will be able subject to reduced quarantine (30 days to 10 days) if they have a Blood Titer Test (RNATT) done between 6 and 24 months prior to entry. (Presently, regulations call for 3 months ahead of time.) This will reduce costs for quarantine, much less time spent away from our pets.

There is another important change to the rules for pet import to Australia. Dogs and cats originating in non DAFF approved countries can enter Australia through an DAFF approved country as long as they meet the regulations to enter the approved country.  No longer must pets reside in the approved country for six months prior to entering Australia.

You will still need an Import Permit and your pet will need a 15 digit microchip and veterinary health certificate. There are also vaccination requirements and tests. More information on taking a pet to Australia. If you are planning a trip to Australia with a pet and you already have an Import Permit, you can change your permit as long as you remit a fee and are not importing your pet until February 3, 2014.

There are other changes as well. You can compare the old and new policies here: http://www.daff.gov.au/biosecurity/cat-dogs/frequently-asked-questions

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17 comments to Pet Travel to Australia – Changes in Import Rules in 2014

  • Sean

    Check the department websight. It has a calculator. You put in where you are comibg from, what animal and when you plan to artive. It list what you need to do and when it should be done.

  • Nancy – it is expensive to bring cats into Australia and they have recently increased their import fees significantly. We know of no way to consign cats, although your airline may accept them in the same crate if their policy permits it. You may have to shop around for that benefit.

    It would be advisable to prepare in advance, however. If you have 6 months to do the titer test, you can cut your quarantine from 30 days to 10 days. Wish we could offer more advice on how to make the import more reasonable.
    Phil

  • Nancy

    Hi, I’m moving back to Australia from Taiwan and I’m planning to bring my 3 cats with me. Just wondering is there any chance I can bring down the cost, for example by having them in the same consignment? I remember there used to be a discount for shared consignment… The 3 of the get alone very well.

    As Sue said it’s now very expensive to bring pets to Australia. But I really don’t want to give up any of my cats.

  • Sue – you have a valid point and we objected to the higher fees when given an opportunity. It is unfortunate that the island is in such demand from travelers and their quarantine facilities are expensive to run. Insufficient funding is always a difficult issue to overcome, even when public input is welcome.

  • Sue

    I find your article interesting by you saying it is cheaper and easier.

    It certainly is not cheaper. Quarantine may have come down to ten days, but the fees have doubled. $2500 for import permit and ten days of quarantine.

    Most will still be required to wait the 6 months after the rnat testing. I’m yet to see where it is cheaper an quicker.

  • Kami – your pets must have met Singapore’s quarantine requirements and enter the country. This would most likely take 30 days to accomplish. After that time, you could enter Australia from by meeting their requirements with a 30 day quarantine unless your vet administers the Blood Titer Test at least 180 days prior to travel, then the quarantine would be reduced to 10 days.
    Phil

  • Kami

    I want to bring my 2 beautiful dogs from India to Australia. Am I able to take them to Singapore and have them in quarantine for around 30 days, then I can take them on to Australia? Or does it mean that they will have to be quarantined for a further 5 months in Australia? I thought the new rules meant that Australia now accepts the approved country’s quarantine rules and that there would only be 10 to 30 days for quarantine in Australia.

    Kami

  • Hi Peta – South Africa is not a DAFF approved country, so you will not be able to enter Australia directly. You must enter a DAFF approved country first, conform to their requirements, then fulfill requirements for Australia. You can find a list of DAFF approved countries here: http://www.pettravel.com/immigration/australia.cfm. Many of the DAFF approved countries in Asia are difficult to enter or have residency requirements. Entering from New Zealand will require quarantine and a 90 day stay after quarantine. You can find entry requirements for all countries here: http://www.pettravel.com/passportnew.cfm.
    Susan

  • Peta

    SO SORRY ARRIVAL TIME JANUARY 2015
    JACK RUSSEL 7kg
    Miniature MALTESE 2.4kg

    Please advise
    Kind regards
    PETA

  • Peta

    Hi
    We are planning to leave from SOUTH AFRICA with two dogs….Arrival TIme JANUARY 2014

    WHAT doe we need to do?

    WHAT set of inoculations do we need to do?

    When do we need to start?

    How long would Quarantine be for?

    We heading OF to BRINGELLY NEW SOUTH WALES …where will the dogs be kept in Quarantine??

    Please can you help me with this
    KIND REGARDS
    PETA

  • Manasi – legislation passed over one year ago prohibited pets from entering India unless they were accompanied by their owners who were relocating to India to live or re-entering the country for residence purposes. It is not feasible to take your pets to India for short periods of time. In your case, there is another problem. India is not a DAFF approved country to import a pet. It will be extremely expensive and difficult to get your pets back into Australia. Best to leave them in Australia if possible. Sorry.
    Susan

  • Manasi Mohil

    Hi There,

    I have been living in melbourne for past 7 years and I have a dog who is 3 years old and my cat is 2 years old .I was wandering what would be the quarantine time and requirements for me,if I want to take them to India for a 4-6 weeks and then bring them back to melbourne?

  • Renata – according to the DAFF website: The animal is not eligible for export to Australia until at least one hundred and eighty (180) days have passed from the date that the blood sample is drawn for the RNAT test (with a satisfactory result).

  • Guest

    Renata – I think you are mistaken, those are the old rules the new rules only require 10 to 30 days (maximum)quarantine in Australia and not at all in the country of departure.

  • Renata

    I have done extensive research and spoke to authorities, the stay in quarantine in Australia has to cover the 6 months if not taken in the exporting country. So if you have 3 months only in exporting country, then 3 months will be required in Australia.

  • Julie – in order to be eligible for the minimum 10 day quarantine stay, you would have to be entering from an approved country and have the RNATT done at least 6 months ahead of time. Because that is not possible, your pet would be subject to the 30 day quarantine.
    Susan

  • Julie

    I know about the rule changes for quarantine times once a dog arrives in Australia – but what I want to know is IF I don’t get the RNATT done at least 6 mths before departure – does that automatically mean a longer stay in quarantine once the dog arrives in Australia ? My plan is to fly in late March – which gives me only 3 months.
    Please advise what this would mean for length of stay at quarantine facility.

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