- Dogs coming to Australia from group 2 countries must be accompanied by a valid import permit, which provides the conditions for importing the dog.
- The conditions on the import permit take precedence over any other source of information. This step-by-step guide explains what you must do to prepare your dog for export; it is not a substitute for the import permit.
- Dogs must comply with all conditions on the import permit.
- Failure to comply with the conditions on the import permit may result in the dog being (at your cost):
- held longer in post entry quarantine
- subjected to additional testing
- On arrival in Australia, dogs must spend a minimum of 10 days at the Mickleham post entry quarantine facility.
- A government approved veterinarian or official government veterinarian must perform all veterinary procedures listed below.
- All testing must be conducted in an approved country in a laboratory recognised by the government of the country of export.
- The department cannot give advice on treatments for diseases. Seek advice from a veterinarian if your dog tests positive to an infectious disease listed in the import conditions.
- Contact the competent authority in the country of export to find out:
- which veterinarians and laboratories are approved to prepare your dog for export (all veterinary procedures and testing must be done in an approved country and testing must be completed in a laboratory recognised by the competent authority of the approved exporting country)
- if the country of export has any requirements in addition to those stated on this webpage
- if the country of export has an agreed veterinary health certificate to use instead of the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment standard veterinary health certificate.
- The department recommends that you take this information to your government approved veterinarian or pet transport agent to help you understand the requirements.
Further guidance for government approved veterinarians preparing dogs and cats to Australia:
Guidance for government approved veterinarians preparing dogs and cats for export to Australia PDF [295 KB]
Guidance for government approved veterinarians preparing dogs and cats for export to Australia DOC [120 KB]
- can only be exported to Australia from a department approved country
- must have been continuously resident in an approved rabies free country (group 1 or group 2) since birth or direct importation from Australia, or for at least 180 days before the date of export
- must not be under quarantine restrictions at the time of export
- must not be more than 30 days pregnant nor be suckling young at the time of export.
- Domestic/non-domestic animal hybrids (e.g. wolf-dog crosses) are not eligible for import. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Czechoslovakian wolfdog or Czechoslovakian Vlcak
- Saarloos wolfdog or Saarloos wolfhound
- Lupo Italiano or Italian wolfdog
- Kunming wolfdog or Kunming dog.
Please contact the department’s Environmental Biosecurity Office for more information on hybrid animals and reproductive material/specimens.
- In accordance with the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956, dogs of the following pure breeds cannot be imported to Australia:
- dogo Argentino
- fila Brasileiro
- Japanese tosa
- American pit bull terrier or pit bull terrier
- Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario.
For more information on prohibited dog breeds, contact the Department of Home Affairs on +61 2 6264 1111 or 131 881 (within Australia).
- Dogs must be identified by a microchip that can be read by an Avid, Trovan, Destron or other ISO compatible reader.
- A government approved veterinarian must scan the microchip at each veterinary visit and check that the scanned microchip number is correctly recorded on all documentation.
- If the microchip cannot be read or is recorded incorrectly in the dog's documentation, the dog cannot be imported to Australia.
- Microchip numbers starting with 999 are not acceptable because they are not unique.
- Submit your import permit application, including full payment and all supporting documentation online through our Biosecurity Import Conditions System (BICON).
- Additional charges may apply if information is missing, incorrect or if an application is put on hold.
- We endeavour to assess import permit applications within 20 business days of receiving a complete and fully paid application however the legislated decision making period in relation to an import permit application is 123 business days. The decision making period may be paused where further information is required to assess the application or biosecurity risk. Submitting an application does not guarantee that we will grant an import permit.
- Import permits are valid for up to twelve (12) months from the date of issue.
Dogs must spend at least 10 days at the Mickleham post entry quarantine facility in Melbourne. See the Australian post entry quarantine facilities webpage for further information.
Where a biosecurity officer deems necessary, diagnostic samples may be collected from animals in PEQ, including to verify that the import conditions continue to manage the biosecurity risks associated with the import of animals to Australia.
- The department does not place any restrictions on the airline you choose. But the dog must arrive direct into Melbourne International Airport. Domestic transfers from an Australian city to Melbourne are not permitted.
- The dog must travel as manifested cargo (not in the cabin), in an International Air Transport Association (IATA) approved crate for dogs. IATA guidelines can be viewed at Traveler's Pet Corner.
- There are animal transport companies in most countries that can make arrangements for you. Visit the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association for a list of animal transport companies.
- The department accepts no responsibility for animals that escape en route.
- All transport costs are at the importer's expense.
- During transport to Australia dogs may transit (touch down but stay on the same plane) in all countries.
- The dog may only tranship (change aircraft) in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Copenhagen, London, Dubai, Hong Kong or another approved group 1 or 2 country.
- The dog must not leave the international side of the airport and must be under the supervision of the competent authority in the country of transhipment, in a place where contact with other animals is restricted.
- If the crate is opened during transhipment, it must be resealed, and the competent authority of the transhipment country must provide a certificate/declaration detailing the circumstances. The crate must be re-sealed and the certificate/declaration must include the new seal number.
- The dog may not be eligible for import if these requirements are not met.
It is the importer’s responsibility to contact the competent authority in the country of transhipment to find out:
- whether they allow animals to tranship
- whether they have a facility to accommodate animals during transhipment
- how long the animals can be held
- if any additional conditions apply.
Dogs may be vaccinated against Leptospira interrogans serovar Canicola as an alternative to the testing outlined under Step 11. If you choose to do this, dogs must be fully vaccinated against Leptospira interrogans serovar Canicola, according to manufacturer’s recommendations (usually an initial course of two vaccines 2-4 weeks apart followed by yearly boosters), at least 14 days before export. The vaccination must be valid at the time of export.
Further guidance relating to Leptospira interrogans serovar Canicola vaccination for veterinarians preparing dogs for export to Australia is available -
Leptospira interrogans sv. Canicola vaccination guidance for veterinarians preparing dogs for export to Australia PDF [441 KB]
Leptospira interrogans sv. Canicola vaccination guidance for veterinarians preparing dogs for export to Australia DOCX [26 KB]
Singapore only: Dogs exported from Singapore must be fully vaccinated against canine influenza virus (CIV).
- Use any CIV vaccine registered in the exporting country for use in dogs.
- Use a vaccine that is effective against the particular CIV virus strain(s) prevalent in the area in which the dog has been living.
- Vaccinations must be given between 12 months and 14 days before export.
- Previously unvaccinated animals must receive a primary course in accordance with manufacturer instructions.
The department recommends that your dog also receives a vaccination that protects against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Para-influenza and Bordetella bronchiseptica and is valid for the entire post entry quarantine period.
- A government approved veterinarian must treat the dog with a topical product that kills ticks and fleas on contact at least 21 days before collecting a blood sample for Ehrlichia canis antibody testing. Continuous protection from external parasites must be maintained until the time of export and treatments may need to be repeated by the veterinarian in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions.
- To calculate 21 days after initial external parasite treatment, count the first day the treatment is applied as day 0. For example, if treatment is given 1 January then the blood sample cannot be collected until 22 January.
- At each subsequent veterinary visit, a government approved veterinarian should examine the dog for external parasites. If fleas or ticks are found they must be removed, the treatment restarted and the dog tested for Ehrlichia canis antibodies 21 days later.
- See the department’s webpage for further information on acceptable treatments.
- A government approved veterinarian must scan and verify the animal’s microchip and collect a blood sample at least 21 days after the start of external parasite treatment (Step 7) and within 45 days before the date of export. The sample must be tested for Ehrlichia canis by an Indirect Fluorescent Antibody Test (IFAT) for the detection of IgG antibodies. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests or an IFAT for the detection of IgM antibodies are not accepted.
- The test must produce a negative result at a dilution of 1:40.
- If external parasite treatments don’t give continuous protection from 21 days before the date of blood sampling for the Ehrlichia canis testing until export, the test result will be invalid and steps 7 and 8 must be repeated.
- If the dog is desexed it doesn’t need testing for brucellosis (evidence of desexing may be requested by the competent authority in the exporting country or the department).
- If the dog is not desexed, a government approved veterinarian must scan and verify the animal’s microchip and collect a blood sample to be tested for Brucella canis using a rapid slide agglutination test (RSAT), a tube agglutination test (TAT) or an indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) within 45 days before the date of export.
- The test must produce a negative result.
- The dog must not be mated or artificially inseminated from 14 days before blood sampling until export.
- A government approved veterinarian must scan and verify the animal’s microchip and collect a blood sample to be tested for Leishmania infantum using either an indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) or an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) within 45 days before the date of export.
- The test must produce a negative result.
This step only applies if the dog has not been vaccinated against Leptospira interrogans serovar Canicola as per Step 6.
- A government approved veterinarian must scan and verify the animal’s microchip and collect a blood sample to be tested for Leptospira interrogans serovar Canicola using a microscopic agglutination test (MAT) within 45 days before the date of export.
- The test must produce a negative result (less than 50% agglutination) at a serum dilution of 1:100.
If your dog has ever visited mainland Africa, a government approved veterinarian must treat it with a single dose of imidocarb dipropionate at a rate of 7.5mg/kg body weight, or two doses at a rate of 6.0 mg/kg body weight given at least 14 days apart. Treatments must be by subcutaneous injection and given within 28 days before the date of export.
A government approved veterinarian must treat the dog twice with an internal parasite treatment effective against nematodes and cestodes. Two treatments must be given at least 14 days apart and within 45 days before the date of export. The second treatment must be given within five (5) days before the date of export.
See the department’s webpage for further information on acceptable treatments.
The dog must be examined by a government approved veterinarian or official government veterinarian and found to be free from external parasites and clinical signs of infectious or contagious disease within five (5) days before export. You must bring all documents to this examination.
- The veterinary health certificate is Appendix 1 of your import permit.
- A valid import permit, with a veterinary health certificate completed by an official government veterinarian in the country of export must accompany the dog on arrival in Australia.
- An official government veterinarian must:
- complete, sign and stamp all pages of the veterinary health certificate
- give you a seal to be placed on the dog’s crate at the time of export. The seal number must be recorded on the veterinary health certificate.
- Any corrections made to the veterinary health certificate must be struck through, remain legible and be signed and stamped by the official government veterinarian (correction fluid must not be used).
- An official government veterinarian must also sign and stamp every page of the:
- Ehrlichia canis laboratory report.
- Leishmania infantum laboratory report.
- Brucella canis laboratory report (if not desexed).
- Leptospira interrogans serovar Canicola laboratory report (if not vaccinated).
- Copies can be used, but they must bear the original signature of an official government veterinarian and stamp of the competent authority on every page.
- It is recommended that you also keep a copy of every document.
Guidance for official government veterinarians preparing dogs and cats for export to Australia PDF [364 KB]
Guidance for official government veterinarians preparing dogs and cats for export to Australia DOCX [37 KB]
- The dog must travel in an International Air Transport Association (IATA) approved crate for dogs (see Step 5).
- Do not place any items, including toys, medication or items of value, in the crate as they will be destroyed after arrival in Australia as biosecurity waste.
- On the day of departure, seal the dog into the crate, using the seal supplied by the official government veterinarian.
- In most cases the dog will be checked in at the freight terminal, not the passenger terminal.
- If in exceptional circumstances the dog's crate must be opened during travel, an Official government veterinarian, airport authority, or captain of the aircraft must reseal the crate and provide a certificate to the department detailing the circumstances. The certificate should be attached to the outside of the crate before departure from the port where the seal was broken.
- The dog must arrive in Australia before the import permit expires.
- Departmental staff will collect your dog on arrival for transport directly to the Mickleham post entry quarantine facility.
- Dogs must stay at Mickleham for a minimum of 10 days. Any issues that increase biosecurity risk may result in a longer stay.
- Where a biosecurity officer deems necessary, diagnostic samples may be collected from animals in PEQ, including to verify that the import conditions continue to manage the biosecurity risks associated with the import of animals to Australia.