Often, when you have to relocate to Singapore temporarily or permanently, it seems much better to give your pet away, having heard various stories about the long and complicated process of filing papers, tedious flights, long quarantine hours and difficulties in renting a place to stay. While there are various veterinary procedures and specific regulations to abide by, bringing your dog or your cat to Singapore is not as impossible as it sounds.
Here’s a simple guide to prepare you and your pet for a smooth immigration process to settling down in the little red dot.
Check if the breed is allowed in Singapore and your place of residence
It goes without saying that the first thing you should do is make sure that your pet does not belong to a breed that is restricted in Singapore and that having a pet does not break any rules set by your building’s management. You might also want to check if there would be sufficient facilities in the building for you to care for your pet.
Check if your pet needs to be quarantined, and book a quarantine space if needed.
If your pet comes from a country other than Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and Ireland, you must book a quarantine space for your pet 3 to 6 months before your import permit application can be processed. To apply for quarantine space, approach the Jurong Animal Quarantine Station (JAQS) at the address below:
53, Jalan Buroh, Singapore 619495 | Tel: (65) 6268-0658 | Fax: (65) 6266-2985
It is mandatory for all dogs to have a microchip implanted. A microchip the size of a rice grain is injected under your dog’s skin, and each microchip contains its own individual number that is registered to an international database and stores your canine’s date of birth, breed, name, colour, and owner’s details. The procedure will cause your dog slight discomfort, but it is otherwise painless, and helps to track down lost dogs, as well as trace and control the spread of disease.
Apply for an import license and customs permit
Prior to the import of your pet, you need to apply for an Agri-food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) import license at lease 2 weeks before the date of import, and a customs permit. The form (“Application for Permit to Import Animals/Birds as Personal Pets”) can be downloaded from the AVA website, and sent by post or fax to:
The Director-General, Agri-food and Veterinary Authority, Regulatory Services Branch, 5 Maxwell Road #02-00, Tower Block MND Complex, Singapore 069110 | Tel: (65) 62270670 | Fax: (65) 62276305
The AVA import license costs SGD 50, and is valid for 30 days from the date of approval.
Obtain a veterinary health certificate
A veterinary health certificate needs to be obtained from an official government veterinarian in the country of export. You should also prepare the original vaccination records and original report of blood tests for rabies antibody levels. Date of inspection must not be more than 7 days from the date of entry into Singapore.
If you have a dog, you would need to vaccinate it against canine distemper, canine hepatitis and canine parvovirus infection not more than between two weeks and one year prior to entry.
Get your pet inspected upon arrival and into quarantine
Contact the Quarantine Office (stated in the AVA import licence) 5 days before your pet’s arrival. Upon arrival in Singapore, head to a special room next to the lost luggage department and produce the necessary documents (import license, veterinary health certificate, etc.) to the staff. An AVA officer will proceed to inspect the pet.
Your pet will be brought into the quarantine station, and regardless of whether it has been vaccinated before the import, it will be given a vaccination against rabies and quarantined for no less than 30 days for observation, and possibly longer if found to be infected with rabies.
It is possible to visit your pet while it is in quarantine, but visitation time slots have to be booked two days in advance and the walking timetable is generally quite strict, as dogs are not allowed to run into each other either in the corridors or outside.
The process outlined above may seem intimidating, but rest assured that it is no more difficult than applying for a working holiday or permanent resident visa. And the payoff is having your furry best friend or family member with you in Singapore to make your move less lonely!
Did the article help to answer your questions about bringing your pet over to Singapore? Or, perhaps you’ve been through the process and have more tips or experiences to share? We welcome your comments in the section below!