Exiting from China with Pets
This information is provided only as a reference. The information here is a compilation of the exit process based on interviews with the Entry/Exit Bureau and with PetTour clients who have recently departed China with their pets.
Step 1: Rabies Vaccinations and the Official Vaccination Immunity Certificate
Check vaccination requirements for the country to which you are relocating. Requirements on vaccinations may vary country-by-country. Owners must check with the embassy or Department of Agriculture or Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of the country to which the pets are relocating for accurate guidelines on vaccination requirements. Generally, vaccination dates should be over one month but less than one year before departure. Owners relocating to the United States must have their pets vaccinated at least one-month before but no more than 12-months prior to entering the USA. Owners should also check to make sure that pets receive required distemper vaccinations prior to departure.
To exit from China, the Entry/Exit Quarantine Bureau of the PRC requires that all animals must have been rabies vaccinated at an official animal vaccination hospital in the PRC and have the official Vaccination Immunity Certificate (e.g., in Beijing, it is the “vaccination red book”). The rabies vaccination must have been administered at least 30-days before departure date but no more than 12-months before the departure date.
For any pet owners who may be leaving China within the next 6-months or more and have not yet had their pets vaccinated for rabies or canine/feline distemper, the International Center for Veterinary Services (PetTour) is a legally authorized Rabies Vaccination Animal Hospital in Beijing that can provide official rabies, distemper and other vaccinations for your pets. PetTour can issue an official vaccination immunity certificate or “vaccination red book” for each pet. This “vaccination red book” will be needed as official proof that pets have been rabies vaccinated and will also be required to obtain the official “Animal Health Certificate” needed for exit.
PetTour strongly recommends owners to have their pets undergo a complete health exam at the time of vaccinations or before departure to ensure that pets are fit for travel. The stresses of travel and potential exposure to transmissible diseases from other animals during transit pose very real health risks for pets. PetTour veterinarians and medical staff can to assist pets and their owners to help minimize travel related health risks.
Please call PetTour reception to schedule an appointment for your pet’s vaccinations and to receive your official “vaccination red books.”
PetTour Reception: (8610) 5979-2414/2434. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Step 2: Health examination for exit
After your pets have received their vaccinations and the official “vaccination red books” at PetTour, pet owners will need to schedule an appointment for an exit health examination for their pets at the designated government quarantine bureau animal hospital, Guan Shang. Owners can schedule the exit health examination 7-days prior to the date of the animal’s departure from China. Your pets will undergo a brief examination that may include blood tests, urine and stool checks. Once completed, you will be issued a “Beijing International Companion Animal Health Inspection Form,” which is required to obtain the official “Animal Health Certificate” from the Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau. Fees will be charged for the examination and the tests. Owners are advised to bring cash (e.g., RMB 800.00+ per pet) at the time of the visit.
NOTE: The quarantine bureau animal hospital may refuse appointments for the health exam that are scheduled earlier than 7-days before departure.
Step 3: “Animal Health Certificate” (e.g., exit permit)
Guan Shang Animal Hospital will inform you of the location of the main office of the Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau where you will need to go within 7-days prior to departure from China with your pet. You will be issued the official “Animal Health Certificate” (e.g., exit permit) for your pet at this government office. Bring your “vaccination red book” from PetTour, the “Beijing International Companion Animal Health Inspection Form,” and any other official documents to the Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau. Please note that the “Animal Health Certificate” is good for 14 days once issued. Please check with Guan Shang Animal Hospital and the Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau for the latest updates on how long the health certificate is valid once issued. It is not uncommon for these government agencies to revise their policies without prior notice.
Microchipping of animals is NOT REQUIRED BY THE AUTHORITIES IN BEIJING TO EXIT FROM CHINA at this time. Microchipping is required by most European Union countries. The United States DOES NOT require pets to be microchipped in order to be allowed entry into the continental United States. Please check with the USDA or CDC (e.g., check web site, etc.) for regulations regarding the export of animals to Hawaii as quarantine regulations are much more strict than for that of the continental USA.
Please check with the embassy or department of agriculture of the country to which your pets are relocating to find out more about microchipping requirements, etc.
PetTour can help insert microchips for all pets. Please call PetTour for more information about microchipping.
Rabies Antibody Titre Testing:
To our knowledge, all European Union countries require rabies antibody titre testing for pets entering into the EU. The United States does not, at this time, require rabies antibody titre testing for pets (e.g, dogs and cats) entering into the continental USA.
However, all owners must check if the country to which their pets are relocating requires rabies antibody titre testing as regulations may change without notice. Animals should have been vaccinated for rabies at least 4- to 7-months prior to departure. One month after the rabies vaccination, your pet’s blood needs to be sampled and the separated serum taken to the official laboratory in the country to which your pet is relocating for rabies antibody titre testing.
PetTour can help draw the blood sample and prepare the serum separation. The serum separation is given to owners in a sealed test-tube and is usually hand-carried by owners to the approved laboratory in the country to which the animal is relocating. As the serum is a “biological sample,” the international courier companies have declined to send these samples in the past. Owners may wish to check with the courier companies again to see if these restrictions have been lifted. The serum must be kept refrigerated until it reaches the laboratory. Please check with the official laboratory in the country to which your pets are relocating for further details and requirements.
Some EU countries have approved of a laboratory based in Japan to which owners may deliver their serum samples for the rabies antibody titre tests. Please check online or with the embassy of your destination country to determine if you are eligible to bring your serum samples to the laboratory in Japan for the rabies antibody titre test.