EasySZ: How To Exist From China With Your Pets?

Now Shenzhen   |   August 29, 2022

It is never too early to begin preparations for overseas travel with your pets. Whether you brought your beloved pets with you to China or adopted your pets locally, we encourage pet owners to learn about exit requirements at the point of adoption and even before importing pets into China. Even for pet owners who are unsure of the final departure date or destination country, preparation can make all the difference for a smooth departure and being able to take your pets with you when the time comes to leave China.

Every country has pet “import requirements,” and preparation and planning may take anywhere from 3 to 8 months or more to meet import requirements. Moreover, pet “export requirements” for every country to allow a live animal to be taken out of the current government. It is not guaranteed that live animals will be permitted to leave the current country or be allowed into the destination country. These decisions are in line with the PRC Quarantine Bureau requirements to allow live animals to be exported from China (exiting China) and in line with the Agricultural or Quarantine Bureau requirements of the destination country to allow live animals to be imported.

China allows one pet to be imported per passport holder. Multiple pets may be exported. If you have numerous pets, contact ICVS or a professional pet relocation agent for details on how to take your pets out of China legally.

Step 1: Rabies Vaccinations and the Official Vaccination Immunity Certificate

Complete rabies vaccination and obtain the official PRC Animal Health and Immunity Certificate certifying the pet is rabies vaccinated at least 30-days before departure date but not more than 12 months before departure

Animals departing China must be rabies vaccinated at an officially designated animal rabies vaccination hospital in the PRC. They must have the official “PRC Animal Health and Immunity Certificate” (e.g., red vaccination book) with the stamp/chop of the issuing hospital.

Owners should keep good records of the pet’s local vaccinations upon adoption or arrival in Beijing. By law, all dogs must be rabies vaccinated annually in the PRC. Cats should also receive annual rabies vaccinations. China does not recognize the 2- or 3-year rabies vaccines from other countries, so pets must be vaccinated annually. ICVS is an officially designated animal rabies vaccination hospital in the PRC. It can provide legal rabies, distemper, and all other vaccinations for all pets and issue the official Animal Health and Immunity Certificate (e.g., vaccination red book) required for pet export.

Step 2: Health Examination and Official Exit Health Certificate

Undergo the mandatory official exit health examination for your pet  7-10 days before departure date at the government-run Entry-Exit Inspection & Quarantine Bureau animal hospital (If going to EU countries, please take dogs for the exit health examination at 7-days before the departure date. Cats may be taken for the exit health examination 7-10 days before the departure date.)

After your pets have completed rabies and all other vaccinations and have obtained the official “vaccination red books,” pet owners may take their pets for the official exit health examination at the designated government Quarantine Bureau animal hospital 7-10 days before the animal’s departure date from China. Pets will undergo a brief physical examination, including mandatory blood tests and stool checks. Once completed, you will be issued an “International Companion Animal Health Inspection Certificate” (Official Health Certificate), which is required to then obtain the official “Animal Exit Permit” from the Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau. Fees will be charged for the examination and the tests. Owners should bring the pet, the red vaccination book, passport or photocopy (one passport per pet), rabies antibody titer test report (for EU and other countries that require the test), and cash at the time of the visit.

Step 3: “Animal Exit Permit”

Apply for the exit permit from the Customs Bureau after receiving the official exit health certificate

The exit health certificate is submitted to the Customs Bureau to obtain the official “Animal Exit Permit.” Customs Bureau will require your pet’smAnimal Health and Immunity Certificate (e.g., “vaccination red book”), the exit health certificate, and your original passport (passport copies are not accepted). Pets must now be presented at the Customs Bureau for final examination and microchip scanning before the exit permit will be released to owners. The exit permit fee is about RMB 350.00, is now processed in 2-4 business days, and is valid for 14-days once issued. Please confirm the latest regulations with the Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau for exit requirements and permit validity periods. Government agencies may revise policies at any time without prior notice. Once you receive the exit permit, pet owners have 14-days to take pets overseas.

Please note:
 Most airlines and countries have regulations that require pets to enter within 10-days of the issue date of the exit permit. Please check with your destination country’s airline and quarantine bureau to confirm the maximum number of days you have to arrive on a valid exit permit. For pets traveling to EU countries and the UK, the pet must enter into the EU/UK within ten days of the issue date of the international travel health certificate and exit permit (one document issued by the Customs Bureau after completing the final customs declaration).