The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) exercises a range of strategies to safeguard the introduction and spread of animal diseased in Singapore. For people wanting to import their pets, there are strict rules and regulations to follow. For further information you can see the attached fact sheet on import procedures here.
The first step for importing a pet is to get an import license from AVA within 30 days prior to the date of arrival. Please allow two working days to process the license after receiving the application and all supporting documents, and the license is valid for 30 days from the date of issue. For mixed breed dogs photos are required that clearly show the face and body, to help AVA verify it is not a breed that is prohibited from import into Singapore.
It is required that all dogs over three months of age are to be licensed with AVA. There are additional regulations for certain breeds of dogs, so please check the detailed requirements here.
There are certain conditions and requirements for the import of both dogs and cats, including health certification, quarantine and inspections by AVA. Based on the country of origin, there are certain restrictions on import of pets, which are broken down into four separate groups. Thailand is in Category D. The full list of import requirements for Category D Countries is here
Pets arriving from a Category D countries are required to go into quarantine on arrival in Singapore. This facility is typically heavily overbooked, so plan to make your reservations at least 3 months before your planned arrival in Singapore. You will also need the appropriate customs permits to be able to clear your pets through the checkpoints, and the appropriate documentation.
All pets coming to Singapore from a Category D country are required to have a rabies antibody titre test, and the process must follow an OIE-prescribed method. Successful results must be greater than 0.5IU/ml. You can carry out the test at any laboratory that can test according to an OIE-prescribed method. The AVA lab at the Animal and Plant Health Centre can carry out the rabies virus antibody indirect ELISA test, which is also an acceptable method for testing imported pets.
There are special processes that must be followed regarding the import of assistance dogs, you can see the full details here.
To transship your pets through Singapore, you need to get a Transshipment Licence from AVA. This licence will be valid for 30 days from the date of issue. Applicants must produce a copy of the health certificate and valid rabies vaccination (for dogs and cats only) as supporting documentation. Additional documents such as copy of the import permit or import license from the importing country may be required, it depends on the final country of destination. If your transit is longer than four hours your pet will be transferred either to the Changi Animal and Plant Quarantine (CAPQ) or the airline’s animal holding area.
The main stations for importing pets into Singapore
All pets coming through Changi International Airport must be inspected at Changi Animal and Plant Quarantine Station (CAPQ). The following processes must be followed in order for pets to be successfully brought into Singapore.
First, the owner must notify Changi Animal and Plant Quarantine (CAPQ) of the confirmed pet import at least five working days before the pets scheduled arrival. All information needs to be provided, alongside the confirmed flight details and the import license number, and the owner’s details.
If your pet is imported as manifested cargo, when you arrive at the Changi Airfreight Centre, you have to present your AVA import license along with photo identification to get a visitor pass at the entrance of the cargo complex. From here you need to head to the relevant cargo office of the airline that brought your pet to Singapore and produce all required documentation that accompanies your pet, including original copies of their health certificate, vaccination records, original rabies serology test results, the airway bill of lading and if applicable a Captain’s declaration. From here you will be able to collect your pet and take them for inspection and clearance. Do not take your pet out of their travel kennel at this stage.
If you accompany your pet on the flight, or bring them as excess baggage you need to go to the Lost and Found counter and surrender your pet to the staff, and sign the handing over form. You are not allowed to take your pet out of the customs/immigration area of the arrival hall, instead the staff will transfer them to the AVA CAPQ office for inspection and clearance. Proceed to the CAPQ office yourself with the original health certificates, original vaccination records, original rabies serology test results and your pets AVA import licence.
At the CAPQ office the AVA officer will verify all of your documentation, and visually inspect your pet to ensure it is clinically healthy, in addition to verifying its microchip number. Pets that require quarantine on arrival in Singapore will be held at CAPQ after this veterinary inspection, and they will be transported to Sembawang Animal Quarantine Station (SAQS) to undergo quarantine.
Please note that there is a huge demand for quarantine space and it’s recommended you book and apply for quarantine space at least three months ahead of your pets anticipated arrival in Singapore. There’s a simple online application you can follow to use the Quarantine Management System, so long as you have their microchip number, valid rabies vaccination reports and serology test reports.