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Import dogs and cats into Japan (from Non-designated regions)

To import dogs and cats from Non-designated regions, they must meet import requirements such as microchip implanting, at least two times rabies vaccinations, rabies antibody test, and 180-day waiting.

And you need to obtain certificates, which certify necessary information, issued by the government agency of the exporting country.

Contact list of Animal Quarantine Service at airport or seaport(PDF:107KB)

 

Import guide

In the beginning, please read the import guide.

  • Import guide (Non-designated regions)

Import guide from non-designated regionsEnglish(PDF:1,367KB), 中文/Chinese(PDF:1,406KB), Korean(PDF:1,516KB), Japanese(PDF:1,769KB) 

 

Flow chart 

flowchart_nonfree_en

 

 Step 1  Microchip implanting 

microchip

Dogs and cats must be identified by a microchip before the first rabies vaccination. 

  • The microchip should comply with ISO 11784 and 11785 (15 digit microchip code consists only of numbers).
  •  Make sure the microchip number can be read by a microchip reader at veterinary hospitals.

 

(Precautions)

  • In case that the microchip implanted is not ISO standards, you should contact Animal Quarantine Service at the expected port of entry.
  • If our microchip reader cannot read the non-ISO microchip, you need to prepare a reader which can read it.

 

F.A.Q. about microchip is here

 

 Step 2  Rabies vaccinations (twice or more)  

rabies_vaccinations

Dogs and cats must be vaccinated against rabies twice or more after the microchip implanting.

 

(Timing of rabies vaccination)

First rabies vaccination

  • At least 91days old at the time of vaccination (the date of birth is counted as day 0)
  • After the microchip implanting (including the same day of implanting)

 

Second rabies vaccination

  • More than 30days apart from the first vaccination (the date of the first one is counted as day 0)
  • Within the effective period of the first vaccination

*Effective period is not the expiration date for use of the vaccine, but the duration of immunity.

 

(Acceptable vaccines)

  • Inactivated (killed) virus vaccine  or recombinant / modified vaccine  

 

(Precautions)

  • If the effective period of the rabies vaccination will expire before arrival in Japan, an additional rabies vaccination must be administered within the period.
  • The rabies vaccination administered after the effective period of the previous one is not accepted as an ‘additional vaccination’. The importer must start the procedures from the first rabies vaccination.
  • Rabies vaccination conducted before microchip implantation is invalid, but it may be accepted under certain conditions(PDF:190KB)
  • Live virus vaccine is not accepted.

 

F.A.Q. about rabies vaccinations is here 

  

 Step 3  Rabies antibody test (serological test) 

antibody_test

Rabies antibody test must be performed at one of the designated laboratories.

Blood sample for the test must be drawn after the second rabies vaccination.

(The second rabies vaccination and blood sampling can be performed on the same day.)

 

 

(Precautions)

  • The blood sample must be drawn within the effective period of the rabies vaccination.
  • We will check the result report of the antibody test at the time of import inspection.
  • If there is no designated laboratory in your country, you need to send the blood sample to one of the designated laboratories in other countries.
  • If you send a dog’s blood sample to the designated laboratory in Japan, it must be accompanied by an inspection certificate issued by the government agency of exporting country.

You can use the recommended certification form for serum of dog(s). PDF(PDF:105KB) , Word(ワード:123KB)

  • If you send dog’s or cat’s blood sample to a designated laboratory in other country, please make sure export and import procedures of each country in advance.
  • As to how to apply for the antibody test, please ask the designated laboratory which you use.
  • If the antibody titer is less than 0.5 IU/ml, the dog or cat must be retested.

 

F.A.Q. about rabies antibody test is here

  

 Step 4  Waiting period (180 days or more)  

180days_waiting

Dogs and cats are required to arrive in Japan after 180 days have passed from the date of blood sampling for the rabies antibody test.

In addition, the arrival date in Japan must be within ‘the expiry period of the rabies vaccine administered’ and ‘the validity period of the rabies antibody test (2 years from the date of blood sampling)’.

(The date of blood sampling is counted as day 0).

 

Dogs and cats whose waiting has passed less than 180 days will be subject to quarantine at a detention facility of Animal Quarantine Service for the period to make up the shortage.

 

(Precautions)

  • If unable to arrive in Japan within the validity period of the rabies antibody test, the second rabies antibody test must be carried out and the dog or cat must arrive in Japan within the validity period of the second test.
  • If the following three conditions are all met, another 180-day waiting after the second test is not required.
  • The effective period from the first rabies vaccination continues until arrival in Japan with necessary additional rabies vaccinations.
  • The date of blood sampling for the second test is at least 180 days after the date of blood sampling for the first rabies antibody test.
  • The antibody titer is 0.5 IU/ml or more in all the tests.

 

F.A.Q. about waiting period is here

 

 Step 5  Advance notification  

notification

<Advance notification>

Applicants must notify Animal Quarantine Service at the expected port of entry not less than 40 days before arrival in Japan.

 

You can submit the notification form by mail, fax, or e-mail.

Or notification can be made online through the NACCS.

 

 

<Approval of Import Inspection of Animals>

  • Animal Quarantine Service will issue an ‘Approval of Import Inspection of Animals’ (Approval Form) to the applicant if there is no problem in the notification.
  • You need to print out the Approval form because it is necessary at the check-in counter and at the time of import inspection.

 

<Modification on notification>

In case of any changes in the notification, you need to submit a ‘Modification on Notification of Import of Animals’ by mail, fax, or e-mail to Animal Quarantine Service.

 

In case that you submitted the notification via NACCS, modification must be made through NACCS, too.

 

(Precautions)

  • Dogs can enter Japan only through the designated airports and seaports.
  • In principle, a notification submitted less than 40 days before arrival in Japan is not accepted.
  • Please submit copy of some documents (e.g. result report of rabies antibody test, export quarantine certificate if the dog or cat has been exported from Japan) with the advance notification to facilitate procedures.
  • Modifications of ‘moving up arrival date after submitting the notification’, ‘increasing the number of heads’, ‘replacing with different animals’, and ‘any change after the scheduled arrival date’ are not accepted in principle.
  • If there are any unclear points or deficiencies in the notification, we may not issue the Approval form.
  • In case that the detention facility is fully occupied, you may need to change the arrival date or the port of entry.

*Detention fasility for cats at Haneda Airport Branch has been full.

 

F.A.Q. about advance notification is here  

 

(Monitoring survey for rabies antibody)

We carry out monitoring survey to verify import quarantine system at Narita international airport, Haneda airport, Chubu international airport, and Kansai international airport.

If your dog is randomly selected for the subject, we will announce you about it.

  

 Step 6  Clinical inspection before departure (pre-export inspection)  

clinical_inspection

Before leaving the exporting country, dogs and cats must undergo a clinical inspection by a veterinarian.

 

(Contents of clinical inspection)

  • Dogs and cats have been found to be free from any clinical signs of rabies.
  • In case of dogs, also the dogs have been found to be free from any clinical signs of leptospirosis.

 

 Step 7  Obtaining certificates issued by the government agency of the exporting country 

certificate

Applicants must obtain certificates issued by the government agency (corresponding to Animal Quarantine service in Japan) of the exporting country.

 

(Required information in the certificates)

(1)Individual information (including date of birth or age)

(2)Microchip number and date of implanting →Step 1

(3)Date of rabies vaccinations, effective period, kind of vaccine, product name and manufacturer of vaccine →Step 2

(4)Date of blood sampling for a rabies antibody test, antibody titer, and name of designated laboratory→Step3] 

(5)Result and date of clinical inspection (pre-export inspection) →Step 6

 

Using the recommended certification form (Form A, Form C) makes it possible for the importer to fill in the required information without any omissions.

 

(How to fill out Form A and Form C)

1. The owner (or exporter) fills in Form A.

2. The private veterinarian who performed the treatments fills in Form C.

3. Both Form A and Form C must be endorsed by the government agency of the exporting country.

 

(Precautions)

  • Do not use pencils or erasable ink to fill in the certificates.
  • Use of correcting fluid or correction tape is not acceptable.
  • If there are any deficiencies in the certificates, the dog or cat will be subject to detention quarantine for up to 180 days or will be shipped back or euthanized. In order to prevent any errors in the certificates, we recommend you to send copy of the certificates to us in advance so that we check them.

 

F.A.Q. about obtaining certificates is here 

  

 Step 8  Import inspection  

import_inspection

Dogs and cats must be inspected by Animal Quarantine Service upon arrival in Japan.

 

Importer must apply for import inspection to Animal Quarantine Service upon arrival in Japan.

If no problems are found in the import inspection, we will issue an import quarantine certificate for the dog or cat.

In case that the dog or cat doesn’t meet import requirements, it will be subject detention quarantine for up to 180 days or will be returned or euthanized.

 

(Necessary documents)

  • Approval of import Inspection of Animals
  • Certificates issued by the government agency of the exporting country (original) →Step 7
  • Result report of rabies antibody test →Step 3
  • (For cargo transportation)Application for Import Inspection (you can use online system ‘NACCS’), and a copy of Air Waybill or Bill of lading
  • Power of attorney (if an agent, other than a customs broker, do the import procedures instead of the owner)
  • Other documents that Animal Quarantine Service requires

 

 Detention quarantine inspection

Dogs and cats which don’t meet import requirements including certification deficiency will be subject to quarantine at a detention facility of Animal Quarantine Service for the necessary period (up to 180 days). 

  Illustration:Lie on the dog

The importer is responsible for caretaking, feeding, and all the costs during quarantine.

The importer can entrust the caretaking and feeding duties to a caretaker company at your expense.

Detention facilities where a caretaking company is stationed: Narita branch, Haneda Airport branch, Yokohama head office, and Kansai Airport branch.

 

(Precautions)

  •  During quarantine, dogs and cats cannot be brought out of the detention facility under any circumstances, except when the dog or cat is returned to the exporting country.
  • If necessary, a veterinarian can visit at the detention facility for medical treatments.
  • Visiting your dog or cat during quarantine is allowed, but the visiting hours and visitors are restricted.
  • If symptoms of rabies or, for dogs, leptospirosis is observed, the quarantine period may be extended and some additional examinations may be conducted.
  • For dogs and cats scheduled to be subject to detention quarantine, vaccinations (combination vaccine) and deworming treatment should be performed in advance

 

 

 Designated airports and seaports where import of dogs is allowed

Dogs can be imported only through the following ports.

(Airport)

New Chitose airport, Narita international airport, Haneda airport, Chubu International airport, Kansai International airport, Kitakyusyu airport, Fukuoka airport, Kagoshima airport, Naha airport

(Seaport)

Tomakomai seaport, Keihin seaport (Tokyo, Yokohama), Nagoya seaport, Hanshin seaport (Osaka, Hyogo), Kanmon seaport, Hakata seaport, Kagoshima seaport, Naha seaport

 

If you import cats or come with your assistance dog (guide dogs, service dogs, and hearing dogs regulated by law in Japan) through a port other than listed above, please contact Animal Quarantine Service in advance.

 

(Reference) Necessary procedures after import into Japan 

  • We cannot reissue the import quarantine certificate. You need to keep the certificate because it is necessary when you export the dog or cat that has been imported into Japan. If you are planning to export the dog or cat, please make early contact with Animal Quarantine Service at a port of departure.
  • For dog’s importer, you need to bring the import quarantine certificate to the municipality, where the imported dog is kept, for registration within 30days of import.
  • Dogs must be vaccinated against rabies once a year under the Rabies Prevention Law in Japan. For further information, contact the municipality office.
  • The microchip number (currently only those in accordance with ISO standards) can be registered domestically with the import quarantine certificate. For further information, contact AIPO (Animal ID Promotion Organization).

(AIPO office)TEL:03-3475-1695, FAX:03-3475-1697