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Dogs and Cats from regions OTHER THAN designated regions

"Regions OTHER THAN designated regions": All areas other than Designated regions

 

On arrival in Japan, dogs and cats must undergo import quarantine for a set period to screen out rabies (and in the case of dogs, rabies and leptospirosis), depending on conditions. Furthermore, in order to check whether they have contracted the diseases in isolation from other animals or humans, the animals are held in the quarantine facilities of the Animal Quarantine Service (AQS). 
Please bear in mind that even when a long quarantine period is necessary, quarantine can not be allowed at any place other than the premises of AQS.
 

Importer's obligations

Importer is responsible for all aspects of importation and detention and will bear all related costs.
These include inspections and treatments in the exporting country, document preparation, pet transport, import inspection application procedures at the time of arrival in Japan, caretaking and feeding during quarantine, onsite examination and treatment by private veterinarians, procedures after the completion of inspection, and reclaiming, return and disposal of the pet. Furthermore, examination and treatment by private veterinarians will only be allowed at the detention facility.
Importers should only import pets after they understand and accept these responsibilities.

【NOTICE!】
Dogs can only be imported at the following 17 seaports and airports
:

Sea ports: Tomakomai Port, Keihin Port (Tokyo, Yokohama), Nagoya Port, Hanshin Port (Osaka, Kobe), Kanmon Port, Hakata Port, Kagoshima Port and Naha Port

Airports: Shin(New)-Chitose Airport, Narita International Airport, Tokyo International Airport (Haneda), Chubu International Airport, Kansai International Airport, Kitakyushu Airport, Fukuoka Airport, Kagoshima Airport and Naha Airport

 


What is required to the make the quarantine period less than 12 hours?

Advance notification 

Illustration:Advance notification

Regardless of the way that dogs and cats are brought to Japan (hand luggage, cargo etc.), importer must submit an Advance Notification form to the Animal Quarantine Service office in arrival air(sea)port at least 40 days prior to arrival in Japan.

After receiving the Advanced Notification, the Animal Quarantine Service office will confirm import quarantine period and availability of quarantine facility, then issue an Approval of Notification to the importer. When quaranty facility is full or other unavailable situation, Animal Quarantine Service may indicate the importer to change arrival air(sea)port or arrival date. The Approval of Notification and its Approval No. are needed on import inspection in Japan.

 

 

 

 

Import Requirements

In cases in which all of the following can be confirmed with a certificate issued by the responsible government agency of the country of export, the quarantine period on arrival will be within 12 hours: individual identification with a microchip; rabies vaccinations and rabies antibody levels; completion of a 180-day wait in the country of export.

In all other cases the quarantine period will be up to 180 days.
 

First-step: Individual identification by microchip Illustration:First Step

Dogs and cats must be individually identified by microchip.  Upon arrival in Japan, the animal's microchip number will be checked against the number on the certificate issued by the responsible government agency of the country of export. If the animal is not implanted with an ISO compliant (11784 and 11785) microchip, please bring a microchip reader with you.
 

 

 

Second-step: Rabies vaccinationIllustration:Second Step 

Dogs and cats must be immunized against rabies with inactivated or recombinant vaccines at least twice after the microchip is fitted.
The second and booster/additional rabies vaccinations must be conducted more than 31 days apart after the previous vaccination and within the effective period of the previous vaccination.

  • Rabies vaccination before microchip implantation is not valid.
  • Live vaccine is not valid.
  • Dogs or cats must be at least 91 days old at the time of rabies vaccination.

 

 

Third-step: Blood Test (Measurement of rabies antibody levels)Illustration:Third Step 

After the second vaccination, blood (serum) sample shall be taken from dogs and cats for blood test (neutralizing antibody titration test against rabies).
Then blood test against rabies must be carried out at the laboratory designated by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan.
The results of the blood test shall be equal to or greater than 0.5 IU/ml.

  • Blood sampling should be done on or after the date of second vaccination and within its effective period.
  • Blood test performed by laboratories before the recognition date by Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan is not valid.
  • The result of blood test is valid for two years after the date of blood sampling.

 

Only in case of dog, if you send the blood(serum) to the desinated laboratory in Japan, the blood(serum) must be accompanied with health certificate issued or endorsed by the responsible government agency of the exporting country. The health certificate must be certfied that "the blood(serum) is collected from dog which has been found to be free from any clinical signs of rabies and leptospirosis(or to be clinically healthy)".

We advise that you first obtain the certification forms recommended by Japan, then have the veterinarian who drawn the blood(serum) fill in the necessary items, and finally obtain endorsement from the responsible government agency of the exporting country.

 

 

 

Fourth-step: 180 days wait  Illustration:Fourth Step

Dogs and cats are required to undergo a waiting period of at least 180 days between the date of the blood sampling and the date when dogs and cats arrive in Japan.

  • Dogs or cats arriving anytime before the 180 day waiting period is completed will be subject to quarantine at the AQS facility to make up for the days in shortage.
  • If rabies vaccinations expire prior to arrival, dogs and cats must be revaccinated (given a booster/additional vaccination) before the expiring date of the prior vaccination.
    Please note when a booster/additional vaccination is conducted over the effective period of the previous vaccination, the dog or cat must be re-treated second-step: at least twice rabies vaccinations, third-step:blood test and fourth-step: 180 days wait.
  • The blood test result will remain valid for two years from the date of the blood sampling. Dogs and cats must arrive in Japan within the valid period of the blood test result.
  • If dogs and cats do not arrive in Japan within this two year period(the valid period of the blood test result), blood test will have to start over.
    This means you will have to repeat the animal’s blood test. If the second blood test result, antibody titer, is greater than or equal to 0.5 IU/ml too, the 180 day waiting period will not be required for a second time. Please note, however, that the second blood sample must be taken at least 180 days after the date of the first blood sampling date.
    Also, during stay in the exporting country, dogs and cats must be revaccinated (given a booster vaccination/additional vaccination) continuously before the expiring date of the prior vaccination.

 

 

 

Fifth-step: Certificate of export countryIllustration:Fifth Step 

Dogs and cats must be inspected and confirmed that they do not have or are not suspected of having rabies (and in the case of dogs, rabies and leptospirosis) prior to departure (whenever possible, no more than two days before departure). 

The importers need to obtain a certificate issued by the responsible government agency of the country of export stating the previous details; the First-step to the Fifth step.

We recommend you to obtain the certificate using the recommended certification forms (Form A, Form C).

 

 

 

Documents

On import inspection, importer present following documents to Animal Quarantine Service in arrival air(sea)port:

  • Original Certificate issued by the responsible government agency of the country of export (see above Fifth-step)
  • Approval of Notification
  • Other documents instructed by Animal Quarantine Service 

Application by Attorney(proxy)

When a person other than owner conduct import application procedure, the owner should present a "Power of Attorney" to Animal Quarantine Service. 

 Prior Confirmation 

For pre-import confirmation, Animal Quarantine Service strongly reccomend importer to send copies or pdf files of certificates/reference documents or its drafts by fax or e-mail to an Animal Quarantine Service office in arrival air(sea)port. This is for to prevent failure of import on import inspection for mistaken paperwork.

  • Animal Quarantine Service may contact to private veterinarian or the designated laboratory to confirm contents of the certificates without notice.
  • When some problems or mistakes are found on the certificates presented on import inspection, the dog(s) or cat(s) may be not allowed to be imported.

 

 

Health care

Please note that the animal should be kept in good health and shape prior to departure, and carefully decide on how to transport, in order to avoid accidents or sickness during the transport or import quarantine.

 

 

Import inspection on arrival in Japan 

On arrival in Japan, importer should submit the application for import inspection to the Animal Quarantine Service and have the animal inspected by an animal quarantine officer. The inspection for dogs and cats will not usually take long on the condition that the advance notification has been checked, and the animal is successfully identified and is proven to meet all conditions.

If there are any omissions in the certification or individual identification, the animal may be subject to a long import quarantine up to 180 days in quarantine facility.

 

The Animal Quarantine Service will issue an Import Quarantine Certificate on completion of the import quarantine.
 

 

 

Feeding arrangements during the quarantine periodIllustration:Lie on the dog 

It is the importer’s responsibility to take care of the animals during quarantine.
Importers are requested to take proper care of the animals to avoid and unfavourable accidents or illness due to changes in environment.
The cost of import inspection by animal quarantine officers is free but the importers must cover the cost of transportation, feed and other care, onsite veterinary treatment, return or disposal of animals. Please bear in mind that veterinary treatment has to be done at the quarantine facilities of AQS during quarantine.

There are 11 quarantine facilities throughout Japan, but caretaker agents are only based at five of them (Narita International Airport, Tokyo(Haneda) International Airport, Chubu International Airport, Kansai International Airport and Yokohama head office). At the other facilities, the importers must either take care of the animals themselves or make advance arrangements with a third party caretaker.

 

 

 Forms and Guide

 Advance Notification forms

 

 Import Application forms

  

 Recommended certification forms

We advise that you first obtain the certification forms recommended by Japan (Form A, Form C), then have the veterinarian who treated the animal fill in the necessary items, and finally obtain endorsement from the responsible government agency of the exporting country.

 

 Guides

 

 

After import into Japan (Domestic regulation)

For DOGS importers/owners in Japan

It is duty for dogs owners in Japan to do followings under the Rabies Prevention Low. For more detail information, please contact your resident municipality office.

  • To register your dog with municipality: city, town or village office
    - Within 30 days after import, bring with import quarantine certificate issued by Animal Quarantine Service to resident municipality office.
  • To have your dog vaccinated against rabies every year
    To attach a register tag and rabies vaccination tag on your dog (For example: put them on dog's collar)