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Family, Children & Education

Pets in Hong Kong

Oftentimes, expats can’t bear to be separated from their furry friends. Our guide to pets in Hong Kong provides you with a helpful overview of import rules and responsibilities. Thus, you can decide whether to ship and keep your pets in Hong Kong or to leave them behind.

Owning pets in Hong Kong has become increasingly popular. If you would also like to travel to Hong Kong to start your expat life with your pet, plan ahead and give yourself enough time to complete the necessary paperwork.

Hong Kong imports of pets are regulated rather strictly. Our guide gives you an overview of import permits, relevant restrictions, and quarantine requirements for pets in Hong Kong. Additionally, we’d like to provide you with some details concerning pet care and the obligations for the owners of pets in Hong Kong.

Importing Pets to Hong Kong

Bringing pets to Hong Kong is regulated by the AFCD (the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department). Keep in mind that failure to abide by the rules of this department can lead to refusal of entry or to quarantine for your pets in Hong Kong at your own cost and risk.

Before traveling to Hong Kong with your pets, you need a special permit from the AFCD. This permit is valid for six months and allows you to bring and keep pets in Hong Kong. Make sure to apply well in advance, allowing two or three weeks for processing and mailing. You can download the necessary application form (AF240) online. However, you will have to turn in your applications in person or by mail to:

Permit & Certification Unit

Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department

Counter 10, 5th Floor

Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices

303 Cheung Sha Wan Road

Kowloon

Hong Kong

The application includes a permit fee, which you must pay with the application. The fee ranges from HKD 344 for birds, reptiles, rodents, and rabbits to HKD 432 for cats and dogs.

Requirements and Restrictions

Once you have the permit, you still need to fulfill other requirements for keeping pets in Hong Kong.  Depending on what kind of pet you own, different rules apply.

Cats and Dogs                                                                                                                                                

For cats and dogs, in addition to the special permit, you need to present the following documents upon arrival:

Furthermore, all cats and dogs have to be identifiable by microchip, which you need to declare on the health certificate. 

If you import your dogs and cats directly from a nation defined as group I and II countries by the Hong Kong administration, they are normally exempt from quarantine. Group I countries include  Australia, Fiji, Hawaii, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwand, and the UK.

There are too many countries in group II to mention them all. Some of them are Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Italy, Malaysia, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, and the USA.

If you come from any country which does not belong to either group, new pets in Hong Kong are subject to a minimum of four-month quarantine at the AFCD.  As the list of countries is subject to ongoing review, make sure to contact the AFCD in advance.

Disability assistance dogs from all countries are exempt from quarantine regulations and the requirement of six-month residency. However, you must have the dog tested for rabies anti-bodies.

You cannot import puppies or kittens, and neither can you bring pregnant animals. If your pet is still young, you may have to put it in quarantine after entering Hong Kong. For further details, please get in touch with the AFCD. 

Birds

Due to the continuing threat of avian influenza, you must provide detailed information on the health status of your pet bird. Importing a bird into Hong Kong requires a valid health certificate: It must be issued by a veterinary officer from your home country and must not date more than five days before departure. The import of birds to Hong Kong from selected countries, such as India or South Africa, is still outlawed.

Reptiles, Rodents, and Other Pets

Reptiles, rodents, and other pets in Hong Kong also require a veterinary health certificate dated no more than 14 days before the departure date. Some additional conditions apply for certain mammals (like chinchillas) and pet turtles.

In general, we recommend you to always contact the AFCD before brining your furry or feathered friends. In this way, you won’t have any hassle concerning pets in Hong Kong.

The Prior Document Checking Service checks all your import documents for pets in Hong Kong in advance. It’s a great way to be sure that nothing is missing.

 

We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

InterNations Expat Magazine