Relocating Pets In and Out of China
Moving your pet to or from China can seem quite daunting at first glance due to the strict import rules and quarantine requirements.
There's a welcome “however” though: while China’s regulations are confusing, the good news is that there are several options for leaving and entering China that are safe for pets – whether quarantine is included or not.
Read on to learn how relocating pets to China can be safe and routine with the right knowledge and preparation.
Ready to discuss a specific plan for your pet? Contact us to set up a consultation with our dedicated China team!
Pet Import Requirements for China
Chinese import protocols are quite strict when it comes to pets, as different cities and provinces require different items from owners (visas, passport copies, etc.) or ways of entry (manifest cargo, excess baggage, in-cabin). It's normal to have questions and to feel a little overwhelmed at first.
To start, all of China requires that all pets have a rabies vaccination within a year of departure and older than 30 days at the time of travel. Furthermore, there is a strict one pet per passport rule that cannot be avoided if entering China directly.
Many major cities in China also require that dog owners obtain a dog license once the dog has arrived into the city. Beijing even requires this document prior to export, so if you’re planning on eventually leaving China with your dog it may be a good idea to look into obtaining a dog license upon arrival. This document can be obtained by paying a visit to the local police station with your dog along with your passport, visa, and local address in hand.
Moving Multiple Pets to China
So what happens if you have more than one pet? You’re not out of luck, as there are two options for importing multiple pets into China:
Use another relative or friend’s passport(s) to import your other pet(s)
Enter China through Hong Kong
The options above also depend on your destination city in China. If you have multiple pets, reach out to your PetRelocation Consultant to determine the best option for your family. (For reference, here's the story of two happy cats who moved to Shanghai with us last summer.)
Pet Quarantine in Shanghai
Many cities in China, including Beijing and Shanghai, require up to 30 days of quarantine for pets upon entry.
In Shanghai, though the facility is basic, the quarantine station offers safe accommodations for pets. Here are a few helpful facts about the facility:
The units pets stay in are air conditioned and clean.
There’s an outdoor area for dogs and a cattery for cats.
Pets are fed twice a day and dogs are walked regularly.
While visitation is not allowed for security purposes, local contacts are welcome to call the facility to check in on pets throughout their stay.
How to Avoid Quarantine in China
Avoiding pet quarantine in China, while possible, can be a little complicated. As mentioned previously, going through Hong Kong is an option for entering China. By following Hong Kong’s strict import rules, we are able to avoid quarantine in China altogether.
Pet Export Requirements for Leaving China
When you're ready to leave China, there is no pre-export quarantine for pets. This makes the process a little smoother, although it can still be tricky based on the city from which your pet is departing.
Regardless of the city, your pet will need to have a completed vaccination booklet (with stickers) from a Chinese vet, a health certificate, and an export permit. In most Chinese cities, the health certificate can only be obtained by going to a government-approved vet or a government vet, who also issues the export permit.
Because some cities require a copy of your physical passport to be present at the time of check-in for your pet, we highly recommend traveling after your pet has departed to avoid any issues with your own departure.