Are AVID Microchips ISO Compatible for International Pet Air Travel?
Avid Microchips and International Pet Air Travel
We have been receiving a lot of questions about microchips, specifically AVID brand chips, and whether or not they are ISO compatible. In this updated article, we will review what a microchip is, why it's typically required for any animal traveling internationally, and address questions about AVID chips and ISO compatibility.
What is a Microchip and Why Does My Pet Need One?
The microchip is a tiny computer chip that has an identification number programmed into it. The chip is encased in a smooth, strong, biocompatible glass and is small enough to fit into a hypodermic needle. Once an animal is injected with the chip, it can be identified throughout their life by this one-of-a-kind number. Their identification cannot be lost, altered, or intentionally removed.
The chip is typically implanted subcutaneously between your pet's shoulder blades. The process does not require any sedation or anesthesia, as the needle used to insert the chip is no bigger than any normal vaccination needle. Aside from a little initial swelling from the injection itself, you will not be able to see or feel the chip afterward. The chip is inert, smooth, and biocompatible, so there is no chance of the body rejecting the microchip or developing an allergy.
The inspectors will scan the chip at the port of export and entry. It is one of the ways countries can control disease—so they always know who is coming and going and what sort of vaccinations they have had.
AVID Chips and ISO Compatibility - Updated Information
AVID Standard chips (9 digit format such as XXXXXXXXX) are not ISO compatible due to their encryption (they were produced early on). AVID Euro Chips are, in fact, ISO compatible and will work in various countries, and are 10-digit chips.
However, some countries, such as Hong Kong, still require that all pets coming into Hong Kong be chipped with an AVID Standard chip (9 digits). Animals that are already chipped with an ISO-compatible chip (such as AVID Euro or HomeAgain) may enter the country with a non-AVID Standard chip; however, Hong Kong will re-chip the pets upon arrival in Hong Kong with the AVID Standard chip. This is a compulsory government rule (similar to compulsory rabies shot upon arrival in Hong Kong) and cannot be avoided.
Updated Information (2023): The ISO is currently addressing the worldwide and growing problem of chip cloning or duplication, which takes place regularly with 15 digit chips. The new standard is # 14223, which details encryption as a method of prevention. This update reflects the latest developments in microchip technology and ISO standards.
In summary, while the attempts at an international standard are good in concept, the practical issues are even more important. The US had a huge infrastructure of microchip technology in place for ten years before ISO wrote standards. The reason there was an immediate ANNEX (A) to the standard was that a huge installed base in Europe and elsewhere already existed and continues today. The EU did a very noteworthy and commendable thing by recognizing this base.
If you have more questions about microchips or are ready to learn more about pricing, logistics, and other pet travel details, complete our consultation form.