Breaking News:  Avian Flu Outbreak in Hong Kong Causes Ban on Import/Export of Birds

On Tuesday, there was an outbreak of Avian flu (bird flu) in Yuen Long, Hong Kong. Because of this outbreak, Hong Kong's AFCD has confirmed that there is a total ban on the import and export of any live birds for at least 21 days. The officer has also made it clear that the chances of a ban being extended past the 21 day mark are extremely high.

We're currently working on sending an African Grey parrot named Pax to Vietnam via Hong Kong in January.

Stay posted to the PetRelocation Blog for more pet travel updates regarding this.


PetRelocation Team





Add a Comment

By on July 21, 2009 at 8:55 pm


Thank you very much for your response.

I will most assuredly not be going through Hong Kong coming from San Francisco to Vietnam.

I was hoping I could find a non-stop flight from either SFO or LAX to SGN but there apparently aren't any.

I really don't like the idea of my son Casper the Cockatoo having to ride in the baggage compartment.

I notice that UAL in particular does apparently allow some pets in the passenger compartment and I think Casper would fit in one of those under the seat carriers.

If I have to I'll ship him in the baggage compartment.

What concerns me at this point is:

 "you'll need to apply for a CITES in Vietnam.  This usually takes a couple of weeks to obtain.  You'll also need to get the Vietnam import permit in advance -- they require a copy of the US CITES permit as well as the health certificate to obtain this."

If I already have a US Cites "animal passport", why do I have to apply for one from Vietnam?

Is the Vietnsamese CITES the Vietnam Import permit you mentioned?

Could you tell me the name of the Government agency in Ho Chi Min City so that I can speak with them directly about necessary paperwork? I don't speak Vietnamese but my girl friend does.

Finally could you recommend a country that would be easier to transit through then Hong Kong?

Thank you very much again for your advice.

If I could afford to pay you folks to handle it for me I would.

I do not have much money, in fact one of the reasons I'm moving to Vietnam is I can't afford to live in San Francisco anymore.

Best Regards,

Don Snowdon



By on March 3, 2017 at 1:37 pm

Hi Don,

We moved Pax for our client from DC to Hanoi about a year ago.  Once you get the CITES from the US FWS, you'll need to apply for a CITES in Vietnam.  This usually takes a couple of weeks to obtain.  You'll also need to get the Vietnam import permit in advance -- they require a copy of the US CITES permit as well as the health certificate to obtain this.

Should you plan on transiting through any countries, which is highly likely if you are trying to get to Ho Chi Minh, you'll have to comply by the transit country's terms for transit of pet birds.

Below are the requirements for transit through Hong Kong:


Permit Terms for Importation/Transhipment of Pet Birds

1.         The permittee must notify the Import & Export Officer during office hours (Tel. 21821001 Fax. 2769 8600) at least two working days in advance of the anticipated time of arrival. Failure to do so may result in delay in the inspection and release of the birds.

2.         The birds must be transported by the fastest and most direct route from the exporting country/place to or through Hong Kong as MANIFESTED CARGO by air.

3.         The birds must be carried and caged (with labels) in accordance with the current Live Animals Regulations of IATA (International Air Transport Association) and in such a way as to ensure humane management at all times.

4.         The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance, Cap. 169, the Public Health (Animals & Birds) Ordinance, Cap. 139, Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, Cap. 586 and all other relevant legislation must be fully complied with.

5.         The birds must be accompanied by a valid health certificate issued by a veterinary officer in full time employment of the government of exporting country/place. The details of rank, address, telephone number of the veterinary officer should be provided.  The health certificate should be dated not more than 5 days before departure from that country/place and must include the following certification in English or Chinese: -.

(i)           that he (the veterinary officer) inspected the birds not more than 5 days prior to departure from the country/place of origin;

(ii)         the quantity and types of birds inspected, with full scientific names (genus and species);

(iii)        the name and address of the premises or the farm or other establishment from which birds are being brought into Hong Kong;

(iv)        the birds at the time of examination were healthy, showed no clinical signs of infectious and contagious diseases, free from injuries, and fit to travel to Hong Kong;

(v)         the birds have not been kept at premises or at a farm or other establishment where there is serological or virological evidence of H5 and H7 avian influenza virus infection having occurred within the 180 days immediately preceding the day on which the health certificate was issued;

(vi)        the birds have been kept segregated from other birds for 14 days prior to the export, and have all remained clinically normal during this period;

(vii)      during the segregation period at term (vi) above, all birds, or a sample of birds forming a portion of all birds (at a sample rate of not less than _______ birds) were subject to a diagnostic test for H5 and H7 avian influenza virus and the test result is negative. One or more of the following tests can be performed. (For detail of the method, please refer to "OIE Manual of Standards for Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines")["OIE" is the Office International des Epizooties.] : -

(a)          VIROLOGY tests using cloacal swabs or fresh faecal specimens. After culture, it was shown to be negative for H5 and H7 avian influenza virus. This test should be carried out within 14 days prior to export to Hong Kong. (Note: a negative test result for avian influenza virus will be accepted as evidence that the birds are free from H5 and H7 infection).

(b)          SEROLOGY tests using Haemagglutination Inhibition Tests and H5 and H7 avian influenza antigens (if sufficient blood can be obtained). This test should be carried out within 5 days prior to export to Hong Kong. The test result was negative.

(viii)  EITHER             The birds have not been within 100 km of a reported case of West Nile Virus in the 180 days preceding export;

OR                      All birds, or a sample of birds forming a portion of all birds (at a sample rate of not less than _______ birds) have been serologically tested for West Nile Virus with negative result within 5 days of export to Hong Kong.

6.          The original copy of laboratory reports relating to 5(vii and viii) above should accompany the birds on arrival. The reports should include the detail of the test performed and result of the test. The test should be done in a government laboratory in the exporting country/place or in an officially approved laboratory.

7.          All imported birds upon arrival will be directed to the Airport Animal Hostel for custody and sample taking by authorized officers of this Department. The samples will be arranged for testing against the avian influenza virus. The laboratory test will take one to several days during which the birds will remain under custody at the Airport Animal Hostel. Subject to the terms in the special permit being fully complied with, the birds can be released provided that the test result is satisfactory and hostel accommodation fees have been paid (if applicable).The accommodation fee is HK$ 385/24 hours or part thereof for each bird cage (within 100 heads) and will be charged to the permittee. Exemption from the hostel accommodation fees may be granted on conditions that the birds arrive in Hong Kong from Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) and all the terms in the special permit are fully complied with. The permittee can visit and provide care, caging and cleansing for the birds during the holding period.

8.           Upon arrival to Hong Kong the final destination and whereabouts of birds imported for wholesale to other licensed animal traders must be declared in the form of Live Pet Birds Importation Record. (copies of such form may be obtained from this department).

9.          The granting of this special permit CANNOT be construed as a waiver by the Licensing Authority to import scheduled animals and birds listed under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, Cap. 586.

10.       In the event of the birds being directed to the AFCD Airport Animal Hostel under official escort, the permittees (or agent) will be required to provide transport for the transfer to and from the said Hostel and to pay the hostel accommodation fees. Without prejudice to other terms of this permit, payment of these fees must be effected before release can be obtained.

11.       Failure to comply with the terms stipulated above, the birds may be seized and forfeited under Section 8 of Public Health (Animals and Birds) Ordinance, Cap. 139 and the permittee/owner may be prosecuted.

Warning:  If the species of bird are parrots (Psittaciformes Order), it is required to comply with additional terms as stipulated:



Additional Terms for Special Permit

(??????????For import of birds of the Psittaciformes order)



The health certificate mentioned under term 5 in the permit terms attesting that the birds:


(i)                                   ??????????????????Pacheco???PPDS??????

showed no clinical sign of avian Chlamydiosis, Pacheco's Disease and Psittacine Proventricular Dilatation Syndrome (PPDS) on the day of examination within 5 days prior to export.


(ii)                                 ????????????????????????????????????????

were kept under veterinary supervision for the 45 days prior to shipment and were treated against chlamydiosis using doxycycline or chlortetracycline.




By on July 20, 2009 at 10:52 pm

I am presently visiting Ho Chi Min City Vietnam.

I plan on moving here this fall to teach English.

I have applied for a CITES permit for my Umbrella Cockatoo to bring him back here with me. 

Can anyone tell me what if any other paper work will be necessary for the3 Vietnamese Customs people to bring him here?

Thanks - Don Snowdon email


By on August 26, 2009 at 6:34 pm


I'm moving to Saigon from Lima (Peru) in 2 weeks. I'm planning to bring my  2 years old pug with me, I'm afraid that I'm running out off time with all the paper work to be done and she must come with me!!

How can i get the import permit from Vietnam? What papers do i need?

Is there any agency that could help me with this?

Thanks you.




Add a Comment

Name is required

Email is required and must be in the format

Comment is required

Back to top