The APHIS Vet Health Certificate (Form 7001) for International Pet Transport
How to Obtain and Complete the APHIS 7001 for Pet Shipping
If you're moving internationally with your pet from the United States, you will most likely need an International Health Certificate, also known as the USDA APHIS Form 7001. We are often asked about this form, and it's one of the most searched-for documents for people planning to transport their pets to another country.
Click to download the APHIS Vet Health Certificate (Form 7001).
USDA-accredited veterinarians issue the 7001 and often must be endorsed by the corresponding state's USDA Veterinary Services office. The state and regional Veterinary Services offices oversee all export documents for pets departing from the US and ensure that the veterinarians issuing the documents, including the 7001, are accredited and filling out accurate information.
Here are the steps for obtaining the Form 7001 health certificate and having it endorsed:
1. Find a USDA-Accredited veterinarian in your area.
The USDA Veterinary Services offices do not need to see pets to issue health certificates -- they only look at the paperwork after it has been completed. You'll need to ask your local vet if they are accredited. Most vets know offhand whether or not they have this accreditation. Still, if there is any uncertainty, the nearest USDA Veterinary Services office can double-check accreditation statuses for you and your vet.
2. Download the APHIS Vet Health Certificate (Form 7001).
3. Go to your veterinarian to get the health certificate issued.
This must be done within a specific time before your travel date -- check the pet import requirements for the country to which you're moving as well as the requirements of the airline you are flying with to determine when you will need to have the health certificate issued. Also, we highly recommend having your vet sign the form in blue ink to easily show the USDA and the destination country's government that it is an original document.
4. Check your (vet's) work!
We cannot stress this enough. As part of our service, we review our clients' paperwork carefully before sending it to the USDA for endorsement. If you arrange your pet's move independently, double (and triple!) check your veterinarian's work. If you don't, the USDA will return the documents to you unendorsed. You don't want this to happen because your pet can't depart on time!
Please make sure all dates are written correctly (we recommend formatting to DD MM YYYY to be precise); microchip numbers match up to microchip paperwork; your pet's age on the 7001 matches what's on their vaccination records (you wouldn't believe how often this is incorrect!), etc.
If you must correct the paperwork, have your vet draw a single line through the error and initial somewhere next to the correction. When in doubt, or if your health certificate becomes too messy or illegible, start with a new one.
5. Send your paperwork to the USDA (or take it in by hand).
Depending on where the nearest veterinary service office is, you can either go to the office in person to obtain the endorsement or send it in via FedEx. If you take your documents in, you will want to call at least one week in advance to ensure they will allow you to come in and make an appointment. If you send your paperwork in, you must account for a few days for the package to travel there and back (keep in mind the USDA is closed on the weekends) and include some payment information. The USDA does not take checks.
You might consider including a cover sheet with your contact information instructing them to call for a credit card number. Also, remember that if you do not include a return envelope, the USDA will send it back via US Postal Service. If you need your paperwork returned sooner (which most people do), include a pre-addressed FedEx overnight envelope with your paperwork. The USDA typically stamps documents on the same day or the following day after they receive them.
Electronic submission of APHIS Form 7001 and related documents:
To streamline the pet shipping process and reduce paperwork, the USDA APHIS now offers the option to electronically submit the APHIS Form 7001 and other required documents through their online Veterinary Export Health Certification System (VEHCS). To use this service, follow these steps:
- Visit the USDA APHIS VEHCS website and create an account.
- Fill out the necessary forms, including the APHIS Form 7001, electronically within the system.
- Upload any additional required documentation, such as vaccination records and microchip information.
- Submit the completed forms and documents for review and endorsement by the appropriate USDA office.
- Once endorsed, you will receive a notification to download and print the endorsed documents for use during your pet's travel.
The VEHCS system can save time and reduce the risk of lost or delayed paperwork, ensuring a smoother pet shipping experience.