The APHIS Vet Health Certificate (Form 7001) for International Pet Transport

dogHow to Obtain and Complete the APHIS 7001 for Pet Shipping

If you're moving internationally with your pet from the United States, you're most likely going to 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 pet to another country. 

Here is where you can download the APHIS Vet Health Certificate (Form 7001).

The 7001 is issued by USDA-accredited veterinarians and then often must be endorsed by the corresponding state's USDA Veterinary Services office. The state and regional Veterinary Services offices oversee all of the 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. That means you'll need to ask your local vet if they are accredited. Most vets know offhand whether or not they have this accreditation, but 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 vet to get the health certificate issued.

This must be done within a certain time frame 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 both the USDA and 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 all of our clients' paperwork carefully before it is sent to the USDA for endorsement. If you are arranging your pet move on your own, you will need to 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 then your pet can't depart on time! 

Make sure all dates are written correctly (we recommend formatting to DD MON YYYY to be clear), 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 make a correction to 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 starts to become too messy or illegible, start over with a new health certificate.

5.  Send in your paperwork to the USDA (or take it 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 you can send it in via FedEx. If you are going to take your documents in, you will want to call at least one week in advance to make sure they will allow you to come in and to make an appointment. If you are sending your paperwork in, you will need to 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 sort of 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, keep in mind 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 will stamp documents on the same day or the following day after they receive them.

If you have more questions about microchips or if you're ready to learn more about pricing, logistics, and other pet travel details, get started by completing our consultation form.

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Add a Comment

By claire on July 2, 2010 at 3:43 pm

1- I will travel end of august to France and will take my cat with me. She just had her rabies shot done. The vet filled up the E998 form but is not accredited (the vet is employed by an animal hospital whom owner is accredited)... Can I still send it to the USDA to be endorsed? 2- Does anyone know whether Airfrance requires this famous 7001 form? And when does it have to be done (this unclear if it is 30 days or 10 days before departure). And does it have to be endorsed by the USDA? -Also, what are the delays to receive the USDA endorsement????Thanks!!!

By on June 15, 2010 at 10:17 am

@Valerie: You will need to get the EU 998 health certificate issued by your local veterinarian and then endorsed by the state USDA office (basically follow the procedures outlined above, but use the EU 998). Also some airlines will require the 7001 health certificate as well, so it's a good idea to either have this issued just in case or check with the airline you plan on using to fly your dog. The EU 998 form is good for 4 months from date of issue. Typically the 7001 is only valid for 10 days (most airlines want to see that the pet was inspected within 10 days of the flight). We have our customers get both the EU 998 and the 7001 health certificate for moves to Europe. The Pet Passport is something that is issued in Europe. At one point, if you lived in France with your pet, you might have had a passport for your pet. You will need to apply for one once you get to France and this will allow your dog to travel freely through the EU member states.

By valerie on June 14, 2010 at 1:21 am

To take my dog from the United States to France, French customs officers told me I will be able to take the dog to France without delay if I have the following:1/ the dog microchiped with a standard ISO 11784 or annex A ISO standard 117852/ be able to show the dog got uninterrupted rabbies vaccination along her life (and that way won't need the antirabbic test)3/ and from what I understand from your site, a health certificate issued by a USDA accredited veterinarian. This certificate then needs to be stamped by the USDA, and accompanied of a payment.4/ I also need to check with my airline for their requirements.My questions are:-What is the minimum delay to get the USDA health certificate?-for France, do I need the 7001 form, or the EG998 form?-what is a pet passport? I used to have a document listing all the shots & procedures my dog got, but misplaced it. Can the microchip implanted in the dog & printed records of her rabbies vaccinations from the vet's office serve as her identification and passport?Thanks

By Ana on June 10, 2010 at 11:06 am

I'm in the process of finding an accredited Vet to fill out the 7001 form. I've called different vets, but they don't have the 7001 form. I live In West Chester PA. From reading this article, USDA won't send me the form. Can you please help me find an accredited vet who has this form? thanks! Great Website

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