Procedure for Importing Pets

Find out about the import requirements, fees and quarantine when moving with pets to Japan...

At least 40 days before arrival, the owner should notify the Animal Quarantine Service (AQS). The notification form can be downloaded from the AQS website.

  • To download the notification form for cats: Click here
  • To download the notification form for dogs: Click here

The notification must be sent to the AQS with jurisdiction over the intended seaport or airport of arrival.

All dogs and cats must have a readable ISO standard microchip (11784 and 11785). A certificate stating the ISO standard microchip number issued by the appropriate government agency of the animal's home country must accompany the animal. Any animal with a number that cannot be identified will be quarantined on arrival, or not permitted entry.

Designated regions

An animal must be checked by a veterinarian and a health certificate issued no earlier than 48 hours before departure to Japan. Veterinarians should use certification forms A or C as recommended by the AQS. These can be downloaded from the AQS website: Click here.

The health certificate must provide the following information:

  • Microchip number
  • That the animal has not left the designated region in the previous 180 days
  • That there have been no outbreaks of rabies in the region in the previous two years
  • That the animal does not have and is not suspected of having rabies, or leptospirosis (dogs only)

Animals brought into Japan from a designated region are inspected on arrival by an animal quarantine officer, and quarantine generally is less than 12 hours. If any of the import criteria are not met, an animal is quarantined by the Animal Quarantine Service for up to 180 days.

  • For further information on importing animals from designated regions: Click here

Non-designated regions

It is recommended that animal owners from non-designated regions begin the procedures at least seven months before importing their pet to Japan.

Dogs and cats entering Japan from a non-designated region must undergo quarantine to ensure that they do not have rabies or leptospirosis (dogs only). Quarantine may only take place at designated AQS premises.

Before arrival in Japan, animals must be vaccinated twice against rabies; vaccinations must be done after the microchip is implanted and not before the animal is 91 days old. The second vaccination must be done at least 31 days after the first. The animals must then have a blood test to measure rabies antibody levels. After this blood test, the animal must wait at least 180 days before it can be exported to Japan. These blood test results are valid for two years.

An animal must be checked by a veterinarian and a health certificate issued no earlier than 48 hours before departure to Japan. The health certificate must provide the following information:

  • Microchip number
  • Dates of rabies vaccinations and rabies antibody levels
  • That the animal has waited in the export country for at least 180 days after the blood test
  • That there have been no outbreaks of rabies in the region in the previous two years
  • That the animal does not have and is not suspected of having rabies, or leptospirosis (dogs only)

Animals are inspected on arrival by an animal quarantine officer. If all criteria are met, quarantine may be no more than 12 hours; otherwise quarantine may be up to 180 days.

  • For further information on importing animals from non-designated regions: Click here