Entering Singapore with a Pet

Details of the process of importing a pet into Singapore, including information about the documents needed, what to do before departure and on arrival...

The entire process of moving a pet to Singapore can be delegated to a local pet moving service which handles the paperwork, meets the pet at the airport and provides transport to the quarantine kennels.

While specifics of the process vary depending on the animal's country of origin, the following are included:

  • Import Licence from the AVA, issued within the 30 days prior to the import. Airlines will not let an animal on the plane unless they have seen a copy of the import licence
    • Application forms for importing animals can be downloaded at the website of the AVA: Click here
    • Allow two working days to process the permit after submitting the completed application form. The import permit is valid for 30 days from the date of issue. A surcharge will be imposed if the permit is required to be processed within a period shorter than two working days
  • International Health Certificate certified by a licensed veterinarian in the exporting country. This must be issued no more than seven days prior to arrival in Singapore
  • Vaccination Certificates: all pet dogs and cats arriving in Singapore must be vaccinated and treated for internal and external parasites
    • Dogs must have had a rabies vaccination or booster shot between one year and six months prior to travel. (For example, if the date of travel is in December, the shot must have been administered between 1 January and 1 July of the same year.)
  • ISO-compatible microchip matching their veterinary papers. Dogs that do not have a readable microchip will be given one, at the owner's expense

Procedure for Getting an Animal into Singapore

The AVA publishes detailed checklists relevant to importing animals. These vary depending where the animal is coming from; refer to the country-relevant veterinary conditions to ensure all the documents are in order:

  • Category A: Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom
  • Category B: Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, USA (Guam and Hawaii only)
  • Sub-Category C1 and Sub-Category C2: Belgium, Canada, Netherlands, Spain, United States of America (except Guam and Hawaii)
  • Category D: All other countries
  • To find these checklists: Click here

Before departure

If travelling on the same plane as a pet, try to send them as "excess baggage" rather than as "cargo". This is generally much cheaper. Not all airlines allow this, so be sure to check ahead of time; if possible get any agreement in writing.

Allow plenty of time to check in as the authorities must examine health certificates, import licences and quarantine papers, before allowing travel.

The Changi Animal and Plant Quarantine (CAPQ) inspect all arriving live animals before releasing them to the owner or the Sembawang Animal Quarantine Station (SAQS) quarantine station. Contact CAPQ one working day prior to travel to arrange the pet's arrival. If the pet arrives after the station is closed, it is taken to a holding facility until the next working day - it's strongly advised to ensure that arrival is expected at least two hours before CAQP closing time.

Confirm the reservation at Sembawang Animal Quarantine Station (SAQS) if quarantine is required.

  • AVA Centres
  • Directions to Changi Animal and Plant Quarantine Station
    : Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA), Gate C7, Airport Cargo Road, Changi Airfreight Centre, Changi Animal & Plant Quarantine, Singapore 918104
    Open: Monday to Saturday 08:00-13:00 and 14:00-10:30. Closed Sundays and public holidays
    Tel: (65) 6545 7522
    Fax: (65) 6545 3023
  • Sembawang Animal Quarantine Station
    : 10 Lorong Chencharu, Singapore 769197
    Tel: (65) 6482 2724

On arrival

On arrival at Changi airport (before going through customs) check to ensure that the pet has arrived safely.

The animal is transported to the CAPQ in the Airfreight Centre where it undergoes a veterinary inspection, the microchip is checked and import certificate stamped. It is then released to the owner, or if quarantine is required, it is collected by a SAQS official. SAQS does one collection round per day, usually in the morning. If the pet misses the collection it is taken to a holding area until the next scheduled pick-up. Contact SAQS to find out scheduled collection times.

Note: If travelling on the same plane as the pet from a quarantine-free country, then after passing through immigration, go to Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SATS) in the airport cargo area where the pet can be collected and taken to the CAPQ for checks before release from the airport.

A small fee in tax must be paid before a pet can leave the airport. This is paid at the Customs house near the exit. The pet's value should be declared and if this is under $400 (2010 rates) no fee is due. If there are vet certificates stating a dog is sterilised, the dog licence fee is reduced.

The dog owner/handler will require passport or identification to follow through these processes.

Further Information

  • Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA)
    At: 5 Maxwell Road , Tower Block, MND Complex, Singapore 069110
  • Changi Animal and Plant Quarantine (CAPQ)
    At: Changi Airport Cargo Complex
    Tel: 6545 7522/3
    Fax: 6545-3023
  • Sembawang Animal Quarantine Station
    : 10 Lorong Chencharu, Singapore 769197
    Tel: 6482 2724
  • The International Air Transport Association (IATA) publishes very clear, general guidelines on flying pet dogs or cats internationally.