Moving pets to Hong Kong

Moving pets to Hong Kong

6th December, 2011

The regulations and five steps to getting your pet a permit

If you’re moving pets to Hong Kong there’s plenty to arrange in advance. The Hong Kong Government has tried to make matters as simple as possible for animal owners, but safety comes first. So while those arriving from developed countries are unlikely to need to quarantine their pets, strict health criteria are in place.

In this post we look at the regulations you’re likely to come across when moving pets to Hong Kong (you can read more about this, and other issues you might face when becoming an Expat, in our free eBook The New Expat).

Pet checks

The good news is that if you’re travelling from UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii, your pet will be subject to the lowest level of checks – although the process is still thorough. People from a second tier of countries, including America, and many other European countries are also required to provide proof that their animals are rabies-free. Whilst a third tier comprising of those from all other countries have to put their pets in four-month quarantine.

The five-steps to getting a permit

Before a permit can be issued to you, you’ll need to take several steps to meet the regulations around moving pets to Hong Kong. In order to leave plenty of time it is recommended to start planning seven months in advance for the various stages.

Step One: Micro-chipping

Your pet will need proven vaccinations and a microchip, but the microchip needs to go in before the vaccinations. You may already have your pet micro-chipped, which is advisable even if you’re not travelling abroad as it is a permanent way of identifying your pet and helps in reuniting you both if you get separated.

Step Two: Vaccination

Cats and dogs arriving in Hong Kong not only need vaccinations, but also proof that the immunisation has taken hold. You should ask your vet as to most current vaccines needed, but these will likely include:

Rabies – Even those travelling from countries not requiring rabies immunisation are recommended to acquire vaccines for their pets.


  • Canine distemper
  • Infectious Canine Hepatitis
  • Canine Parvovirus


  • Infectious Feline Enteritis
  • Feline Respiratory Disease Complex (cat flu)

These jabs are nothing to worry about and can be easily administered, but in order to maximise your animal’s chances of producing antibodies and passing the later blood test, vets recommend two injections be given for certain vaccines, the second two to four weeks after the first.

Step Three: Vaccination blood test

After the vaccination jabs have been issued, you’ll then need to return to your vet, usually about 21 days after the last injection to obtain a blood test to show your pet is adequately inoculated.

Step Four: Documentation

Now comes the part where you obtain your permit for moving pets to Hong Kong. This is issued by the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD), and once you have your vet documents it can be easily issued done by post. The permit takes five days from receipt of the application form, which you fill out and send off with a fee (around HK$400), and it’s then posted back. Given the potentially long mailing times you might prefer to nominate someone on the ground in Hong Kong to complete this process for you, which is straight-forward.

Once you arrive with your permit you’ll also need several other documents to prove the processes you’ve already undergone with your pet, and a general clean bill of health from a veterinary professional. These include:

  • An Animal Health Certificate issued by your vet no more than 14 days before the departure.
  • A Residence Certificate, confirming your pet has lived in single country/place for the preceding six months.
  • The Vaccination Certificate that you will have been issued after your animal’s blood test.
  • An Airline Certificate proving your animal has travelled on one aircraft and was not in contact with other animals.

Step Five: Booster jabs

Once you’ve successfully entered Hong Kong with your pet, it’s up to the owner to ensure that you records are kept up to date with any booster vaccination jabs. This is crucial as failing to keep up to date could cause you major problems if you want to travel again with your pet.

Find out more about moving pets to Hong Kong

More detailed information about moving pets to Hong Kong can be found at the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department website

For more information around making the move abroad, don’t forget to download our free eBook The New Expat which covers family matters, accommodation issues, financial arrangements, medical considerations and much more.

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Alison Massey

Group Marketing Director

Now Health International

Alison Massey is a 15-year digital marketing veteran, who has spent the last seven years using social media to help expats and soon to be expats find out what to expect from a life overseas. An expat living in Hong Kong herself, Alison is the Group Marketing Director of Now Health, the award-winning international health insurance provider.

Contact Alison Massey

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