Pet Travel to India – Complete Guide to Import your pet to India
Travelling with your pet can be a tricky situation. Be it a vacation, job transfer, or relocating due to personal reasons – nationally or internationally, the thought of having your pet as a travel partner could be exciting as well as intimidating. If you are a pet parent and you need to import your pet to India then you must know that pet travel to India is a very long process involving extensive documentation.
Whatever travel mode you choose to travel with your furball be it through airway, waterway, or road – we have done all the hard work to make it easy for you to understand pet travel to India. Here, we are providing you with a complete guide that includes everything that you need to know about travelling to India with your pet.
The process of importing your pet to India involves a lot of preparations and considerations. According to the Indian pet import rules & regulations, only two pets can travel to India per pet parent. If you are planning to import your pet to India then you must first be aware of all the pet import regulations.
How to import pets to India? – DGFT Guidelines
Pets are now considered to be an integral part of the household. The Indian government allows the import of pets similar to other imports. But, it has some very specific rules & regulations that the pet-parents must follow to bring their pets to India.
While travelling to India, your pet must have a 15-digit compliant non-encrypted microchip implemented under their skin. This microchip for pets comes with a unique identification number that is used by airlines and customs officials to recognize your pet.
The number mentioned in the microchip must be included in all the documents of your pet. Also, you must remember to get the microchip of your pets before taking them for vaccination and all the other health tests are mandatory for travelling.
Before pet travel, you must take your pets for vaccination against all the common pet diseases. The vaccinations of your pets should be administered for more than 30 days and within 365 days from the journey date. All the vaccination details are required to be mentioned in the official health certificate of your pet along with the microchip number and other important details needed for travelling.
In the case of dogs travelling to India, they must be vaccinated against the diseases like rabies, leptospirosis, parvovirus, etc.
In the case of cats, they must be vaccinated against the diseases such as distemper, feline enteritis, rabies, etc.
A certificate of proper veterinary inspection
It is mandatory to obtain a veterinary inspection certificate from the exporting country. A veterinary inspection certificate is a form filled by an accredited veterinarian which is used to verify the general good health of your pet. It is also commonly known as a health certificate.
Transfer residence of pets
There are two types of transfer residence in India for the import of pets –
Permanent imports usually happen when the pets are being imported to stay in the place for a very long time. Permanent imports can be of two types depending on the period of import.
Permanent import of two pets
In such cases, pet travel to India is permitted as passenger baggage without any DGFT authorization. It is only applied to individuals transferring their residence to India after two continuous of staying in a foreign country. But, only cats and dogs are permitted to be imported under such baggage rules.
However, DGFT import authorization is mandatory if:
- The period of stay in a foreign country is less than two years
- Your pet is not being imported as a passenger baggage
- The pet is not applicable to fall under the baggage rules
Permanent import of more than two pets
In the case of importing more than two pets from abroad to India, the rules mentioned below are to be followed.
While importing more than two pets, it is mandatory to get import authorization from DGFT.
The pet parent must submit applications before the grant of an import authorization for examinations that would be based on the justifications and supporting documents to DAH&D.
Documents required for permanent pet travel to India
- You must have your pet’s vaccination book/pet passport/pet book.
- Passport of your pet
Temporary import or short stays
If your pets are being imported to India for a short period then it would be considered a short stay. In such cases, you will need import authorization from DGFT to import your pets to the country. Also, you will have to apply for examinations that are to be based on the justifications and relevant documents to DAH&D.
Documents required for short stays
- You will require having your pet’s vaccination book/pet passport/pet book
- Certificate for emotional support
- Your pet’s passport
- You need to have a copy of the return ticket
When to apply for Import Authorization for your pet travel to India?
The pet parents flying to India are advised to proceed with filing the import authorization application at least two months before their trip. Also, you must remember that any applications related to trading or breeding purposes shall be directly rejected. The same applies to the applications made on behalf of some other person.
Mode of pet imports
You can import pet animals through manifest cargo or passenger baggage.
Passenger baggage – This is a system where the pet is the travel partner of its owner. The pet-parent books their pet as ‘excess, checked, or accompanied baggage’. For travelling as passenger baggage, your pet must have all their travel details along with all the other important documents. The pet parent needs to have the ticket that they used for the journey.
Moreover, it needs to be supported with any document that proves the continuous stay in a foreign country for a minimum of two years. The pet parent must also have proof of transferring the residence to India.
Manifest cargo – Through this system, you can import your pet to India through airline cargo. If you are importing your pet by using this method, then make sure that it includes all the required import documents such as a copy of the passport of the owner, their e-tickets, and one copy of the bill of your flight.
The pets can only be imported to specifically designated airports in India. The airports where you can import pets are –
Once you import your pets to India, the quarantine officers will examine them thoroughly. If your pet’s documentation is clear and they do not show any sign of sickness, they will not be quarantined. But in case your pet shows some sign of illness then they will be taken to the pet quarantine centres for further health checkups. In such cases, pets are usually given home quarantine for a maximum of 30 days.
For endearing pet lovers, it is difficult to leave their pets alone. And when you are travelling back to India from a foreign country along with your pet, the process gets way too complicated as it requires you to submit a considerable amount of documentation. Therefore, through this blog, we are intended to help pet parents with all the important guidelines for pet travel.