Expat Guide: Flying Your Pets to Hong Kong
Having the option of taking our pets with us when we move overseas reduces the anxiety of living in an unfamiliar place. It is now much simpler for expats in Hong Kong to bring their animal companions to the country. Here’s some information you might find useful.
Expat pet owners need to apply for a Special Permit with a specified fee before arriving in Hong Kong. Cost varies on the type of animal you’ll be bringing.. The permit is valid for 6 months.
For dogs over the age of 5 months, you will also need to acquire a license from the Agriculture & Fisheries Department (AFCD). An appointment is not needed and it only takes half an hour to have your dog vaccinated and microchipped. This microchip holds your dog’s identification code which is required for all pets in Hong Kong.
Group 1 countries which include the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Japan no longer need to have their pets vaccinated in Hong Kong. Group 2 and 3 countries must still comply.
All dogs must be vaccinated against:
· canine distemper
· infectious canine hepatitis
· canine parvovirus.
All cats must be vaccinated against :
· feline panleucopaenia (infectious enteritis)
· feline respiratory disease complex.
Pets must enter as air cargo at the international airport in Hong Kong. Make sure that you book flight that’s as direct as possible and not transit through a high-rabies country. If your pet is changing aircraft in Hong Kong or will be in transit for more than 6 hours, it will need a transit permit. Import permits are required for pets transiting Hong Kong from mainland China.
Important: Inform the Duty Officer of the Import & Export Section at least 24 hours ahead of arrival.
It is also important to prepare your pets before your travel because it can be a stressful situation for them. Read on how you can reduce stress for pets during travel.
Upon arrival, dogs, cats and ferrets will be examined at the port of entry. If your pet is deemed to not be in good health, further examination by a licensed veterinarian may be required at your expense. If all requirements are met, your pet will be released to you after examination.
It is also important to have a list of licensed veterinarians in Hong Kong so you know where to take your pets when they get sick.
You can see the list here: http://www.vsbhk.org.hk/eng/vsro.asp
An overnight stay at the vet can cost you HK$1000. That does not include medication and other tests. Vet clinics can also set their fees at their own discretion because there isn’t a proper regulatory board to control this in Hong Kong. This is one of the current issues faced by pet making Pet Insurance a crucial protection to have.
We help expats with Pet Insurance and other insurance covers.