Your Complete Guide to Importing Dogs and Cats to Japan

Japan has specific import requirements for bringing pets into the country. With proper preparation and understanding of these regulations, you can ensure a smooth journey for your furry companion. Here’s what you need to know:

Key Requirements for Importing Accompanied Pets to Japan

  1. Implant a Microchip: Your pet must have an implanted microchip for identification before vaccination for rabies.
  2. Rabies Vaccinations: Your pet must undergo two vaccinations within the effective interval. The pet must be at least 90 days old at the first vaccination, with the second vaccination administered no more than one year before import.
  3. Blood Test: After the second rabies vaccination, your pet must undergo a blood test to check the rabies antibody levels.
  4. Advance Notification: Notify the Animal Quarantine Service (AQS) of Japan no later than 40 days before arrival.
  5. Waiting Period: After the blood test, your pet must stay in the exporting country for at least 180 days but no more than two years before entering Japan.

Upon Arrival in Japan

  • Quarantine: Pets arriving in Japan are subject to a 12-hour quarantine if all requirements are met. Without the required documents, the maximum quarantine time can be 180 days. AQS officials advise that the entire process can take up to six months.
  • Documentation: Submit the following documents to AQS:
    • International Health Certificate
    • Two Rabies Vaccination Certificates
    • Advanced Notification Acknowledgement from AQS
    • Import Quarantine Application Form (provided by AQS)

Importing Pets as Unaccompanied Cargo

If your pet is arriving in Japan as unaccompanied cargo, there are additional considerations and requirements:

  1. Submit Documentation: Submit the same documentation as for accompanied pets. Keep in mind that cargo importation requires more time and expense.
  2. Owner Presence: The pet owner is not required to be present to apply for quarantine inspection. A proxy can make the application.
  3. Detention Fee: The Narita quarantine service charges a detention fee of approximately JPY 3,000 or more depending on the size per day for all pets, which includes basic boarding, food, and care for the pet.
  4. Additional Costs: Other costs may be incurred for transportation fees, kennel, customs clearances, import tax, and a proxy charge, depending on the pet and other circumstances.

PetRelocation Specialists are here to assist you in navigating the complexities of pet travel to Japan. We provide expert guidance and support to ensure your pet’s safe arrival in Japan.

Do you think you might need a helping hand in moving your pet to Japan (or anywhere else in the world)? Let us help! to set up your consultation today!