Import of Pets into India

Import of Pets into India

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Import of Pets into India

For the endearing pet lover, owning a pet is akin to befriending someone, so much so that pets are considered as an integral part of the household. The Indian laws allow the import of pets, but like the import of anything, it has certain procedures to be complied with. This article is intended for pet lovers to help with the procedures for import of pets into India.

Classification of Pets

For import purposes, no other animals other than cats and dogs are considered as pets. Other animals and species including birds, reptiles, mammals, etc can only be imported through air cargo, provided the importer holds a DGFT license including import export code. Animals that are proposed to be imported into India should also not have been classified as endangered by the Government.

Pets Allowed into India

Import of pets (dog and cat only) upto two numbers per passenger are allowed at one time subject to production of required health certificate from country of origin and examination of the said pets by the concerned quarantine officer in India. In case a person needs to import more than two pets at a time, then he/she must obtain am import sanitary permit issued by the Department of Animal Husbandry and dairying and/or have an import license issued by the DGFT (Director General of Foreign Trade).

Further, in April, 2013, the Government of India modified the policy of import of two pets by passengers. Accordingly, it has been decided to allow import of two pet animals as baggage only to persons transferring their residence to India after two years of continuous stay abroad in terms of Baggage Rules 1998 subject to production of the required health certificate from the country of origin and examination of said pets by the concerned Quarantine Officer at this end.

Before Arriving in India

Before arriving in India with a pet, ensure that you have completed the steps below:

Healthy Dog or Cat

Ensure that your dog is healthy and shows no clinical sign of any disease including rabies, canine distemper, parvo virus infection, leptospirosis, infectious canine hepatitis, scabies and leishmaniasis etc.

In case of cats, ensure that the cat shows no clinical sign of any disease including rabies, feline enteritis, feline pan leukopenia, leptospirosis, distemper, scabies, aujeszky’s disease, toxoplasmosis etc


Ensure that the dog or cat is vaccinated for rabies (in case it is more than three months of age), canine distemper, parvo virus infection, leptospirosis etc. within the time limit recommended by the vaccine manufacturer licensed and approved by the exporting country. Keep a record of all vaccines administered for verification.

Obtain Certificate of Veterinary Inspection

Obtain a certificate of veterinary inspection from the country from which the pet is exported. A certificate of veterinary inspection, or CVI, is a form completed by an accredited veterinarian and used to verify the general good health of an animal. It may also be called a health certificate. A sample Certificate of Veterinary Inspection is reproduced below for reference:

Certificate of Veterinary Inspection


Procedure for Import of Pets

Imports can be carried out by using any of the methodologies described below:

Accompanied Cargo

Accompanied Cargo is a system wherein the owner accompanies the pet during the journey, and the dog/cat has been booked as ‘excess, checked or accompanied baggage’. As described earlier, the travelling details of the pet is one among the many documents required for transport. Hence in this case, the pet owner must be having the ticket which he used for the journey. It must be supported with a copy of Visa or any other document to establish continuous stay abroad for a minimum period of two years with proof of transferring the residence to India.

Manifest Cargo

Manifest cargo is a system wherein the import of pet is done using the airline cargo. If the pet is being transported in this manner, the documents must include of copy of the passport of the owner/caretaker, a copy of the owner/caretaker’s e-ticket and a copy of the air way bill.

Clearing Pets After Landing in India

The pets must be imported into any of the following designated airports:

  • Delhi
  • Mumbai
  • Bangalore
  • Chennai
  • Hyderabad
  • Kolkata

The pets may be brought into the country by the owner or by other means within 30 days of his first immigration stamp as displayed on the passport after issuing a proper work/spouse/dependent visa. Post arrival, the pet will be subject to the necessary health examinations by the Quarantine Officer.

Quarantine Officer will examine the health of dog or cat, verify the veterinary certificate and vaccination records of the pet. If the dog or cat is/are free from any clinical illness as well as the documents including veterinary certificate/ vaccination records are found in order, the animals imported as pets under accompanied baggage or un-accompanied baggage will be quarantined for 15 days. If the pet is detected with any signs of clinical illness during quarantine, the period of quarantine may be extended depending on the disease and its severity.

Veterinary Certificate for Pet Dogs

Sample veterinary certificate for pet dogs that must be completed by the pet owner and signed off by the Quarantine Officer in India is reproduced below:

Veterinary Certificate for Pet Dogs

Veterinary Certificate for Pet Cats

Sample veterinary certificate for pet cats that must be completed by the pet owner and signed off by the Quarantine Officer in India is reproduced below:

Veterinary Certificate for Pet Cats

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Post by Sreeram Viswanath

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