Importing frozen canine semen from approved countries

  • ​Frozen canine semen coming to Australia from approved countries must be accompanied by a valid import permit.
    • The import permit provides the conditions for importing the frozen canine semen.
    • The conditions on the import permit take precedence over any other source of information. The information below is to help importers, exporters, veterinarians and pet transport agents meet biosecurity requirements; it is not a substitute for the import permit.
    • Frozen canine semen must comply with all conditions on the import permit.
    • Failure to comply with the conditions on the import permit may result in the frozen canine semen being (at your cost):
      •  exported
      •  destroyed.
  • A Government Approved Veterinarian or Official Government Veterinarian must perform all veterinary procedures listed below.
  • All donor dog testing must be conducted in an approved country in a laboratory recognised by the competent authority of the country of export.
  • A separate veterinary health certificate must be completed for each donor dog.

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Step 1: Contact the competent authority
Timeframe: Before starting the export process

  • Contact the competent authority in the country of export to find out:
    • which veterinarians are approved to collect the canine semen and which laboratories are approved to test the blood samples collected from the donor dog
    • if the country of export has any requirements in addition to those stated on this webpage
    • if the country of export has an agreed veterinary health certificate to use in place of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources standard veterinary health certificate.
  • The department recommends that you take this information to your Government Approved Veterinarian or canine semen transport agent to help you understand the requirements.

Step 2: Confirm general eligibility
Timeframe: Before starting the export process

  • Frozen canine semen can only be imported to Australia from a department approved country.
  • Donor dogs must have been continuously resident in an approved country and not be under quarantine restriction during and between the first and last semen collections.

Step 3: Verifying existing microchip or implant a new microchip
Timeframe: Before starting semen collection

  • Donor dogs must be identified by a microchip.
  • A Government Approved Veterinarian or Official Government Veterinarian must scan the microchip at each veterinary visit and semen collection and check that the scanned microchip number is correctly recorded on all semen straws/cryovials and documentation.
  • If the microchip is recorded incorrectly on the semen straws/cryovials or the donor dog's documentation, the canine semen cannot be imported to Australia.

Step 4: Apply and pay for the import permit
Timeframe: After a microchip has been implanted and before the proposed date of export

How to apply

  • Submit your import permit application, full payment and any supporting documentation online through our Biosecurity Import Conditions System (BICON).
  • Additional charges may apply if information is missing, incorrect or if an application is put on hold.
  • Please allow at least 20 working days for processing your application.
  • Import permits are valid for up to two (2) years from the date of issue.

Step 5: Check vaccinations
Timeframe: Dependent on the validity of the donor dog’s vaccination and at least 14 days before the first semen collection

Donor dogs may be vaccinated against Leptospira interrogans serovar Canicola as an alternative to the testing outlined under Step 11

If you choose to do this, dogs must be fully vaccinated against Leptospira interrogans serovar Canicola, according to manufacturer’s recommendations, at least 14 days before the first semen collection. The vaccination must be valid at the time of the last semen collection for the export consignment. Most Leptospira vaccines require an initial course of two vaccines 2-4 weeks apart followed by yearly boosters.

Step 6: Canine semen collection
Timeframe: Day of semen collection

In the case of pellets, the cryovials must be suitable for maintaining the product’s integrity during storage and transport.

Step 7: Storing and packaging canine semen for export
Timeframe: After semen collection

  • A Government Approved Veterinarian or an Official Government Veterinarian must supervise the storage of canine semen from collection until the shipping container is sealed for export.
  • The canine semen must be stored (from the date of collection) in shipping containers that:
    • contain no other biological material than canine semen of equivalent health status
    • are filled with new liquid nitrogen only
    • are new or have been emptied (any loose straws/cryovials removed) and disinfected with 2% available chlorine or Virkon at the manufacturer’s recommended rate, or irradiated at 50Kgray.
  • The shipping container must be sealed with an official government seal and the Official Government Veterinarian must record the official seal number on the veterinary health certificate.

Step 8: Final examination of donor dog after semen collection
Timeframe: Within 30-45 days after the last semen collection for the export consignment

The dog must be examined by a Government Approved Veterinarian or Official Government Veterinarian and found to be healthy and free from infectious or contagious diseases (including venereally transmitted diseases) within 30-45 days after the last semen collection for the export consignment.

Step 9: Testing for Brucella canis (Brucellosis)
Timeframe: Within 30-45 days after the last semen collection in the export consignment

  • A Government Approved Veterinarian or Official Government Veterinarian must take a blood sample from the donor dog 30-45 days after the last semen collection for the export consignment and test it for Brucella canis using a rapid slide agglutination test (RSAT), a tube agglutination test (TAT) or an indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) .
  • The test must produce a negative result.

Step 10: Testing for Leishmania infantum (Leishmaniasis)
Timeframe: Within 30-45 days after the last semen collection for the export consignment

  • A Government Approved Veterinarian or Official Government Veterinarian must take a blood sample from the donor dog 30-45 days after the last semen collection for the export consignment and test it for Leishmania infantum using either an indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) or an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
  • The test must produce a negative result.

Step 11: Testing for Leptospira canicola (Leptospirosis)
Timeframe: Within 30-45 days after the last semen collection in the export consignment

Please read Step 5 - this step only applies if the donor dog has not been vaccinated against Leptospira interrogans serovar Canicola.

  • A Government Approved Veterinarian or Official Government Veterinarian must take a blood sample from the donor dog 30-45 days after the last semen collection for the export consignment and test it for Leptospira interrogans serovar Canicola using a microscopic agglutination test (MAT).
  • The test must produce a negative result (less than 50% agglutination) at a serum dilution of 1:100.

Step 12: Completion of veterinary health certificate
Timeframe: After semen collection and before the date of export

  • The veterinary health certificate is Attachment A of your import permit.
  • A valid import permit, with a veterinary health certificate completed, signed and stamped by an Official Government Veterinarian in the country of export, must accompany the frozen canine semen to Australia.
  • A separate veterinary health certificate must be completed for each donor dog.
  • Any corrections made to the veterinary health certificate must be struck through, remain legible and be signed and stamped by an Official Government Veterinarian (correction fluid must not be used).
  • An Official Government Veterinarian must also sign and stamp every page of the:
    • Brucella canis laboratory report
    • Leishmania infantum laboratory report
    • Leptospira interrogans serovar Canicola laboratory report (if not vaccinated).
  • Copies can be used, but they must bear the original signature of an Official Government Veterinarian and stamp of the Competent Authority on every page.
  • It is recommended that you also keep a copy of every document.

Step 13: Export to Australia

Notify the department by emailing or faxing the department’s regional office in the state/territory in which the consignment will first arrive in Australia, at least three (3) days before it arrives.

Regional officePhoneFaxEmail
Sydney+61 2 8334 7434No fax Central East Region - Live Animal Imports
Melbourne+61 3 8318 6767+61 3 8308 5071 South East Animal
Brisbane+61 7 3246 8633
+61 7 3247 7749
+61 7 3246 8798 Qld Live Animal Imports
Adelaide+61 8 8201 6000+61 8 8201 6000 Import Assessment
Perth+61 8 9334 1732+61 8 9334 1509 WA Live Animal Imports

(For more office locations visit Our offices).

  • Your email or fax must include:
    • the date and estimated time of arrival
    • the flight number/ship number
    • the airway bill number
    • a contact phone number in Australia.

Consignments of frozen canine semen must be shipped to the Australian person-in-charge/owner/agent care of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources regional office in the Australian state/territory of import.

  • Consignments must not be sent to Australia by international mail.
  • Each consignment must be accompanied by a valid import permit, veterinary health certificate(s) and copies of any laboratory reports.

Step 14: Inspection and release from biosecurity control

  • The owner/person-in-charge must make an appointment for the inspection of the goods and documentation by the department. The owner/person-in-charge or their nominated agent must be present at the inspection as they will be required to physically handle the consignment and refill containers with liquid nitrogen in the event the consignment needs to be held for an extended period of time under biosecurity control​.
  • On arrival, the consignment will be subject to biosecurity control where it will remain until a biosecurity officer has completed the physical inspection of the consignment and all required documentation.
  • A biosecurity officer will check the consignment and verify all details match the import permit and veterinary health certificate.
  • If acceptable, the consignment will be released from biosecurity control. If not, the consignment may be subject to treatment, export or destruction or additional documents may be requested.