New Zealand – step by step guide for cats and dogs

​​Cats and dogs coming to Australia from New Zealand do not require an import permit. There is no Australian post entry quarantine period.

  • ​Cats and dogs coming to Australia from New Zealand do not require an import permit however, import conditions apply.
    • The conditions on the required health certification take precedence over any other source of information. This step-by-step guide explains what you must do to prepare your animal for export; it is not a substitute for the health certification.
    • Cats and dogs must comply with all conditions on the health certification.
    • Failure to comply with the conditions on the health certification may result in the animal being (at your cost):
      • moved to and held in post entry quarantine
      • subject to additional testing
      • exported
      • euthanased
  • A registered veterinarian must perform all veterinary procedures listed below.
  • There is no mandatory quarantine period for cats and dogs from New Zealand.

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Step 1: Contact the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries
Timeframe: Before starting the export process

  • Contact the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries to find out:
  • which veterinarians and laboratories are approved to prepare your cat or dog for export
  • if New Zealand has any requirements in addition to those stated on this webpage
  • The department recommends that you take this information to your government approved veterinarian or pet transport agent to help you understand the requirements.

Step 2: General eligibility

  • Cats and dogs must have been continuously resident in New Zealand since birth or direct importation from Australia or for 90 days immediately before the date of export if it has been imported into New Zealand from any other country.
  • Cats and dogs must not be under quarantine restrictions at the time of export.
  • Cats and dogs must not be more than 40 days pregnant nor be suckling young at the time of export.
  • Cats and dogs must be at least eight (8) weeks old at the time of export.

Cat breeds

  • In accordance with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, domestic/non domestic animal hybrids are not eligible for import. Hybrid cats include, but are not limited to:
    • Savannah cat, domestic cat (Felis catus) crossed with serval cat (Felis serval)
    • Safari cat, domestic cat crossed with Geoffroy cat (Oncifelis geoffroyi)
    • Chausie, domestic cat crossed with Jungle cat (Felis chaus)
    • Bengal cat, domestic cat crossed with Asian leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis), is the only exception. It may be imported if it is five generations removed from the Asian leopard cat.

For more information on cat or dog hybrids, contact the Wildlife Trade Regulation Section at the Department of the Environment by phone +61 6274 1111 or email Exotic Species.

Dog breeds

  • Domestic/non- domestic hybrids (e.g. wolf-dog crosses) are not eligible for import.
  • In accordance with the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956, the following pure breeds cannot be imported to Australia:
    • Dogo Argentino
    • Fila Brazileiro
    • Japanese Tosa
    • Pit Bull Terrier or American Pit Bull
    • Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario.

For more information on prohibited dog breeds, contact the Australian Border Force on +61 2 6264 1111 or 131 881 (within Australia) or https://www.border.gov.au/about/contact/make-enquiry.

Step 3: Permission to import

An import permit is not required.

The exporter must sign a Statutory Declaration that:

  • identifies the cat/dog by breed, sex, age and microchip number
  • verifies that the cat/dog has been continually resident in New Zealand since birth or direct importation from Australia, or for the 90 days immediately before the date of export if the animal has been imported into New Zealand from any other country
  • verifies that the cat/dog is not derived from a domestic/non-domestic hybrid and that a dog is not a prohibited breed
  • verifies that if a female cat or dog, the animal is not more than 40 days pregnant or suckling young at the time of export
  • states whether the dog has ever been to mainland Africa.

Step 4: Health certificate requirements

The animal must be accompanied by a health certificate signed by a veterinarian approved by the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries to certify live cats and dogs to Australia.

The health certificate must certify that:

    • the animal has been identified by a microchip
    • New Zealand is free from rabies
    • the animal was examined within five (5) days before the date export and found to be fit to travel
    • the animal was treated for external and internal parasites within five (5) days before the date of export.

Dogs only

The health certificate must also certify that:

  • canine brucellosis (Brucella canis), leptospirosis (Leptospira canicola) and indigenous cases of, and established populations of competent vectors for, canine ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia canis) and leishmaniosis (Leishmania infantum) have not been confirmed in New Zealand during the 12 months before the date of export
  • the dog has always lived in New Zealand since birth or importation from Australia (provide the NZ MPI approved veterinarian with evidence to this effect). If the dog has not lived only in New Zealand since birth or import from Australia, you must present the NZ MPI approved veterinarian with:
    • a negative test result (IFAT at 1:40 for Ehrlichia canis)
    • a negative test result (IFAT or ELISA) for Leishmania infantum.

These tests must be done after the dog has resided in New Zealand for a minimum of 21 days. This testing remains valid only if the dog is continuously resident in New Zealand from the sampling date until export to Australia.

Dogs that have ever been to mainland Africa must be treated by a government approved veterinarian while resident in New Zealand for Babesia canis with imidocarb dipropionate either:

    • as one treatment at 7.5 mg/kg bodyweight OR
    • two treatments at 6 mg/kg bodyweight given two weeks apart.

Where the dog is not treated in New Zealand a copy of the certification of the treatment must be endorsed by the MPI and accompany the dog to Australia.

Step 5: Travel to Australia

  • The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources does not place any restrictions on the airline you choose. However, the animal must travel as manifested cargo (not in the cabin) and in an International Air Transport Association (IATA) approved crate for cats or dog.
  • The department accepts no responsibility for cats or dogs that escape en route.
  • All transport costs are at the importer’s expense.
  • Assistance dogs may travel with their handler in the cabin, at the discretion of the airline.

Step 6: Clearance on arrival

  • All import conditions must be met.
  • All health certification and relevant documentation must travel to Australia with the cat or dog.
  • Notify the department at least three (3) days before the animal arrives by emailing the regional office in the state/territory in which the cat or dog will first arrive in Australia.

State Office

Phone

Email

New South Wales

+61 2 8334 7434

CER Animal Imports

Victoria

+61 3 83186767

Seanimal

Queensland

+61 7 3246 8633
+61 7 3247 7749

QLD Live Animal Imports

South Australia

+61 8 8201 6000

Import Assessment

Western Australia

+61 8 9334 1732

WA Live Animal Imports

Australian Capital Territory

+61 6272 5480
or
+61417 406 132

ACT Rego Office

Western Australia

+61 8 9334 1732

WA Live Animal Imports

  • Your email must include:
    • the date and estimated time of arrival
    • the flight number
    • the air waybill number
    • a short description of your cat or dog
    • a contact phone number in Australia or New Zealand
    • the address at which the cat or dog will stay in Australia
    • whether the dog is an assistance dog.
  • Cats and dogs must be cleared at the first port of arrival in Australia.
  • Allow at least 1 hour for the cat or dog to be released by airline cargo and cleared by the department. Connecting flights must not leave within one hour of the animal arriving in Australia.
  • If your cat or dog is to connect with a domestic flight you will have to arrange for it to be moved from the international to the domestic terminal. Animal transport agents/pet shippers can help you with this. The International Pet and Animal Transportation Association website has a list of pet shippers.
  • Please contact the relevant state/territory office to determine the fees for clearing your cat or dog.
  • Payment of fees is usually collected by the airline carrying your animal. The payment should appear on the air waybill. The department then invoices the airline to recover the fees. If the air waybill has not incorporated these fees the department will require payment before releasing your animal.

Step 7: On arrival in Australia

  • A biosecurity officer will check the cat or dog to verify all details match the import certification.
  • If acceptable, the animal will be released from biosecurity control. If not, additional documents may be requested and/or the animal may be subject to treatment, export or euthanasia.