Group 1: Norfolk Island

  • ​​​​Cats and dogs coming to mainland Australia from Norfolk Island must be accompanied by a valid import permit, which provides the conditions for importing the cat or dog.
    • The conditions on the import permit 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 import permit.
    • Cats and dogs must comply with all conditions on the import permit.
    • Failure to comply with the conditions on the import permit 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 Norfolk Island.

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Step 1: Contact the Norfolk Island Veterinarian
Timeframe: Before starting the export process

Contact the local registered veterinarian to arrange to have your cat or dog prepared for export.
The department recommends that you take this information to your veterinarian or pet transport agent to help you understand the requirements.

Step 2: General eligibility
Timeframe: Before starting the export process

  • Cats and dogs must have been continuously resident on Norfolk Island since birth or direct importation from Australia or New Zealand, or for at least 180 days before the date of export if the animal has been imported into Norfolk Island 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, derived from crossbreeding domestic cat (Felis catus) 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).

Note – in certain circumstances, the Department of the Environment and Energy (DoEE) may permit the import of Bengal cats that are five generations or more removed from their wild ancestor. If you plan to import a Bengal cat, please contact DoEE to confirm your cat satisfies their requirements before you apply for an import permit from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. For more information about Bengal cats and other hybrid animals, DoEE can be contacted on +61 2 6274 2678 or email Exotic Species, or visit their website.

Dog breeds

  • Domestic/non-domestic animal hybrids (e.g. wolf-dog crosses) are not eligible for import. This includes, but not limited to:
    • Czechoslovakian wolfdog or Czechoslovakian Vlcak
    • Saarloos wolfdog or Saarloos wolfhound
    • Lupo Italiano or Italian wolfdog
    • Kunming wolfdog or Kunming dog.

Please contact the Department of the Environment and Energy on +61 2 6274 2678 or email Exotic Species for more information on hybrid animals.

  • 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 Department of Immigration and Border Protection on +61 2 6264 1111 or 131 881 (within Australia).

Step 3: Verify existing microchip or implant a new microchip
Timeframe: Before starting the export process

  • Cats and dogs must be identified by a microchip that can be read by an Avid, Trovan, Destron or other ISO compatible reader.
  • A registered veterinarian must scan the microchip at each veterinary visit. The veterinarian must also check that the scanned microchip number is correctly recorded on all documentation.
  • If the microchip cannot be read or is recorded incorrectly in the animal's documentation, the animal cannot be imported to Australia.

Step 4: Apply and pay for the import permit
Timeframe: After the microchip has been implanted and at least 20 days before the date of export

  • Submit your import permit application, full payment and all supporting documentation online through our Biosecurity Import Conditions System (BICON).
  • Supporting documentation (original documents are not required) may include a completed veterinary medical form or letter from your veterinarian detailing any ongoing medical conditions.
  • 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 twelve (12) months from the date of issue.

Step 5: External parasite treatment
Timeframe: Within 5 days before the date of export

Cats and dogs must be given a topical external parasite treatment by a registered veterinarian, which kills ticks and fleas on contact within 5 days before the date of export.

Further information on acceptable treatment products.

Step 6: Internal parasite treatment
Timeframe: Within 5 days before the date of export

Cats and dogs must be given an internal parasite treatment, by a registered veterinarian, effective against nematodes and cestodes within 5 days before the date of export.

Further information on acceptable treatment products.

Step 7: Pre-export clinical examination
Timeframe: Within 5 days before the date of export

The cat or dog must be examined by a registered veterinarian and found to be free from ticks and fleas, and signs of infectious or contagious disease within 5 days before the date of export.

Step 8: Completion of animal health certificate (Appendix 1 of the import permit)
Timeframe: Within 5 days before the date of export

  • A valid import permit, with a completed animal health certificate must accompany the animal on arrival in Australia.
  • The animal health certificate is Appendix 1 of your import permit.
  • We recommend that you keep a copy of every document.

Step 9: Travel to mainland Australia

  • Cats and dogs may travel by either sea or air but must travel directly to mainland Australia.
  • No cats or dogs except those for import to Australia or New Zealand may be carried on the voyage/flight without prior approval by the department.
  • If travelling by air, cats and dogs must travel as manifested cargo (not in the cabin) in an International Air Transport Association (IATA) approved crate for cats or dogs.
  • 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 10: Clearance on arrival

  • All import conditions must be met.
  • The animal health certificate and any other 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 mainland Australia.

Regional office

Phone

Email

New South Wales

+61 2 8334 7434

Ceranimalimports@agriculture.gov.au

Victoria

+61 3 8318 6767

seanimal@agriculture.gov.au

Queensland

+61 7 3246 8633
+61 7 3247 7749

qldliveanimalimports@agriculture.gov.au

South Australia

+61 8 8201 6000

saairfreight@agriculture.gov.au

Western Australia

+61 8 9334 1732

waliveanimalimports@agriculture.gov.au

Northern Territory

+61 8 8998 4900

NTliveanimalimports@agriculture.gov.au

and

ntcontroller@agriculture.gov.au

  • 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
    • the address at which the cat or dog will stay in mainland Australia
    • a copy of the import permit
    • whether the animal is an assistance dog.
  • Cats and dogs must be cleared at the first port of arrival in mainland 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 mainland 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 11: On arrival in mainland 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.
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