Group 1: Cocos (Keeling) Islands

  • ​​Cats coming to Australia from Cocos Islands must be accompanied by a valid import permit, which provides the conditions for importing the cat.
    • 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 cat for export; it is not a substitute for the import permit.
    • Cats must comply with all conditions on the import permit.
    • Failure to comply with the conditions on the import permit may result in the cat being (at your cost):
      • moved to and held in post entry quarantine
      • subject to additional testing
      • exported
      • euthanased
  • A registered veterinarian or government official must perform or supervise all veterinary procedures listed below.
  • There is no mandatory quarantine period for cats from Cocos Islands.

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Step 1: General Eligibility
Timeframe: Before starting the export process

  • Cats must have been continuously resident in an approved rabies free country (group 1 or group 2) since birth or direct import from Australia, or for a minimum of 180 days immediately before export if the cat has been imported into Cocos Island from any other country.
  • Cats must not be under quarantine restrictions at the time of export.
  • Cats must not be more than 40 days pregnant nor be suckling young at the time of export.
  • Cats 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).

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.

Step 2: Verify existing microchip or implant a new microchip
Timeframe: Before starting the export process

  • Cats must be identified by a microchip that can be read by an Avid, Trovan, Destron or other ISO compatible reader.
  • If the microchip cannot be read or is recorded incorrectly in the cat's documentation, the cat cannot be imported to Australia.

Step 3: 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 4: External parasite treatment
Timeframe: Within 5 days before the date of export

Cats must be given a topical external parasite treatment that kills ticks and fleas on contact within 5 days before the date of export.

Further information on acceptable treatment products.

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

​Cats must be given an internal parasite treatment effective against nematodes and cestodes within 5 days before the date of export.

Further information on acceptable treatment products.

Step 6: Pre-export clinical examination
Timeframe: Within 5 days before the date of export

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

Step 7: 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 cat 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 8: Travel to Australia

  • Cats may travel by sea or air but must travel directly to Australia.
  • No cats except those for import to Australia may be carried on the voyage/flight without prior approval by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
  • If travelling by air, cats must travel as manifested cargo (not in the cabin) in an International Air Transport Association (IATA) approved crate for cats.
  • The department accepts no responsibility for cats that escape en route.
  • All transport costs are at the importer’s expense.

Step 9: 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.
  • Notify the department at least three (3) days before the cat arrives by emailing the regional office in the state/territory in which the cat will first arrive in Australia.

State Office



New South Wales

+61 2 8334 7434

CER Animal Imports


+61 3 8318 6767

SE Animal


+61 7 3246 8633
+61 7 3247 7749

QLD Live Animal Imports

South Australia

+61 8 8201 6000

SA Live Animal Imports

Western Australia

+61 8 9334 1732

WA Live Animal Imports

​Northern Territory​+61 8 8998 4900NT Live Animal Imports and NT Airport Controller
  • Your email must include:
    • the date and estimated time of arrival
    • the flight number
    • the air waybill number
    • a short description of the cat
    • a contact phone number
    • the address at which the cat will stay in Australia
    • a copy of the import permit.
  • Cats must be cleared at the first port of arrival in Australia.
  • Allow at least 1 hour for the cat to be released by airline cargo and cleared by the department. Connecting flights must not leave within one hour of the cat arriving in Australia.
  • If your cat 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.
  • Payment of fees is usually collected by the airline carrying the cat. 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 the cat.

Step 10: On arrival in Australia

  • A biosecurity officer will check the cat 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.