Companion animals

​​​​​​​​​​Under Australia's Export Control Act 1982, an Export Permit and a Health Certificate are required for export of all live animals from Australia. Live anim​als for this purpose are define​d under section 3.02 of the Export Control (Animals) Order 2004. Many countries require that animals receive treatment/testing/vaccination in Australia before they are eligible for import, and all countries require that live animals receive a final veterinary inspection before export.

The steps below outline the process involved in preparing your animal(s) for export:

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1. Pre-expor​​t prepara​tion

Australian Government Accredited Veterinarians (AAV) who are familiar with the export process.

Contact an AAV to discuss the export process, the importing country's requirements and arrange for the relevant treatments, inspections and documentation to be completed. This initial contact must be made well in advance of the intended date of export as some countries require that animals receive a rabies vaccination at least 30 days before the date of departure. Import Permits may be required for entry of animals into some countries.

If there is any likelihood that your pet will be returning to Australia, it is imperative that you discuss this with the Department of Agriculture as early as possible.

Animals cannot be imported (or returned) directly to Australia from some countries, so appropriate advice is essential before your animal leaves Australia. If you wish to re-import your pet within six months of export, preparations must be made prior to leaving Australia.

  • Pre-export preparations for dogs and cats potentially returning to Australia

2. Complying ​​with the importing country's requirements

The exporter is responsible for ensuring that the animal(s) will comply with the importing country's requirements at the time of export.

To obtain information on the preparation and health requirements for the species of animal being exported it may be necessary to:

  • visit the official website of the relevant government authority for the destination country
  • directly contact the relevant government authority by phone, post or email to obtain the latest import requirements in writing. The country's embassy may also be able to assist.

If the importing country requires an import permit this may also detail the specific preparation and health requirements that need to be met.

Only official documentation published or issued by the relevant government authority in the importing country is acceptable to the department as the basis for the preparation and health status of the animal(s) intended for export.

Health certificates will not be issued based on information from other sources such as pet transport companies or websites other than the official website of the responsible government authority in the importing country.

Additional information regarding the Export of pets to Europe can be found on MI​CoR​.

3. Forward to the Depa​​rtment of Agriculture and Water Resources a 'Notice of Intention to Export'

Complete a 'Notice of Intention to Export Live Animals (other than Live-stock) or Animal Reproductive Material' (NOI) form and return, by fax or mail, to the 6. Live Animal office in your state below from which you will be exporting. If you require an import permit from the importing country please provide a copy with the NOI. If the import permit is not in English you will need to supply a certified translated copy. The Export Control Act requires that the NOI and any other supporting documentation is received at least 10 days before the scheduled date of departure. Please check with the 6. Live Animal office in your state below well in advance of the intended date of export.

Upon receipt of the NOI, the department will assess the application to determine if all information has been provided and the exporter's plans are sufficient to meet the relevant importing country's pre-export preparation requirements. If all the required information has been provided and the preparation plans are acceptable the exporter will be advised that their NOI has been approved. If the NOI is not approved the exporter will be advised of the reasons why and what additional information and/or conditions are required for them to obtain approval.

Approval of the NOI does not necessarily mean that the department will issue the export permit and health certificate. The export permit and health certificate will only be issued once the department is satisfied that the animal(s) have been prepared in accordance with the importing country's requirements.

4. Make an appointment with the dep​artment to collect the official documentation

Once the NOI has been approved by the department the exporter will be contacted to arrange an appointment for the issuing of the export permit and health certificate. The appointment will be after the final inspection by the AAV and within 72 hours of the scheduled time of departure.

At this appointment, present all documentation that has been completed by the AAV together with any other relevant documents (e.g. Import Permits if required, vaccination certificates). Based on this documentation the department's certifying veterinary officer will determine whether the animals have qualified for export. If all the necessary pre-export preparations have been completed as required by the importing country and in compliance with the department's legislation, the department will issue the relevant export documentation.

It is not usually a requirement for animals to be presented at the department's office. Please check with the 6. Live Animal office in your state below.

The fee for issue of an Export Permit and Official Health Certificate is a time based fee for service charged per quarter hour or part thereof.

5. Organise transport of the ani​​mal

The department does not organise transport or any post-entry quarantine that may be required by the importing country. Separate arrangements must be made with the airline for carriage of the animals well in advance. The scheduled departure date determines the timing of the preparation activities and final inspection by the AAV as well as the appointment time for the issuing of the official export documentation. Some airlines require lodgement of animals by known agents such as animal transport companies. Please check with the airline.

Animal transport containers must comply with the specifications of the International Air Transport Association, which defines container design, construction and size. The container must be of sufficient size to allow each animal enough space to turn about normally while standing, to stand and sit erect, and to lie in a natural position. Your accredited veterinarian, the airline or a pet transport company (check the Yellow Pages telephone directory for companies) can provide further details. Most pet transport companies also sell crates for the international carriage of animals.

For further assistance please contact a department regional office during office hours in the state from which you intend to depart, or email the Live Animal Exports Program.​

​6. Live animal offices

The department offices are open Monday to Friday (excluding Public Holidays).





Appointment times


1 Crewe Place, Rosebery, 2018

02 8334 7434

02 8334 7430

8 am to 12 pm & 1 to 3 pm

Melbourne —
South East region

( incorporates VIC & TAS )
SE Region Animal Program

1st floor
255 Melrose Drive Tullamarine VIC 3043

03 8308 5070
03 8308 5072
03 8308 5076
03 8308 5077

03 8308 5071

Mon – Fri 8.30 am to 12.30 pm.

Other times by prior arrangement

Cairns—Nth Qld

Airport Administration Centre, Cairns International Airport 4870

07 4030 7800

07 4035 9578

By prior arrangement


42-44 Qantas Drive
Eagle Farm QLD 4009

07 3246 8731

07 3246 8798

8.30 am to 12 pm


Adelaide International Airport
Sir Donald Bradman Drive Export Park SA 5950

08 8201 6000

08 8305 9820

2 pm


9 Fricker Road
Perth Airport 6105

08 9334 1555

08 9334 1668

10.30 am to 12 pm


1 Pederson Road
(cnr Henry Wigley Road)
Marrara 0812

08 8920 7000

08 8920 7011

8 am to 4.20 pm


18 Marcus Clarke Street

02 6272 4581

Fax not available

8.30 am to 12.30 pm & 1.30 pm to 5.00 pm​

Last reviewed:
22 Jul 2016