Importing frozen canine semen from New Zealand

  • ​​​​Frozen canine semen coming to Australia from New Zealand does not require an import permit provided the standard import conditions can be met in full.
    • The requirements detailed in the veterinary health certificate take precedence over any other source of information. The information below is to help importers, exporters, veterinarians and pet transport agents meet biosecurity requirements.
    • Frozen canine semen must comply with all import conditions.
    • Failure to comply with the import conditions may result in the frozen canine semen being (at your cost):
      • exported
      • destroyed.
  • A New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries Approved Veterinarian must perform or supervise all veterinary procedures listed below.
  • All donor dog testing must be conducted in an approved country in a laboratory recognised by the New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries.
  • A separate veterinary health certificate must be completed for each donor dog.
  • The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources recommends that you take this information to your Government Approved Veterinarian to ensure the canine semen meets Australia’s import conditions.
  • If a variation or dispensation to any of the conditions below is required, you will need to apply for an import permit through BICON. Your application will be assessed and if alternative conditions can be applied an import permit may be granted. Applying for an import permit does not guarantee that your variation or dispensation will be approved.

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Step 1: Contact the New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries (NZ MPI)
Timeframe: Before starting the export process

  • Contact the NZ MPI to find out:
    • which veterinarians are approved to collect or supervise the collection of the canine semen and which laboratories are approved to test the blood samples collected from the donor dog (all veterinary procedures and testing must be done in an approved country and testing must be completed in a laboratory recognised by the NZ MPI)
    • if there are any additional requirements to those stated on this webpage
    • how to obtain the agreed veterinary health certificate.
  • The department recommends that you take this information to your NZ MPI approved veterinarian or canine semen transport agent to help you understand the requirements.

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

  • Only frozen canine semen can be imported into Australia.
  • Donor dogs must be resident in New Zealand and not be under quarantine restriction during and between the first and last semen collections.
  • If the donor dog has not been continuously resident in New Zealand since birth or since importation from Australia, there are additional testing requirements (step 6).
  • Semen from domestic/non-domestic animal hybrids (e.g. wolf-dog crosses) are not eligible for import. This includes, but is 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’s Environmental Biosecurity Office for more information on hybrid animals and reproductive material/specimens.

  • In accordance with the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956, the following pure breeds, and/or and their reproductive material cannot be imported to Australia.
    • dogo Argentino
    • fila Brasileiro
    • Japanese tosa
    • American pit bull terrier or pit bull terrier
    • Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario.

For more information on prohibited dog breeds, contact the Department of Home Affairs on +61 2 6264 1111 or 131 881 (within Australia).

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

  • Donor dogs must be identified by a microchip.
  • A NZ MPI approved 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.
  • Microchip numbers starting with 999 are not acceptable because they are not unique.

Step 4: Canine semen collection
Timeframe: Day of semen collection

  • Donor dogs must be examined by a NZ MPI approved veterinarian and found to be healthy and free from infectious or contagious diseases (including venereally transmitted diseases) on each day of semen collection.
  • A NZ MPI approved veterinarian must either collect the semen or supervise the collection of semen from the donor dog.
  • The semen must be processed in either straw or pellet (stored in a cryovial) form and be packaged and clearly labelled with the:
    • dog’s microchip number
    • species and breed
    • date of semen collection.

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

Step 5: Storing and packaging canine semen for export
Timeframe: After semen collection

  • A NZ MPI approved veterinarian must supervise the storage of the 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 other 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 a tamper evident seal by the NZ MPI approved veterinarian and the seal number must be recorded on the veterinary health certificate.

Step 6: Completion of veterinary health certificate
Timeframe: After semen collection but before the date of export

  • A veterinary health certificate completed, signed and stamped by a NZ MPI approved veterinarian, must accompany the frozen canine semen to Australia.
  • A separate veterinary health certificate must be completed for each donor dog.
  • See the MPI Biosecurity New Zealand website for further information.
  • The veterinary health certificate must include the:
    • donor dog breed, name and microchip number
    • date(s) of canine semen collection
    • number and identification of straws/cryovials in the consignment.
  • The veterinary health certificate must certify that:
    • New Zealand is free from rabies
    • canine brucellosis (Brucella canis), leptospirosis (Leptospira canicola) and indigenous cases of, and established populations of competent vectors for, leishmaniasis (Leishmania infantum) have not been confirmed in New Zealand during the 12 months prior to the date of canine semen collection.
    • the donor dog has always lived in New Zealand since birth or since importation from Australia (provide the NZ MPI approved veterinarian with evidence to this effect).
      • If the donor dog has not lived in New Zealand since birth or import from Australia, you must present the NZ MPI approved veterinarian with a negative test (IFAT or ELISA) result for Leishmania infantum on a blood sample collected 30-45 days after the last semen collection in the export consignment.

Step 7: Export to Australia

Notify the department by emailing 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 Office Email
Australian Capital Territory ACT Rego Office
New South Wales CER Animal Imports
Victoria SE Animal
Queensland QLD Live Animal Imports
South Australia SA Live Animal Imports
Western Australia WA Live Animal Imports
​Northern Territory NT Live Animal Imports and NT Airport Controller

General inquiry: 1800 900 090 or + 61 3 8318 6700 (from outside Australia)

For more office locations visit: Office locations 

  • Your email 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 through international mail.
  • Each consignment must be accompanied by a valid veterinary health certificate(s) and copies of any laboratory reports.

Step 8: 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 conditions 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.
Last reviewed: 30 June 2020
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