Companion animals

​​​​​​Under Australia's Export Control Act 2020 and Export Control (Animals) Rules 2021, an export permit and a health certificate are required for export of companion animals from Australia. Many countries require animals be treated/tested/vaccinated in Australia prior to export, 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:

[expand all]

1. Pre-export preparation

Begin export preparation as soon as you can.

Companion animals are exported from Australia under conditions designed to manage the health requirements of each importing country. Some countries require that animals receive a rabies vaccination at least 30 days before the date of departure. Import Permits may also be required for entry of animals into some countries.

Most pet transport companies will manage these arrangements for you. However, if you are making arrangements for your pets, you should contact a registered veterinarian to discuss the importing country's requirements, arrange relevant treatments, inspections and documentation.

If there is any likelihood that your pet will be returning to Australia, you must discuss this with the Live Animal office (see below) 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.

2. Complying with the importing country's requirements

Under Australian law, 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 you may need to:

  • visit the official website of the relevant government authority for the destination country
  • directly contact the relevant government authority by phone, mail or email to obtain the latest import requirements in writing. The country's embassy in Australia 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.

Further information regarding the export of pets can be found on Micor.

3. Forward to the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment a 'Notice of Intention to Export'

Complete a Notice of Intention to Export Live Animals (other than Livestock)) form and return, by email, to the 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 business days before the scheduled date of departure. Please check with the 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. There is no fee for the assessment of an NOI application.

4. Make an appointment with the department 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 registered veterinarian and within 72 hours of the scheduled time of departure.

At this appointment, present all documentation that has been completed by the registered veterinarian 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, but some countries may require that the department’s certifying veterinary officer see the animals. Please check with the Live Animal office in your state below.

You will be charged for the issue of the health certificate and export permit. Payment is due at or before the time of issue. 

5. Organise transport of the animal

The exporter is responsible for organising transport and any post-entry quarantine that may be required by the importing country. Separate arrangements must be made with airlines for carriage of the animals well in advance. The scheduled departure date determines the timing of the preparation activities and final inspection by the registered veterinarian as well as the appointment time for the issuing of the official export documentation. Some airlines require animals to be transported by known agents such as animal transport companies. Please check with your 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 veterinarian, the airline or a pet transport company can provide further details. Most pet transport companies also sell crates for the international carriage of animals.

For further assistance please contact your department regional office during office hours in the state from which you intend to depart.

6. Live animal offices

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

Region Address Phone/ Fax Email Appointment times
Sydney—NSW Building 2   Level 7  185 O'Riordan Street, Mascot NSW 2020 Phone:
1800 900 090 or (61 3) 8318 6700 (outside Australia) 9 am to 12 pm & 1 pm to 3 pm
Melbourne —
South East region
( incorporates VIC & TAS )
SE Region Animal Program
1st floor
255 Melrose Drive Tullamarine VIC 3043
1800 900 090 or (61 3) 8318 6700 (outside Australia)
Fax: 03 8308 5071 Mon – Fri 8.30 am to 12.30 pm.

Other times by prior arrangement
Cairns—North Qld Airport Administration Centre
Cairns International Airport QLD 4870
1800 900 090 or (61 3) 8318 6700 (outside Australia) By prior arrangement
Townsville – Northeast Qld Ground Floor—River Quays Building, 7-13 Tomlins Street Townsville QLD 4810 Phone:
1800 900 090 or (61 3) 8318 6700 (outside Australia) By prior arrangement
Brisbane—Qld 42-44 Qantas Drive
Eagle Farm QLD 4009
1800 900 090 or (61 3) 8318 6700 (outside Australia) 9 am to 12.30 pm and 1 pm to 3 pm
Adelaide—SA Adelaide International Airport
Sir Donald Bradman Drive Export Park SA 5950
1800 900 090 or (61 3) 8318 6700 (outside Australia) 2 pm
Perth—WA 9 Fricker Road
Perth Airport WA 6105
1800 900 090 or (61 3) 8318 6700 (outside Australia) 12 pm to 2 pm
Darwin—NT 1 Pederson Road
(cnr Henry Wigley Road)
Eaton (Marrara) NT 0812
1800 900 090 or (61 3) 8318 6700 (outside Australia) 8 am to 4.20 pm
Last reviewed: 27 March 2021
Thanks for your feedback.
Thanks! Your feedback has been submitted.

We aren't able to respond to your individual comments or questions.
To contact us directly phone us or submit an online inquiry

Please verify that you are not a robot.