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How to bring your pet to India from abroad?

Increasing number of people prefer to travel with their pets as pets are now being considered as a part of the family and thinking of leaving them behind seems to be impossible. If you wish to bring your pet along with you as you are relocating or transferring to India, here are important details for you to review. Please note that the pets are considered as a part of checked-in baggage or cargo for the travel process.

Definition of pet: Only dogs and cats are currently classified as pets by DGFT (Director General of Foreign Trade) in India.

Eligibility: Non-resident Indians (NRIs) who live outside India over 180 years abroad or OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) can obtain the import of their pets following the import process. Additionally, foreigners planning to live in India for more than one year can also import their healthy pets. The pet owners need to complete several conditions before bringing their pets to India. 

The NRIs need to obtain the license from DGFT (deputy general of foreign trade) in case they are visiting for a shorter duration and they ensure that the pet arrives and departs along with them.

The Indian government does not allow unaccompanied cats and dogs provided the owners are relocating to India within 30 days of arrival of their pets.

1. Pet Microchips: Pets entering into India required to be microchipped as ISO 11784/11785 pet microchip that is 15 digit and non-encrypted in order to scan the pets at arrival. In case they are not ISO complaints, the owner needs to bring their own scanner.

2. Import License: Import licenses from DGFT are required to bring pets in India. Additionally, all pet owners need to apply for a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from an Animal Quarantine station in India before their pets enter into India. This NOC is required for all pets for short-term as well as long-term stay.

3. Vaccinations: Vaccinations of pets are mandatory requirement for bringing the pets in India. This vaccination must be done within a month (31 days) prior to departure date.

If the dogs are entering India from high rabies countries, they must be vaccinated against Distemper, Leishmaniasis, Parvovirus and Leptospirosis.

5. Rabies Titler Tests: Rabies titler tests are not necessary to bring pets from abroad.

6. Health Certificate and other formalities: All pets traveling to India must have a Veterinary Certificate for India. If pets are traveling from the USA or Canada, the certificate must be endorsed by USDA or CFIA. You can visit here to fill out the form to avail the services for this.

This certificate is valid for 10 days except if you are bringing your pet from the US where it is valid for 30 days.

You need to provide relocation proof such as an official letter regarding transfer or appointment letter etc.

Certificate of Veterinary Inspection

Commercial Shipments: All pets imported in India must be associated with their owner when they enter into India when the owner is being relocated. This is to avoid breeding or being used for commercial purposes, which is not permitted in India, exceptions are granted by DGFT by issuing a license.

7. Traveling by Air: The pets travel by flight as checked in luggages in the cabin. This cabin or section in flight is dedicated for pets. The pets can depart at all major airports such as Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata etc) in India.

Pets and owners are required to travel at the same time or arrive within 30 days after owners arrive in India. The owners must produce and submit their passport until the custom procedures for pet imports are cleared at the Indian customs.

8. Quarantine: The pets may need to undergo the quarantine process. This quarantine duration has two options, either 14 days at government supervised quarantine facilities or 30 days home quarantine.

9. Restrictions:

a. Each person can bring a maximum of 2 dogs or cats without a license. If a person wishes to bring more than 2 pets, they need to obtain an import license from DGFT.

b. As per the rule, two pet animals as baggage allowed to persons, who are relocating to India after staying abroad for min of one year of continuous stay abroad in terms of Baggage Rules 1998 subject to various conditions mentioned above.

c. Unaccompanied puppies or kittens are not allowed to bring in India and they need to be microchipped. Puppies and kittens need to follow a process that is similar to dogs or cats.

d. Please note that dogs or any other animals are not permitted for breeding or show or any other commercial purposes. The businesses having specific import-export codes issued by DGFT are allowed to import animals for commercial purposes. If anyone interested in obtaining import-export code to start the importing and exporting animals can visit this link for more information.

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