Moving with Pets to Japan: Pet import requirements

Moving with pets to Japan is all about preparing well in advance. You need to understand the import requirements to avoid delays and complications. The process of moving with pets to Japan is in gathering the correct paperwork (health certificates, rabies certificates, etc.), choosing an airline-approved travel crate. Also, helping your pet to acclimate to the crate in the weeks before your move.

Before you decide to relocate to Japan with best moving company Kokusai Expressget informed about pet import requirements. Did you know Japan requires two rabies vaccines and a titer test, for example?

Moving with pets to Japan is all about preparing well in advance and understanding the import requirements
Before you decide to relocate to Japan, get information about pet import requirements.

Facts about Moving with pets to Japan

How long are dogs quarantined in Japan?

If you bring a pet dog with you from abroad, there are few rules for air transportation in Japan. It will be in quarantine inspection after arrival in Japan. For examination of rabies and leptospirosis.

To Import dogs and cats to Japan requires a 12-hour quarantine. You need to wait for requirements and documentation. If you don’t have required documents, the maximum quarantine time for your pet can be 180 days. Animal Quarantine Service (AQS) officials advise that the “entire process can take up to six months to complete”.

There are 17 ports and airports in Japan through which you may bring your dog. Animal quarantine service Narita airport charges a detention fee. It depends on days, size for all pets. This fees includes basic boarding, food, and care for the pet.

Upon arrival (with the proper documents), your pet will in quarantine for two weeks or longer at the airport. During this period, you are responsible for feeding and caring for your pet, who will be in a kennel.

Animal Quarantine Stations

Detention inspections are normally conducted at Animal Quarantine Stations and require that animals be isolated from people and other animals in order to check for the presence of illness or disease. Time of detention is a period of 14 to 180 days. It depends on the content of rabies vaccination and health certificates. However, if your dog comes from one of the rabies-free areas, the detention may be as short as 12 hours.

In addition, if your dog has not a rabies vaccination, it will be in detention for a period of 30 days. If a government agency issue a certificate by in country of departure containing a statement to the effect that the animal was raised in isolation and that certain conditions have been satisfied.

To avoid moving stress, be aware that you will not be able to bring your dog into Japan if you do not have a health certificate issued by a government agency.

Japan pet import forms

Veterinarian must inspect dogs and cats for moving to Japan
When you bring your dog into Japan you need to have a health certificate

The veterinarian has to inspect dogs and cats, so he can confirm that your pet is free of clinical signs of infectious disease including rabies and leptospirosis. The traveler needs an Exporter’s Declaration and an Export Health Certificate.

Upon arrival, submit the following documents to AQS:

  • International Health Certificate
  • Two rabies vaccination certificates
  • Advanced notification acknowledgment sent from AQS
  • An Import Quarantine Application Form provided by AQS

 What is an ISO pet microchip?

ISO compliant microchip is important for identification of dogs and cats. If the animal doesn’t have an ISO compliant microchip, the importer must bring a microchip reader with the pet.

The pet must have a microchip on the day of or before the 1st vaccination.

Rabies vaccine – most important step for importing pets in Japan

  • In a period of 91 days of age, your dogs and cats have to receive rabies vaccine at least twice.

First vaccination should be given to your pet in the age of the 90 days. And they should be vaccinated no more than one year before import.

  • No later than 40 days of arrival you should make notification of the pet importation to AQS.

Your pet has to stay in the exporting country for at least 180 days. But no more than two years after the date of blood sampling.

Rabies vaccine - most important step for importing pets in Japan
Vaccine your dogs and cats at least twice with rabies vaccine.

Importing Pets as Unaccompanied Cargo

You have to gather all the documentation same as accompanied pets.

When you are shipping pets to Japan with reliable movers in Japan, the owner of the pet is not required to be present in order to apply for quarantine inspection. A proxy can make the application.

Other costs for importing pets as unaccompanied cargo may be for the kennel, transportation fees, and customs clearances. Maybe you have to pay import tax, it depends on the pet and other circumstances.

Is Japan pet-friendly?

When you are moving with pets to Japan, keep in mind that most apartments in Japan do not allow pets. A few do, but you will have to hunt for them; and there may be extra fees for keeping a pet, such as a deposit.

All dogs must be on the leash or in the cage when outdoors, except in designated dog parks. Some restaurants and hotels accept pets.

Moving with dog to Japan policy

The agency that regulates the transport of animals into Japan is the Animal Quarantine Service of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. Their policy on dogs reads as follows:

  • There is no cost for rabies and leptospirosis examination while your dog is in detention. However, the dog’s owner is responsible for the care of his or her dog during that time.
  • You have to register a dog (91 days old or older) at the local municipal office and receive a dog license. Like we say at the beginning, the dog must have a rabies vaccination once a year. Also, it should receive a Completion of Rabies Vaccination Tag. The license and tag you must attach to the dog’s collar at all times.

If you decide for moving with pets to Japan, see the Ministry of Agriculture website for all requirements for cats and other pets.

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