Veterinary Treatment Facility Operations

 Animal Import/Export Requirements

Last Updated: January 13, 2020
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Animal import/export requirements may apply to family pets on a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move.

For the latest information on animal import/export requirements, check the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) web page (link below), contact the country's consulate, contact your sponsor or the veterinary treatment facility on the base where you will be stationed. Be aware that rules and regulations can change on short notice; the best place to get the latest information is from the country of destination.

Contact the airline in advance to determine applicable airline carrier regulations.  Check the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) web page (link below) under 'Special Considerations: Traveling with Special Items" for information about flying with pets.
Remember that all pets traveling by air will need a health certificate completed by a veterinarian which is generally valid for no more than 10 days from date of issue and may need to be signed by a USDA veterinarian in addition to the civilian or Army veterinarian.
Be sure to carry all documents with you, including vaccination certificates, health certificates and import certificates when required.

Follow these other tips to make the trip easier on your pet:

        • Provide a sturdy crate with a leak-proof bottom. Often, the airline will have specific requirements, so you need to contact the carrier directly. The crate should be large enough so that your pet can stand up, lie down and turn around comfortably. Allow your pet to become used to being in the crate well in advance of traveling by encouraging it to sleep or even eat and drink while in the crate. This will allow your pet to feel relaxed during travel.
        • Place a comfortable pad or the pet's bedding in the crate and add a favorite toy or two and/or a shirt you have worn or slept in so that the pet is comforted by your scent.
        • On the outside of the crate, print your name, address and the pet's destination. Include your pet's name, so the attendants can talk to the animal. Place a tag with your name, address and the pet's destination on a collar around the pet's neck, because on rare occasions, pets can escape from crates and might require identification. Also, attach a copy of the health, rabies and import certificates.
        • Exercise the pet lightly before departing.
        • Feed a light meal no less than 6 hours before departing and remove water 2 hours before, except on hot days. Provide a water dish with the crate, so attendants can provide water during stopovers. If the trip lasts longer than 24 hours, provide some food (dry is best), attached to the outside of the crate in a cloth or mesh bag.

Questions regarding Animal Import/Export Requirements may be directed to the APHC Clinical Veterinary Medicine Program, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

New Import/Export Information:
      UPDATE: 10 March 2014 Item 6 below.

      KOREA Pet Importation Requirements:  The Republic of Korea has modified their pet importation requirements and stringent pet importation requirements took effect 01 Dec 12. For the most current information on PCSing with pets, please visit:

      106th Medical Detachment Veterinary Service Support (106th MED DET VSS) External Link
      DSN (315) 738-5145/ commercial 011-822-7918-5145

      Korean pet importation requirements are also available from the Animal, Plant, and Fisheries Quarantine and Inspection Agency External Link.

      Care for pets at military veterinary treatment facilities (VTF) is limited and primarily provides routine preventive medical and surgical care. Emergency care is not available at military VTFs and civilian veterinary clinics are limited in some areas. Only 2 pets (cats and dogs only) are authorized transport in the event of a non-combatant evacuation operation (NEO) in Korea. All pets must be registered at the installation VTF upon arriving in Korea (or when purchased in Korea). Not all housing areas allow pets. When assigned housing in pet restricted areas, service members that have brought pets have been required to find new owners/pet housing arrangements (including shipping them back to the states). Confirm housing options before transporting pets.

      New Quarantine Regulation for Dogs & Cats Importation to Korea
      Effective 01 December 2012

      1. Korea allows importation of no more than four (4) animals per person.
      (Animal owners who wish to import more than 4 animals per person are required to gain preauthorization and pay custom duties for imported pets. Contact the QIA official for details.)

      • Customs clearance is required upon entry into Korea. Service members must present travel orders and pet documentation at the Customs desk to request the SOFA import tax waiver. Pets imported more than 6 months after initial entry will be assessed an import duty.
      • Pets shipped separate from the service member or their family may incur additional costs when they travel as air cargo. Owners should discuss the details of these costs with the transportation broker prior to shipment.

      2. Dogs and cats less than 90 days of age at entry are not required to have been vaccinated and are exempted from FAVN testing requirements.

      3.  Pet travel from the US/CONUS area:  

      Original health certificate (APHIS Form 7001; see appendix A for an example of a Military endorsed form) issued by an official veterinarian (endorsed by a USDA veterinarian unless signed and stamped by a Military/GS veterinarian in both blocks with a valid control number) must be presented at time of entry. All health certificates must include original signatures, no copies will be accepted.

      4.   Pet travel from locations outside of US/CONUS area:

      a.     Consider contacting the Korean QIA office directly or through your sponsor to confirm the travel documentation for your pet's travel.
      b.    Original health certificate issued by an official government veterinarian from the host nation (eg. certificate and kennel stamp from the Japanese export veterinarian or an EU pet passport signed and stamped by a German government veterinarian) must be presented at time of entry. Service members are directed to contact the servicing VTF for assistance. All health certificates must include original signatures, no copies will be accepted.

      5. ISO compliant microchip (ISO11784 or 11785):

      • Mandatory for all dogs and cats regardless of age. Microchip number should be stated on official health certificate.
      • Pets that do not have ISO compliant microchips should have a compliant microchip placed prior to travel (list both on health certificate) or the owner should transport a microchip reader.

      6. Rabies Antibody Test (FAVN) for over cats/dogs over 90 days old:  

      • Result should be equal or greater than 0.5 IU/mL.
      • Result should be stated in the remarks section of the health certificate. The name of the laboratory conducting the test and the date the sample was drawn must also be listed in the remarks section.
      • Testing should be performed at least 30 days but not more than 2 years prior to travel to Korea.
      • Original test result report should be presented at time of entry.
      • Results from these labs will be accepted as valid: External Link
        • DoD Food Analysis & Diagnostic Laboratory (FADL) NOTE: Tests performed by the FADL from 21 September 2012 thorugh 1 January 2014 are not consider valid due to complications with the EU certification                                 
        • Kansas State External Link

      7. Rabies Vaccination: Rabies vaccination should be performed at least 30 days prior to and be within the reported expiration date (1 or 3 year vaccination) at the time of arrival.

      Animals from a rabies-free country (according to current OIE standard)* must be microchipped with and ISO compliant microchip and be presented with an official health certificate.

      *Japan, Taiwan, Cyprus, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, Iceland, Guam, Hawaii, Samoa, Cayman Islands, French Polynesia, Martinique, Department of Reunion, Wallis and Futuna, Albania, Dominican Republic, Macedonia, Lichtenstein, Malaysia, Switzerland, Ireland, Fiji, Singapore, Jamaica, United Kingdom

      Any dog or cat presented for entry that does not meet these requirements will be quarantined at the owner's expense until compliance is met. Quarantined animals will be housed at an Official Korean Quarantine Facility, the Yongsan Pet Care Clinic or the Osan Veterinary Treatment Facility.

      Quarantine release for a dog or cat will be dependent on resolution of the deficiency:

      1. No microchip: An ISO compliant microchip must be placed.

      2. Incomplete/improper rabies vaccination, absent/deficient rabies antibody titer (not greater than 0.5 IU/mL):

      • Revaccination for animals as appropriate.
      • Test will be performed by Korean government lab (at owner's expense).
      • Animals with results less than 0.5 IU/mL will be held until the antibody response to revaccination results in an adequate titer.

      If you have met the above requirements and still encounter pet problems at the Incheon airport, please ask airline or airport officials to contact the USFK Incheon Customs Office or call 0505-723-7561, Monday-Friday 0800-1700hrs.  After duty hours or on weekends and holidays, contact the USFK Customs Senior On Duty Officer at 010-8834-0267.  To obtain more information, please visit External Link , contact your sponsor, or call DSN (315) 738-5145 or commercial 011-822-7918-5145.

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