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How to Bring Your Pets with You to China?

The following is a letter from Rachel Wilhelm:

I have a question. I am considering moving to China, but have two cats that I wouldn't live without. I am wondering if the article I read on this website is the most recent information about quarantine regulations. I read that Shanghai has built a government facility where the animals are quarantined. I had read elsewhere that you could have the animals quarantined in your home. This would be my preference. Can you give me any more up to date information? Are cats still allowed to be quarantined in your home, or do they have to go to a government facility?
Rachel Wilhelm
Atlanta, USA


Dear Rachel Wilhelm,
Thank you for your interest in our website. I don't know which city you are considering moving to in China, since each may have different regulations. However, as you mention Shanghai, I will provide some information on moving there.
It is possible to bring your pet dog or cat with you to Shanghai. However, usually only one pet per adult passport is allowed. The city's regulations are different for dogs, cats and other animals, but every pet owner needs to file the necessary paperwork, pay certain fees, and for dogs, register their animals with the local police.
You will need to have your pet's health certificate approved by your country's appropriate government bureau. For the US, pet owners will need a USDA stamp of approval.
The following documents are required to clear customs and quarantine:
1. International health certificate issued in the originating country showing the name, sex, and breed of the pet (certified by USDA)
2. Vaccination record showing that a rabies shot was given within the preceding 12 months, but not less than 30 days before departure. Cats must be vaccinated against Enteritis (E3) within 12 months of arrival into China. You will need a certificate for Feline Panleucopania, and Feline Respiratory Disease Complex Vaccinations (vaccination certificate)
3. Owner's residential details in China
4.  Copy of airway bill (if traveling as cargo) 
Since last July, pets brought into China from overseas have had to undergo a 15-30 day quarantine at a special facility set up by the city.
You will need to check with your local vet/government department about getting the documentation mentioned above. You may also want to get a (simplified) Chinese translation made of these documents to help when you arrive. The local Chinese embassy may be able to help, or provide details of a translator in your area. Make sure that the translations are certified copies.
Once you have these, you can bring your pet. The hard part now is finding an airline that will allow you to ship your pet safely.
Here are some helpful websites:
http://www.shanghaiguide.com/articles/display_article.php?ArticleID=9.                                   http://www.hlraohe.gov.cn/kajm/crj/xz.htm                                 

I hope you can find some useful information from them.
Thanks again for your feedback!
The Editor

(China.org.cn April 28, 2004)

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