Cats and dogs to Australia
Follow the steps
Types of pets included in this process
This process covers exporting only cats and dogs to Australia. Exporting other types of pets to Australia or pets to another country, follows a different process.
To export your cat or dog to Australia successfully you must:
- have your cat or dog microchipped
- ensure your cat or dog meets all of the Overseas Market Access Requirements (OMAR’s) for cats and dogs to Australia
- use a pet exporter (recommended)
- ensure all the necessary documentation is completed correctly
- check if you have to complete an Owner Statutory Declaration form
- get an export certificate from an MPI-approved veterinarian
- be aware of relevant legislation.
If you're planning to later bring your pet back to New Zealand, make sure you check the requirements for bringing pets into New Zealand before you leave.
Consider using a registered pet exporter
MPI recommends you use a registered pet exporter to help arrange tests, treatments, flights, crates and other requirements. Most airlines will only deal with a pet exporter as this adds assurance that all requirements will be completed at the appropriate time before departure. Fees and charges apply.
New Zealand has an agreement with Australia to export your cat or dog there. An MPI-approved vet takes care of the export certificate for you and you don't need an animal welfare export certificate. An MPI-approved vet is a New Zealand-registered vet who is not employed by the ministry, but can sign the export certificate, if they are approved under the MPI Export Programme for cats and dogs to Australia.
Check Australian requirements
Export requirements are detailed in legal documents called OMAR’s (Overseas Market Access Requirements). The OMAR for taking cats and dogs to Australia explains all of the requirements that must be met prior to export, including:
- ensuring your cat or dog is microchipped
- what parasite treatments are needed
- whether any tests are needed
- when the treatments and tests need to be done.
Download the OMAR for cats and dogs to Australia. [PDF, 501 KB]
Early preparation is recommended. Your pet may require tests or treatments to be done weeks before it leaves. Your vet might also have to order in some infrequently used treatments.
Use a registered pet exporter (recommended)
While MPI doesn't require you to use a pet exporter, most airlines will only deal with pet exporters. MPI recommends you use a registered pet exporter – they know the exporting system and can help make the process a lot smoother for both you and your pet.
Note that pet exporters will be able to give an idea of the total cost of exporting your pet. MPI can only provide you with information about the fees we charge.
If you're exporting commercially, you must register with MPI as an exporter or use the services of a registered exporter. Exporter registration can be done online, or by completing a printed form.
If you have questions about registering as an exporter, email email@example.com
Get a suitable crate and other provisions for travel
Your pet will need to travel in an approved crate and have other provisions to comply with International Air Transport Association (IATA) requirements – unless it's travelling on a personal boat or yacht. Your pet exporter can arrange this for you. It's a good idea to get your crate early and get your pet used to being in and around it.
Get an export certificate
MPI-approved vets issue export certificates for cats and dogs travelling to Australia. Contact one of the approved vets to get a certificate for your cat or dog. We recommend you ask for a pre-export check before your vet does the actual export certification.
Do you need an owner's statutory declaration?
If someone is exporting your cat or dog to Australia on your behalf (for example, a registered pet exporter or a representative), you need to fill out an owner statutory declaration and have it witnessed by a Justice of the Peace or someone else authorised to take a statutory declaration. MPI-approved vets require the original declaration form so that the person can sign all the necessary documents on your behalf. Note, you don't need a declaration form if you're presenting your own cat and dog for export certification.
Assistance dogs are exempt from export certificate fees. Assistance dogs have to meet all the requirements of Australia.
If you are planning to export pet ashes, contact Australian officials for the requirements. You may also have to meet other requirements. These might be commercial requirements or requirements set by other government agencies like the New Zealand Customs Service.
Be familiar with the official assurance programme
MPI's official assurance programme (OAP) for exporting live animals helps exporters meet the import requirements of their destination country. The focus is on the export of live animals for commercial purposes. However, pet exporters and vets should be aware of all aspects of the OAP for live animals.
You're officially ready to export your cat or dog to Australia when you have an MPI export certificate.
When to alert MPI
If you're exporting a pet, you're responsible for telling MPI within 24 hours if the pet:
- doesn't have the required export documents – for example, if they're removed or lost
- fails to meet relevant overseas market access requirements (OMARs)
- is refused entry by a foreign government.
Who to contact
If you have questions about exporting your pets, email firstname.lastname@example.org.