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Importing Dogs to Singapore [Pet Passport Guide 2020]

Importing dogs to Singapore can be a complicated process.

Singapore is a country well known for having strict rules when it comes to many things. Importing dogs is one of them. They have strict conditions that must be met in order to successfully import dogs to Singapore. The requirements vary widely, depending on which country you are traveling from. Generally, your dog will need a microchip, rabies vaccination, other vaccinations, parasite treatments, vet health certificate and import license. On top of that, you will need to organise a health inspection upon arrival, and may need to organise your dog to stay in Singapore Pet Quarantine. 

In this article, we will guide you through the process of importing dogs to Singapore, and breakdown the strict and complicated entry requirements, depending on where you are traveling from.


What is a Singapore Pet Passport?

Singapore does not have an official ‘Pet Passport’, however it is a term used to describe the documents that are required to take a dog to Singapore. Customs officials will need to see these documents in order to clear your dog in customs. Essentially, a pet passport demonstrates that your dog is fit and healthy to travel and won’t pose a threat to those residing in Singapore. For a Singapore pet passport for your dog, you will likely need microchip documents, vaccination records, parasite treatment records, veterinary health certificate, dog license and import license. Your Singapore Pet Passport will vary depending on where you are traveling from.


What is the process of importing dogs to Singapore?

The process of importing pets to Singapore is as follows:

  1. Research – the requirements of importing a dog to Singapore will depend on where you are traveling from. Therefore, ensure you are aware of the specific requirements for taking your pet to Singapore. It’s also important to check that your dog’s breed is allowed to be imported to Singapore, as they have very strict rules, prohibiting many breeds from visiting.
  2. Visit the vet – most dogs will require a microchip, vaccinations, parasite treatments and a rabies blood test. However, the requirements vary depending on your home country. We will go into more detail in the requirements section below.
  3. Organise quarantine (if necessary) – if your dog requires a stay in Singapore pet quarantine, you must reserve them a spot. You can book this online at the Quarantine Management System (QMS). For more information, check the quarantine section below.
  4. Apply for dog license and import permit – you will need to apply for an import permit or import license at least 30 days before importing pets to Singapore. If you are importing a dog to Singapore, you will need to apply for a dog license before applying for your import license. You can apply for an Singapore Import Permit on the GoBusiness Licensing Portal here. For more information, check the dog license and import license sections below.
  5. Book an inspection for your dog – you will need to book this via the Intelligent Food Approval & Safety Tracking System (iFAST) five days before your dog’s arrival, or earlier. You will be liable to a S$80 fee if you do not do this in advance.
  6. Ensure your dog is allowed at your intended Singaporean residence – apartments provided by the Housing and Development Board (HBD) only allow 1 dog, if it is a ‘permitted breed’. Generally smaller dog breeds are allowed, but larger ones are not. If living or staying in a non-HBD, generally you will be permitted to keep up to 3 dogs.

What are the requirements to import pets to Singapore?

The requirements to import dogs to Singapore depend on where you are traveling from. The requirements can include any of the following:

  1. Pet microchipping
  2. Rabies vaccination
  3. Additional vaccinations
  4. Internal and external parasite treatments
  5. Rabies blood test (Rabies Titer Test)
  6. Dog license
  7. Import license and health certificate

The entry requirements depend on which of the following country categories you are traveling from:

Category A (rabies-free): Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland and United Kingdom.

Category B (negligible risk of rabies): Cayman Islands, Denmark, Germany (with effect from 11 Aug 2020), Hong Kong SAR, Iceland, Japan, Jersey, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, New, Caledonia, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and USA (Guam and Hawaii only).

Category C (low-risk of rabies): Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, Taiwan and United States of America (except Guam and Hawaii).

Category D (undetermined risk of rabies): All countries not listed in Categories A, B and C.

PET MICROCHIPPING

All dogs must be microchipped with an ISO 11784/11785 pet microchip that is a 15 digit and non-encrypted. 

A microchip is a small chip the size of a grain of rice that holds a unique number which can be detected by a microchip scanner. It is implanted just under your pet’s skin in between its shoulder blades.

This should be the first step you take. This is because your dog’s microchip must be implanted before its rabies vaccination is administered, otherwise the vaccination will not count. We will discuss the rabies vaccination in detail in the next section.

Your dog’s microchip number must be present on all documentation required to enter Singapore. Your veterinarian must scan your dog’s microchip before any tests or treatments required to enter Singapore.

RABIES VACCINATION

Dogs residing in and entering from Category A countries do not require a rabies vaccination. However, it is a requirement for dogs entering Singapore from all other countries (Categories B, C and D). Horses also need to be vaccinated against rabies. 

If you are travelling from the following countries, your dog will NOT need a rabies vaccination:

Category A (rabies-free): Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland and United Kingdom.

If you are travelling from the following countries, your dog WILL need a rabies vaccination:

Category B (negligible risk of rabies): Cayman Islands, Denmark, Germany (with effect from 11 Aug 2020), Hong Kong SAR, Iceland, Japan, Jersey, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, New, Caledonia, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and USA (Guam and Hawaii only).

Category C (low-risk of rabies): Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, Taiwan and United States of America (except Guam and Hawaii).

Category D (undetermined risk of rabies): All countries not listed in Categories A, B and C.

When importing dogs to Singapore, they must have a valid rabies vaccination supported by official vaccination records. All current vaccinations and boosters must also be recorded. Furthermore, it’s important to note that your dog’s microchip number must also be recorded on all documentation.

Dogs must be more than 16 weeks old at the time of vaccination.

There are specific timings when it comes to your dog’s rabies vaccination, depending on which country category you are traveling from:

  • Category B – your dog must be vaccinated between 30 days and 12 months prior to entry.
  • Category C – Your dog must be vaccinated more than 3 months prior to entering Singapore.
  • Category D – Your dog must be vaccinated at least 6 months prior to export.

All dogs traveling from categories B, C and D will also need a rabies titer test, also known as a rabies blood test. More information on this in the rabies titer test section below.

ADDITIONAL VACCINATIONS

As well as the rabies vaccination, dogs also require additional vaccinations to enter Singapore from all country categories. All vaccinations should be valid for the entire post-arrival quarantine period. 

All dogs imported to Singapore must have valid vaccinations against the following:

  • Canine distemper
  • Canine hepatitis
  • Canine parvoviral infection

These must be administered by an official veterinarian. They must also reference your dog’s individual microchip number.

INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL PARASITE TREATMENT

In order to get your dog a Singapore Pet Passport, all dogs must be treated against external and internal parasites before traveling to Singapore. This applies no matter where you are traveling from.

Dogs must be treated with an anti-tick treatment between 2 and 7 days before travel to Singapore.

You must be able to show proof of treatment and your dog’s individual microchip number should be referenced on all documents.

RABIES BLOOD TEST (RABIES TITER TEST)

If traveling from country categories B, C and D, your dog will need a rabies titer test, also known as rabies blood test. The rabies blood test ensures their rabies vaccine has provided your pet with adequate levels of the rabies antibody. 

If you are travelling from the following countries, your dog will NOT need a rabies titer test:

Category A (rabies-free): Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland and United Kingdom.

If you are travelling from the following countries, your dog WILL need a rabies titer test:

Category B (negligible risk of rabies): Cayman Islands, Denmark, Germany (with effect from 11 Aug 2020), Hong Kong SAR, Iceland, Japan, Jersey, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, New, Caledonia, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and USA (Guam and Hawaii only).

Category C (low-risk of rabies): Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, Taiwan and United States of America (except Guam and Hawaii).

Category D (undetermined risk of rabies): All countries not listed in Categories A, B and C.

A licensed vet will need to take your dog’s blood at least 30 days after receiving their rabies vaccination. Their blood sample must then be sent to an approved lab for testing. Their blood test results must show at least 0.5 IU/ml of the rabies antibody to pass. This shows that their rabies vaccination was successful and they are protected against the disease.

There are specific timings for the test depending on where you are traveling from:

  • Category A – no rabies vaccination or rabies titer test is required.
  • Category B – the blood test must be administered more than 30 days after the rabies vaccination.
  • Category C and D – the blood test must be administered more than 30 days after the rabies vaccination, and within 6 months of export.

All rabies vaccinations must be kept current once the titer test has been completed.

DOG LICENSE

To import dogs to Singapore, you will need a dog license. This applies no matter where you are traveling from.

Under the Animals and Birds (Dog Licensing and Control) Rules, all dogs must now be licensed in Singapore. Even those residing there. This is for the purpose of tracing any event of an outbreak of disease.

You must apply for a dog license before applying for your import license. You can apply for a new dog licence online via the Pet Animal Licensing System (PALS).

Once you have obtained your dog license, it is valid for the entire lifespan of your dog.

For further information check the Singapore Animal & Veterinary Service site here.

IMPORT LICENSE & HEALTH CERTIFICATE

To import dogs to Singapore, you will require an import license or permit. 

An import permit will show that your dog is qualified for traveling to Singapore. Your dog’s veterinary health certificate will be Appendix 1 of your import license.

Your dog’s import license for Singapore is valid for 30 days from the issue date.

Upon arrival in Singapore, customs officials will need to see a valid import permit, with a veterinary health certificate completed by an Official government veterinarian in the country of export.

If you are importing a mixed breed or cross breed dog, you must include a colour photo of your dog in your licence application. The photo must show the dog’s face and body, so that customs officials can verify that it is not a prohibited breed.

If you are importing dogs to Singapore from the US, the certificate must be endorsed by your local State USDA office. Furthermore, if you are traveling from Canada, it must be endorsed by your local CFIA office.

How to apply for an Singapore Import License?

You can apply for an Singapore Import License on the GoBusiness Licensing Portal here.

Only once your dog’s vaccinations are all completed can you apply for an import permit. All copies of the vaccination cards are needed to be presented to the Singapore government for inspection before they can issue your import permit.


What dog breeds are not allowed into Singapore?

It’s important to be aware that sadly a number of “aggressive” breeds are not permitted within Singapore. Additionally, there are other dog breeds that are permitted but are liable to extra conditions.

[PART 1] The following dog breeds are banned from entering Singapore:

  • Pit Bull, including:
    • American Pit Bull Terrier (also known as American Pit Bull and Pit Bull Terrier)
    • American Staffordshire Terrier
    • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
    • American Bulldog
    • Crosses of these and other breeds
  • Akita
  • Boerboel
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Neapolitan Mastiff
  • Tosa
  • Perro De Presa Canario
  • Crosses of any of the above breeds

You can be fined a maximum of S$5,000 if you do not comply with the rules or conditions.

[PART 2] The following dog breeds are liable to restrictions in Singapore:

  • Bull Terrier
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Rottweiler
  • German Shepherd Dog (including related breeds such as the Belgian Shepherd Dog and the East European Shepherd Dog)
  • Mastiffs (including the Bull Mastiff, Cane Corso and Dogue De Bordeaux)
  • Crosses of 1 to 5.

If you are planning on importing a dog to Singapore that is listed above in Part 2, then you must adhere to the following:

  1. Dogs must be leashed and muzzled in all public places;
  2. Dogs must be microchipped;
  3. Licensee must take up insurance policy for at least S$100,000 coverage against injury to persons or damage to property;
  4. Licensee must take up banker’s guarantee of $2,000;
  5. Any existing banker’s guarantee would be forfeited for non-compliance and the owner must take up a fresh banker’s guarantee of $2,000; and
  6. Newly licensed dogs must undergo obedience training.


How long does it take to import dogs to Singapore?

The process of importing dogs to Singapore can take between 1-12 months to complete. This depends on where you are traveling from.

If you are traveling from a Category A country the time scale will be shorter. This is because your dog will not require rabies blood tests or import permits. However, if you are traveling from a country in Category B, C or D, it will likely take you longer to import your dog to Singapore.

The most timely steps of importing pets to Singapore, are getting your cat’s rabies blood test results back, applying for a dog license and import permit, and organising quarantine.

Getting your dog’s microchip, vaccinations and parasite treatments will just take a quick appointment to the vet. The appointment should take no more than half an hour. However, getting your dog’s rabies blood test results back can take up to 7 months.

Furthermore, the process of getting an import permit can be lengthy. Firstly, before applying for an import license, you must apply for and obtain a dog license. The majority of permit applications are processed and decided within 20 days. However, in more complex cases, the process takes longer.

Lastly, if your dog will need to stay in Singapore pet quarantine, you will need to make reservations at least 3 months ahead of entry.

You will need the most time to prepare if you’re importing a dog to Singapore from a country in Category D. You will need to allow at least 11-12 months to prepare:

  • You will need to wait 6 months after getting your dog’s rabies vaccination, before getting their blood sample taken for their rabies titer test.
  • Once your dog’s blood sample has been taken, it must be sent to the lab for testing. It can take 30 days to get your results back.
  • Only once your dog has had it’s rabies titer test results back, can you apply for your import permit, which cane take up to 1 month.
  • Only once you obtain your dog’s import permit, can you reserve a spot in quarantine. It is advised that you do this 3 months in advance of your travel date.

Will my dog need to stay in Singapore pet quarantine?

Dogs traveling from Category A or B countries will not be subjected to Singapore pet quarantine. However, dogs traveling from Category C or D countries may be subject to a quarantine period of either 10 or 30 days upon arrival. 

All dog quarantine is served in the Sembawang Animal Quarantine Station.

Don’t worry, quarantine isn’t as scary as it sounds. Dogs will have great caretakers and special food/medication accommodations if your dog needs it.

As there is just one center, we advise that you make reservations for your dog as soon as your dog’s import permit is approved. You will need to do this at least 3 months prior to planned dog import to Singapore.

You can make reservations through the Quarantine Management System (QMS).

The length of your pet’s stay in quarantine depends on which country category you are traveling from:

  • Category A or B – your dog will not require a stay in Singapore pet quarantine.
  • Category C – dogs must be quarantined for either 10 days or 30 days. If the rabies titer test was completed 4 months prior to import, then your dog will need to stay at least 10 days (C1). However, if the test was completed less than 4 months prior to import or if if your dog has been re-vaccinated, then your dog will need to stay for at least 30 days (C2)
  • Category D – all dogs must stay in Singapore pet quarantine for at least 30 days.

Check which category your home country is in here. For further information on Singapore Pet Quarantine, check the Singapore government website here.


How much will it cost to import dogs to Singapore?

Importing dogs to Singapore can be a rather expensive process which varies depending on where you are traveling from. The total cost broken down into the following fees:

  • Vet fees – microchipping, vaccinations and treatments varies on your vet practice fees and home country.
  • Airline fees for shipping a pet – varies widely depending on size and weight of your dog, and which airline you fly with.
  • Dog license – fee breakdown below.
  • Import license – fee breakdown below.
  • Quarantine fees – fee breakdown below.
  • Government endorsements – varies depending on home country.

DOG LICENSE FEES

 Category  1-year licence*  2-year licence*   3-year licence*
 First three dogs. Sterilised:
S$15 per dog.Non-sterilised:
S$90 per dog.
Sterilised:
S$25 per dog.Non-sterilised:
S$165 per dog.
Sterilised:
S$35 per dog.Non-sterilised:
S$230 per dog.
 Fourth and subsequent dog. S$180 per dog
or
A reduced licence fee of S$15 for the fourth dog**.
$325 per dog
or
A reduced licence fee of S$25 for the fourth dog**.
$460 per dog
or
A reduced licence fee of S$35 for the fourth dog**.

IMPORT LICENSE FEES

 Type of licence  Cost  Service standard  Validity 
Licence to import/export/transship animals, birds, eggs, and biologics (personal)  • S$50

 

• S$100

• Normal service, where licence issuance will take place two working days after submission of all completed documents.

• Express service, where licence issuance will take place one working day after submission of all completed documents.

 Valid for 30 days from the date of issue.
Licence to import/export/transship animals, birds, eggs, and biologics (commercial) • S$87

 

• S$174

 • Normal service, where licence issuance will take place two working days after submission of all completed documents.

• Express service, where licence issuance will take place one working day after submission of all completed documents.

 Valid for 30 days from the date of issue.

SINGAPORE PET QUARANTINE FEE BREAKDOWN

Description  Fee 
Transport charge from the Changi Animal & Plant Quarantine Station or Tuas Checkpoint to SAQS.
  • S$74 per dog per trip.
 Rabies vaccination (if required).
  •  S$65 per dog.
Quarantine fees for dogs, inclusive of:

  • veterinary examination
  • feed
  • daily cleaning
  • S$16.80 per dog per day (non-air conditioned).
  • S$26.25 per dog or per day (air conditioned).

Residency Restrictions – which dog breeds are allowed in Singapore?

If you are staying in an apartments provided by the Housing and Development Board (HBD), you are permitted to bring one dog as long as it is an approved breed. If staying elsewhere, you are generally permitted to bring up to three dogs.

More than 80% of Singapore’s residents live in apartments provided by the Housing and Development Board (HBD) who have restrictions on the dog breeds permitted, and the number of dogs permitted.

If you are renting or buying a property provided by the HBD, you are permitted to bring 1 dog, as long as it is an allowed breed. Flat owners found to breach this regulation can be fined up to a maximum of $4,000.

Dog breeds permitted to stay in Housing and Development (HBD) properties are as follows:

  • Affenpinscher
  • Australian Silky Terrier
  • Australian Terrier
  • Bichon Frise
  • Bohemian Terrier
  • Bolognese
  • Brussels Griffon (Griffon Bruxaellois)
  • Bichon Havanese
  • Border Terrier
  • Boston Terrier
    (a) Lightweight
    (b) Middleweight
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Chihuahua
  • Chinese Crested Dog
  • Chinese Imperial Chin
  • Chinese Temple Dog (Classic and Miniature)
  • Coton de tulear
  • Czech Terrier
  • Dachshund (Light and Miniature)
  • Dandie Dinmont Terrier
  • English Toy Spaniel
  • Griffon Belge
  • German Hunting Terrier
  • Griffon Brabancon
  • Hairless Dog
  • Italian Greyhound
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Japanese Spaniel (Chin)
  • Japanese Spitz
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Little Lion Dog
  • Lakeland Terrier
  • Maltese
  • Manchester Terrier
  • Miniature Pinscher
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Norfolk Terrier
  • Norwich Terrier
  • Papillon
  • Pekinese
  • Pomeranian
  • Poodle
  • Pug
  • Poodle (Miniature)
  • Schipperkee
  • Scottish Terrier
  • Sealyham Terrier
  • Shetland Sheep dog
  • Shih Tzu
  • Silky Terrier
  • Small Continental Spaniel
  • Small English Terrier
  • Small Spitz
  • Smooth Fox Terrier
  • Toy Fox Terrier
  • Toy Terrier
  • Tibetan Spaniel
  • Volpino Italiano
  • West Highland Terrier
  • Wire-Haired Fox Terrier
  • Welsh Terrier
  • Yorkshire Terrier

What airlines allow flying a dog to Singapore?

Most airlines allow flying a dog to Singapore. However, depending on the airline you fly with, pet policies differ.

When flying with a dog, it’s important to check airline pet policies before booking any travel. Different airline’s have different rules for flying with dogs, including which dog breeds are allowed, the size and weight of dogs that are permitted, and the number of dogs they allow. Fees also vary between airlines.

Most airlines will allow dogs to fly in the cargo section of their planes, in a climate controlled, comfortable pet zone. Although some pet owners think this will be stressful for their dogs, it can actually be a lot calmer than flying in the cabin.

Some airlines will allow dogs to fly in the cabin with their owners, but generally only small dogs that weigh under 8kg are permitted. This is because dogs must fly inside an airline-approved carrier that fits under the seat in front of their owners.

For a list of airlines that allow dogs to fly in the cabin with their owners, check 13 Airlines That Allow Flying With Dogs In-Cabin [2020 Prices & Policies].


Guidelines for Dog Carriers

If you are flying to Singapore with a dog, it is important that you use a dog carrier that is approved by your airline. Different airlines have different pet carrier policies, which often vary between aircrafts and routes. Check that your pet carrier is approved for your chosen airline, aircraft and route. 

The rules and regulations have been set out by International Air Transport Association (IATA) ensure that dogs are comfortable when travelling. Thus, inside their travel carriers, dogs must be able to stand up, turn around and lie down in a natural position in their kennel (without touching any side or the top of the container).

Furthermore, the rules for pet carriers also vary depending on whether your dog will be flying in the cabin or cargo area of the plane.

If you are travelling in the cabin with your dog, then you will need to ensure that the carrier fits under the seat in front of you. This is why, generally, only small dogs weighing under 7-8kg are permitted in the cabin.

Additionally, airlines often require that your dog must be obedient to your commands and must behave appropriately in public. Thus, he mustn’t bark or growl at other passengers or staff. If your dog does not behave in an appropriate manner, some airlines may transfer him to the cargo hold at an additional cost, or refuse to transport him all together. Some airlines require a consent form to ensure your pet is flight-ready.

For a list of airlines that allow dogs to fly in the cabin with their owners, check 13 Airlines That Allow Flying With Dogs In-Cabin [2020 Prices & Policies].

BUDGET

DOG CARRIER

PRICE

LOW AmazonBasics Pet Carrier Medium

CHECK HERE
MEDIUM PetsFit Pet Carrier With Expandable Side

CHECK HERE
HIGH Mr. Peanut’s Double Expandable, Soft-Sided Pet Carrier CHECK HERE

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

Can I take my puppy to Singapore?

Yes, puppies at least 16 weeks old, traveling from Category A (no-risk rabies) countries are permitted to travel to Singapore. However, dogs must be at least 7 months of age to be permitted to enter Singapore from any other country. Dogs must be 3 months old to get their rabies vaccinations. You must then wait at least 1 month before getting your rabies titer test, the results of which can take 3 months to get back.

Can I take my dog to Singapore with an EU Pet Passport?

You can travel to Singapore with an EU Pet Passport, however there are additional conditions to be met. You will need to apply for an Import Permit and organise your dog to stay in quarantine on arrival. Your dog may also need additional vaccines, treatments and a rabies titer test. Please refer to the requirements section above.

Can I move to Singapore with my dog?

Possibly. You may be able to move to Singapore with your dog, as long as you and your dog meet strict requirements. If you are from a Category A country, the process will likely be more simple. However those wanting to relocate to Singapore from another country, will have a more lengthy and difficult process to go through. This is because there are additional requirements and conditions to be met. It's also important to check that you are allowed to have a dog in your chosen residency as there are restrictions on this.


Bottom Line

So, importing a dog to Singapore can be a complicated process. It is particularly complicated if you are traveling from a country other than those listed as a Category A (no-risk of rabies) country.

If you haven’t been put off, just be sure to familiarise yourself with the conditions you need to meet to bring your dog to Singapore.

Allow yourself plenty of time to prepare for your trip, even up to 1 year in more complicated cases! If this process seems too complicated, you can always get in contact with special pet travel agencies.

Hope you have found this helpful. Happy travels!

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