Pet Transport to South Africa

South Africa information and requirements for the importation of cats and dogs.

This is a summary of the main points only.

It is a requirement that cats and dogs are shipped as manifest cargo and not as excess baggage.  Animals must be shipped in IATA approved transit kennels that allow the animal to stand up without touching the top of the box, lie down and turn around.

There is no quarantine for Cats & Dogs entering South Africa from the UK as long as all the paperwork is completed correctly - if not, then animals are subject to 60 days quarantine.

Micro chipping your pet is now a requirement.

From the UK the following paperwork is required:

1.  An Import Permit obtained from South Africa.   The recommended time scale for applying for an Import Permit is 6 to 8 weeks in advance.

2.  An Official Export Health Certificate, which must be applied for from DEFRA.  This must be completed and certified by your LVI within 10 days of the flight.

3.  A written declaration certifying that the animal(s) will be transported in container(s) which conform to IATA standards which will prevent contact en route with animals of a lesser health status and a declaration that the animals have been continuously resident in Great Britain since birth.

4.  Dogs must have been resident in the UK since birth unless originally imported from South Africa.  If the dog has been imported from anywhere else in the world then blood tests will be required.

Note regarding Rabies Vaccination.

All dogs 3 months and older must be vaccinated against Rabies before being exported to South Africa.

Where dogs have been vaccinated – the primary vaccination must have been carried out not less than 30 days and not more than 12 months prior to departure.

In the case of a booster vaccination – this must have taken place less than 12 months prior to export. The 30 days waiting period for the primary vaccine does not apply to the booster vaccination.

Where dogs are less than 3 months of age at date of export, evidence must be provided that the pups mother was vaccinated against Rabies at least 30 days but not more than 12 prior to giving birth.


Valid inoculations (3in1 for Cats) - feline rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia.

Valid inoculations (5in1 for Dogs) - Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza & Leptospirosis.

The full set of requirements must be obtained from your local Animal Health Divisional Office of DEFRA , please contact us for your local DEFRA office telephone number.

Animals must be cleared at one of these Customs Airports:
Johannesburg,  Cape Town,  Durban,  Port Elizabeth.

Updated 15.10.2016

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"I have got to congratulate you and all your team, for the wonderful job regarding the paperwork that you'll did. The Australian quarantine were highly impressed and gave it a 10/10.

Once again THANK YOU for taking care of Smokey, who is not only a pet but a very special member of our family"