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CDC Dog Import Changes impacting travel to United States - Rabies

News 29/11/2021

Please note that from July 14th, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has imposed a temporary suspension on dogs entering the US from countries classified as being high-risk for rabies, and from countries not high-risk if the dog has been in high-risk countries during the previous 6 months. As at August 1st, 2023, the CDC has extended the suspension until July 31st, 2024.

Countries classified as high-risk for rabies by the CDC include 

The CDC can issue Dog Import Permits on a limited basis to allow 'service dog' owners to bring their dogs into the U.S from a high-risk country. To be eligible for a permit, dogs must meet the following criteria;

  • Be at least 6 months old
  • Be microchipped
  • Have a valid rabies vaccination certificate issued outside the US
  • Have a valid rabies serologic titer from an approved laboratory

Permit applications must be submitted at 30 business days or 6 weeks in advance of the date you plan to enter the US, as it may take this long to process a permit application. It may take longer if the application is incomplete or contains errors.

Additionally, an exemption to the temporary suspension becomes effective from December 1st, 2021 which allows dogs vaccinated in the U.S by a U.S-licensed veterinarian to re-enter the US from a high-risk country without a CDC Dog Import Permit.

To be exempt from the temporary suspension, the dog must:

  • Have a valid US-issued vaccination certificate
  • Have proof of microchip
  • Be at least 6 months of age
  • Be healthy upon arrival
  • Arrive at an approved port of entry

Dogs vaccinated outside the US must still have a CDC Dog Import Permit to enter from a high-risk country.

Also from December 1st 2021, all dogs travelling to the U.S from a high-risk country must arrive at an approved port of entry. There are currently 18 approved ports of entry.

Please also be aware of the potential consequences of failing to comply with CDC regulations which are written under the Heading ‘Important Information’.

For the latest dog import regulations, please read the CDC website.

Here is a summary of the recent changes.