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Pet travel from the U.S. to Japan


USDA Accredited Veterinarian Signature Original Ink
APHIS Veterinary Medical Officer Signature Original Ink

Details: Health certificates require original ink signatures from the issuing USDA Accredited Veterinarian and the endorsing APHIS Veterinary Medical Officer with the application of the APHIS embossed seal. Submissions through the online Veterinary Export Health Certification System (VEHCS) cannot be accepted at this time.

Taking Dogs and Cats into Japan from Hawaii or Guam

If you are traveling from Hawaii or Guam to Japan, visit Japan’s Animal Quarantine Service Website for more information.

Taking Dogs and Cats into Japan from the United States (all other states)

Pets (dogs and cats) may be imported into Japan with a quarantine of less than 12 hours if the following conditions are met:

The importer must provide advance notification of the animal to be imported to the Animal Quarantine Service (AQS) with jurisdiction over the intended air or seaport of arrival at least 40 days prior to arrival in Japan by fax or mail.

Dogs and cats must be individually identified by an ISO compliant microchip.   If the animal is not fitted with an ISO compliant (11784 and 11785) microchip, the importer must bring a microchip reader with the pet.                

The pet must be microchipped on the day of or before the 1st vaccination.

Exception: Microchip implantation can occur on the day of or before the 2nd vaccination when the export health certificate, endorsed by APHIS, shows that:

  1. the 1st vaccination was administered prior to microchip implantation, and
  2. the animal had a rabies antibody titer of at least 0.5 IU/ml on a serum  sample collected on the day of administration of the 2nd vaccination.

Dogs and cats 91 days of age and older must be vaccinated at least twice with an approved rabies vaccine.

  • The 1st vaccination must have been administered according to label recommendations.
  • The 2nd vaccination must be current according to label recommendations and have occurred more than 31 days after the 1st vaccination and within the effective period of the 1st vaccination.

Dogs and cats must be evaluated for serum rabies antibody level. The animal must have been vaccinated for rabies in accordance with section 3 above.

Animals microchipped before or on the day of the 1st vaccination, the serum sample may be collected on the date of 2nd vaccination or any day until the end of the effective period of the 2nd vaccination.

The rabies titer test must be carried out at a laboratory approved by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan. The results of the rabies titer test must be greater than or equal to 0.5 IU/ml. The result of rabies titer test is valid for two years from the date of sampling. The laboratory results must be originals (no USDA endorsement needed) or copies with USDA endorsement. No report is needed if the animal is a returning pet that has a valid “Export Quarantine Certificate” with lab results listed within the last two years.

Approved Laboratories:

Dogs and cats are required to undergo a wait of at least 180 days between the date the sample is collected for the rabies titer test and the date the animal arrives in Japan.  If 180 days have not passed before the animal’s arrival in Japan, the animal will be quarantined in an AQS facility to make up the number of days remaining in the 180-day wait period.  Antibody levels are measured in order to confirm whether or not the animal has developed immunity to rabies. The reason for the wait is to make sure that the animal has not contracted rabies prior to developing immunity to it as a result of immunization, 180 days corresponds to the incubation period for the disease.

Dogs and cats must be inspected by a USDA Accredited Veterinarian and confirmed free of clinical signs of infectious disease including rabies and leptospirosis (for dogs) prior to departure. The traveler needs an Exporter’s Declaration and an Export Health Certificate.

  • Exporter's declaration (Form A):  Form A is recommended to be used for this purpose.  The traveler needs to prepare the Exporter’s Declaration with the assistance of an accredited veterinarian. This form needs to be endorsed by APHIS-VS or can be combined with the health certificate as noted in Option 1 below.

 Health Certificate Options:

  • Option 1. Certificate for dogs and cats to Japan (Form AC): Form AC contains the information required for both the owner declaration and health certificate. This document can be used to fulfill both requirements. The exporter will need to have this form endorsed by APHIS-VS
  • Option 2.  Export health certificate (Form C):  Form C is recommended to be used for this purpose.  The exporter will need to have this form endorsed by APHIS-VS.
  • Option 3. International Health Certificate (APHIS Form 7001):  Another health certificate option is the APHIS Form 7001 which can be obtained from the issuing accredited veterinarian.  This form must contain all the information required per Form C and needs to be endorsed by APHIS-VS.

Military Personnel Options: 

  • Active duty military personnel and their families may use a valid health certificate for dogs and cats only issued by a military veterinarian without APHIS endorsement.

  • Retired military personnel and their families:   Japan requires APHIS endorsement of a valid health certificate. APHIS VS may endorse health certificates for pet dogs and cats for military personnel, when they meet the importing requirements of Japan on an APHIS Form 7001, Japan’s Export health certificate (Form C), MDJ 2209 Form or other suitable health certificate format.

Japan recommends the following measures for bringing pets into Japan.

Immunization: Japan recommends that the following immunizations be given to dogs and cats that are 91 days old or older 30 days prior to their arrival in Japan (within the vaccine immunization effectiveness period).

  1. Dogs: distemper, contagious hepatitis (Adenovirus type II acceptable), parvovirus infectious disease trivalent vaccine (parainfluenza, leptospirosis, coronavirus)
  2. Cats: feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus, feline panleukopenia trivalent vaccine

Parasite treatment: Japan recommends the following parasite treatments before departure (no more than 4 days before boarding):

  1. External parasites: Treat with medicines effective against mites and fleas, and at the time of export have a clinical inspection to confirm that the animal is free from these parasites.
  2. Internal parasites: administer medicine effective against nematodes and tapeworms.


Visit Japan’s AQS Website for more information on taking your dog or cat to Japan

Pet birds must be quarantined (isolated) in a facility that prevents free-entry of mosquitoes for at least 21 days before travel.  Examples of acceptable facilities include:

  • Home where unscreened windows are kept closed and doors are only opened for entry and exit.
  • An outdoor cage/ area with sealing doors and mosquito-proof screening. 

The requirements for traveling with your pet are described in the below health certificate. APHIS endorsement of the health certificate is required after it has been issued by a USDA Accredited Veterinarian.

Please visit the Japan AQS website for additional requirements and more information on taking birds to Japan. 

For more information regarding commercial/resale pet birds, please click here.

A Health Certificate is required to take ferrets to Japan. 

Please visit the Japan AQS website for additional requirements and more information on taking ferrets to Japan.

Please visit the Japan AQS website for more information on taking other pets to Japan.

Considerations for airline travel:

Airlines may have separate and additional requirements. Check with your airline to determine what requirements they may have, if any. 

Additional information for pet owners, airlines, and others about APHIS endorsement of international health certificates.

View requirements for returning to the US with your pet

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