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Pet travel from the U.S. to South Africa

Save Time and Money with VEHCS!

"Orange Banner" Country

Accredited Veterinarians can submit health certificates for USDA endorsement electronically through VEHCS (Veterinary Export Health Certification System).

However, this country requires USDA to ink-sign and emboss the health certificate. This means the final, endorsed health certificate that travels with the animal(s) must be mailed back to you.
Before going to VEHCS: Scroll below this banner to view animal-specific requirements.

To process some health certificates, VEHCS may need the Accredited Veterinarian to upload the completed fillable PDF version found in the requirements section of this page. Either save a copy of the PDF below, or return to this page for the health certificate, if prompted by VEHCS.


Accredited Veterinarians, log in here if you wish to use VEHCS.
Accredited Veterinarians, help with using VEHCS is available on the VEHCS Help Page.
Learn how to issue a health certificate using VEHCS with the Step-by-step Guide.
NOTE: The endorsed health certificate (paper, not electronic) must accompany the shipment. The endorsed health certificate will be returned by mail (a pre-paid, pre-addressed return label must be provided during certificate submission).

All pet veterinary health certificates to South Africa MUST BE endorsed by USDA-APHIS, including Service and Emotional Support Animals.

All disease testing, including test type, must comply with the requirements outlined on the veterinary health certificate. Failure to comply with the requirements in the veterinary health certificate may result in the pet being returned to the U.S. or euthanized.

A veterinary import permit is required for all cats traveling to S. Africa. Veterinary import permit applications and further information can be found on the Republic of South Africa’s website at https://www.gov.za/services/import/import-animals-and-animal-products. The completed veterinary permit applications can be sent to the Permit Office at VetPermits@daff.gov.za.

The requirements for traveling with your pet are described in the health certificate.

Veterinary Health Certificate for Cats

All pet veterinary health certificates to South Africa MUST BE endorsed by USDA-APHIS, including Service and Emotional Support Animals.

All disease testing, including test type, must comply with the requirements outlined on the veterinary health certificate. Failure to comply with the requirements in the veterinary health certificate may result in the pet being returned to the U.S. or euthanized.

A veterinary import permit is REQUIRED for all dogs and cats traveling to South Africa. Veterinary import permit applications and further information can be found on the Republic of South Africa’s website at https://www.gov.za/services/import/import-animals-and-animal-products. The completed veterinary permit applications can be sent to the Permit Office at VetPermits@daff.gov.za.

If South Africa approves the import application, they will issue an import permit and provide the required veterinary health certificate which will detail the entry requirements.  Please share the import permit and veterinary health certificate with your USDA-accredited veterinarian as soon as you have received it.

U.S. origin DOGS entering South Africa are required to be test negative for Trypanosoma evansi (surra) on BOTH the CATT and Giemsa blood smear tests. All surra testing must occur at one of the two internationally recognized OIE Reference Laboratories for surra testing (see below for further instructions on sample submission procedures).

ALL OTHER REQUIRED TESTS must be completed at an officially approved laboratory located in the United States.

The animal's microchip number MUST be recorded on ALL laboratory reports.

APHIS endorsement of the health certificate is required after it has been issued by a USDA Accredited Veterinarian. Health certificate issuance and endorsement must occur within 10 days of the pet's travel.

The Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium will be closed from December 24, 2022, through January 2, 2023.  No samples will be accepted during this time.  The last day of routine testing for this year will be Monday, December 12th.  Any samples received after that time and before December 23rd will not be tested until January. 

NOTE
: The Institute of Tropical Medicine highly recommends that U.S. sample submitters either create their own account DHL International Shipping or use a commercial laboratory (Ex: ANTECH) when sending samples to Belgium to avoid samples being returned.

***You must forward the shipment tracking number to the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp dispatching service in advance of the shipment: shipments@itg.be and surra@itg.be 

Per the ITM Import Permit, the text “Diagnostic samples - Do not open during transport” must be printed on the parcel, along with a copy of the ITM Import Permit attached to the exterior.

Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp
Applied Technology and Production Unit
Nationalestraat 155
B-2000 Antwerpen
BELGIUM 
Tel: +32 (0)3 247 63 74
surra@itg.be 

Sample Submission to the Institute of Tropical Medicine

National Research Center for Protozoan Diseases
Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine
Inada-cho Nishi 2-13
Obihiro, Hokkaido 080-8555
JAPAN 
Tel: +81-155 49.56.47   Fax: +81-155 49.56.43
ircpmi@obihiro.ac.jp

Sample Submission to the Nat’l Research Ctr for Protozoan Diseases

Guidance document for dogs traveling to South Africa

All pet veterinary health certificates to South Africa MUST BE endorsed by USDA-APHIS, including Service and Emotional Support Animals.

All disease testing, including test type, must comply with the requirements outlined on the veterinary health certificate. Failure to comply with the requirements in the veterinary health certificate may result in the pet being returned to the U.S. or euthanized.

A veterinary import permit is required for all lagomorphs (including rabbits, hares and pikas) traveling to South Africa. Veterinary import permit applications and further information can be found on the Republic of South Africa’s website at https://www.gov.za/services/import/import-animals-and-animal-products. The completed veterinary permit applications can be sent to the Permit Office at VetPermits@daff.gov.za.

The requirements for traveling with your pet are described in the health certificate.

Veterinary Health Certificate for Lagomorphs

For pet travel requirements not listed, APHIS has not been officially informed by the foreign country about the requirements for your pet’s travel. We recommended that you contact a government official of the country you are traveling to for more information.

Country of destination contact information:  

Considerations for Airline Travel

Airlines and shipping lines have their own policies and requirements for transporting pets. Check with your airline or shipping representative to determine what requirements they may have.

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


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