Relocating your family to China

You’ll know that relocating to another country has its challenges and can be grey-hair inducing. Add an animal or two into the mix, and your anxiety levels could be through the roof. At PetAir, they understand that these furry animals are very much part of your family, and will help guide you through the process with ease. Remember it’s something that they do all day, every day. PetAir has fine-tuned their services to accommodate both you and your animals and take the stress out of travelling. 

What is the process?

We firstly recommend that you give yourself ample time to ensure the smooth running of your relocation. Please start the process as soon as you have your relocation confirmed because it can take a few months. There can be unplanned setbacks or delays with vaccination requirements, animal illness or administration errors.

Recruit PetAir

The rules and regulations surrounding pet importation are often changing. You can breathe easily with PetAir. They have fully trained experts that understand the importance of your pets and the ever-changing landscape. They will make sure that your pets meet the import requirements. Each pet must be fully vaccinated and be at least three months old. 

Banned breeds

The government has specific guidelines that you must follow. The criteria to import dogs are strict.

The following cat is on the restricted/banned list:

  • Bengal cat

If your cat appears on the list, you must have documentation that certifies the cat is the fifth generation or above. 


Sadly, there are several breeds of dog that are banned, including:

  • Mastiff
  • German Pinscherst. Bernard
  • Great Dane
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Rottweiler
  • Weimaraner
  • Setters
  • Afghan Hound
  • Foxhound
  • Bloodhound
  • Irish Wolfhound
  • Saluki
  • Greyhound
  • Borzoi
  • Basenji
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Belgian Shepherd
  • Bouvier Des Flandres
  • Bearded Collie
  • Scottish Shepherd
  • German Shepherd
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • British Bulldog
  • Chow Chow
  • Dalmatian
  • Keeshond
  • Japanese Akita
  • Newfoundland Sled Dog
  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Bull Terrier
  • Kerry Blue Terrier


It’s essential to ensure that your pets have all of the relevant vaccinations within the stipulated times.


  • Leptospirosis
  • Parvovirus (DHLPP)
  • Hepatitis
  • Distemper



  • Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis
  • Feline Calicivirus
  • Feline Panleukopenia (FVRCP) 
  • Chlamydia Psittaci


All of these vaccinations should be administered no less than two weeks before your export date and must be valid.

Rabies Vaccine and Certificate

Cats and dogs must be vaccinated against rabies. Your veterinary surgeon will provide you with a certificate that states the microchip number, the validity of the vaccination, and the date of inoculation. Rabies vaccines are valid for one, two or three years. The vaccine must be the inactivated variety. The vaccine must be administered between 30 days and 12 months before your pet’s flight into China. Two consecutive rabies vaccinations are required.


The authorities will only identify your pets with a microchip and the corresponding vet stamped pet passport. A microchip is an integrated identification circuit placed under the skin of your pet. The rice grain size chip uses passive radio-frequency identification technology. It must be implanted before the rabies vaccination is administered. The Chinese government accepts microchips that comply with  ISO standards 11784 or 11785. For any non-compliant microchip, you may supply a reader to read the implanted chip.

Import Permit

PetAir will provide you with the necessary import permit that is required to allow your pets into China. Each of your pets will require this import permit from the Chinese Quarantine and Inspection Service Department (MAQIS). The team will provide you with the exact requirements for your country of origin.

Important Information 

  • Confirmation of the quarantine booking is required to obtain an import permit unless you are importing your pet from a quarantine-exclusion country 
  • Chinese Quarantine and Inspection Service Department will only permit your PetAir agent to apply for the import permit. You will need to submit to them the required paperwork from the export country ** days in advance
  • Pay attention when planning your flights into China. Any pets not cleared to arrive into quarantine before 19.00 must stay overnight in the airport holding facilities. This is at your cost, and the time is not deducted from the length of your pet’s overall quarantine stay

Veterinary Certification

You will need to send an official health certificate that states the name, age, description and microchip identification number of each pet within seven days of your flight. The microchip identification number is 15-digits long. Without this, the government will deny your pet entry into the country. 

 The health certificate must also include the following information before export:

  • The animal has been examined and found to be healthy and free from any clinical sign of rabies and infectious or contagious diseases 
  • The animal has been vaccinated against rabies using an approved anti-rabies vaccine
  • The vaccination history and health status of your pet
  • That your pet is healthy enough for air travel 

Important Information 

Please provide PetAir with the following documentation so that they have each pet passport and necessary paperwork stamped with their seal of approval. 

  • Microchip implant record and number
  • Rabies certificate
  • Import permit 
  • Vaccination records
  • Veterinary health certificate for export of dogs and cats from anywhere to china

Make at least four copies of the certification and vaccination records for the following:

  • Airline
  • Pet travel crate
  • Transit permit (if necessary)
  • One for you


Your pet will be subject to 30-day mandatory isolation and quarantine unless:

Your pets arrive from Australia, Hong Kong SAR(China), and Macao SAR (China), Cyprus, Fiji, French Polynesia, Iceland, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland,  United Kingdom and USA (Hawaii and Guam only).

Each pet has a valid microchip and a rabies neutralising antibody titer test (RNAT) for cats and dogs that is above 0.5IU/ml) from an approved laboratory and pass on-site quarantine tests.

Guide dogs, hearing dogs or rescue dogs must have valid microchips, as well as your owner and professional training certificate, and pass on-site quarantine tests.


If your pets do not comply to any of the above criteria, they will need to be quarantined. They must be imported into China via a port of entry that is listed on the official General Administration of Customs, P. R. China website. 


Airport Customs in Charge

  • Beijing Capital International Airport Customs at Beijing Capital Airport
  • Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport Customs at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport
  • Shanghai Pudong International Airport Customs at Shanghai Pudong International Airport
  • Urumqi Diwopu International Airport Customs at Urumqi Airport


Your pets will be quarantined at the airport into which they fly. Your pets will need to be in quarantine for 30 days. 

Please note that due to high rates of bookings, your quarantine facilities need to be booked at least one and a half months in advance to secure air-conditioned units. PetAir will only accept bookings for air-conditioned quarantine to minimise any risk of sickness. 

PetAir will be responsible for looking after your pets during quarantine. Owners are only allowed to visit the pets on the first and last day of quarantine in the presence of a Petair staff. PetAir has at least one member of staff at the quarantine centre to care for your pets during working hours. Please feel free to provide PetAir with their favourite treats.

Additional Information

You can only import cats and dogs into China and only one pet per passenger is allowed.

You are required to register all dogs with your local police in your new area of residence within 30-days of arrival into China.

The import permit is valid for  60 days from the date of issue.

We hope that this reassures you, but should you need more specific advice, please let the helpful team at PetAir help, they are all delighted to help you.

Contact Us