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Beginning July 14, 2021, there is a temporary suspension for dogs imported from 113 countries that CDC considers high risk for dog rabies.

Dogs from high-risk countries may be imported only with CDC’s advance written approval (CDC Dog Import Permit), including dogs imported from a country NOT at high risk if the dogs have been in a high-risk country during the previous 6 months. Such approvals may be granted on a limited case-by-case basis at CDC’s discretion. If your request for advance approval to import a dog is denied, CDC’s written denial will constitute final agency action. No appeals will be allowed.

CDC has issued new guidelines for the import of dogs into the United States regarding the suspension of dogs entering the United States from countries classified as high-risk for dog rabies.  For comprehensive information as of December 1, 2021, visit High-Risk Dog Ban FRN | CDC.

To request advance written approval, you must follow the instructions at How to Apply for a CDC Dog Import Permit and send an email to CDC at, at least 30 business days (6 weeks) before you intend to enter the United States. Requests cannot be made at the port of entry upon arrival into the United States. Dogs that arrive from high-risk countries without advance written approval from CDC will be denied entry and returned to the country of departure at the importer’s expense. It is crucial that all dog owners coming from their countries carefully review the Permit Application Requirement  and the Approved Ports of Entry .

Any documents must be in English or have a certified English translation and must be filled out by the same veterinarian who administered the rabies vaccine. A certified translation is a signed statement on professional letterhead issued by a licensed translator declaring that the translation is an accurate and true representation of the original document. The translation must include the name, address and contact information of the translator and have a signatory stamp or elevated seal with the translator’s license number included. A certified translation service provider can be found online. For additional information, check CDC’s FAQs webpage .

Before entering or re-entering the United States with a dog, importers should continue to check other federal regulations as well as rabies vaccination requirements of state and local governments at their final destination.

Check with the Airline You Intend to Use

Recent changes in airline policies could mean that returning pets will have to travel as cargo, depending on the airline. Do not assume that if you have shipped your pet as accompanied baggage to post that you can ship your pet in the same way back into the United States. Individuals flying with animals into the United States should check with the airline they intend to fly to confirm its policies on live animals as excess baggage / cargo / and in-cabin.

For Pets Entering the United States Prior to the Pet Owner

If a pet is traveling as cargo on a separate flight from its owner and is being collected at the destination airport by someone other than the owner, it is important that this person has the correct paperwork and permission from the pet owner to process it.  Discuss this with your shipper, friend or family member.

If you have additional questions, please visit the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) webpage. Access CBP Form 7523.

Returning with Birds

The USDA website provides some information regarding the importation of birds into the United States. 

U.S. Department of State

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