Moving With Pets
Many people will be leaving soon and will be taking their pets with them. To make the trip as easy as possible for pet owners, please follow these requirements for travel to the United States.
If you are traveling to Hawaii or a country other than the U.S., the requirements for travel may differ. The veterinary clinic has information on travel to Hawaii and other countries, but it is recommended that you contact the consulate/embassy of the country
you will be traveling to for their most current requirements. If you are traveling with a pet other than a cat or dog, you should also contact the consulate/embassy of the country you are traveling to for the requirements specific to your type of pet. Keep in mind that some places require that you start import requirements as far out as six months prior to entry, so start researching your destination as early as possible.
Your pet has to have a current rabies vaccination. In order to be current, the rabies vaccination has to have been given within the last year. Make sure to check the date of vaccination on the rabies certificate. Both the rabies tag and certificate are needed to travel, so if you are unable to locate the tag or certificate, the veterinary clinic will issue another one to you for a small fee. Your pet has to have a health certificate for travel (DD Form 2209). The health certificate can be obtained through the veterinary clinic on Kadena AB and it is good for 10 days from the day of issue. In most cases, pet owners will need to call the clinic approximately two Mondays prior to island departure to schedule this appointment. A veterinarian will examine your pet at this appointment, and pending your pet’s health, the certificate will be signed by your pet’s doctor. You will need to make five copies of your pet’s rabies certificate, five copies of your pet’s health certificate, and five copies of your orders. If you are traveling without orders, or if your pet is traveling alone, you will need a USFJ Form 380 EJ. The 380 EJ can be obtained from TMO. If you are a foster, you will need to go to the Customs Office. It is located in the PMO building, the office right next to the main entrance. We advise that you get the 380 EJ soon after you have all the other documentation. If the Customs Office happens to be closed, you should then proceed to TMO. This is a very important form if you are traveling without orders; do not wait until the last couple of days to get it. Place one copy of your pet’s rabies certificate, one copy of your pet’s health certificate, and one copy of your orders or 380 EJ in a plastic, sealable bag. Also include the name, address, and phone number of a stateside point of contact in the bag just in case your pet gets separated from you during flight. Tape the bag to the top of your pet’s kennel. Customs officials of the country you are traveling to will need to see the original copies of your certificates, so place them with your important papers. Please note that if you are traveling commercial, you must report to the quarantine office in Naha. We did this about two-three days prior to our flight just to be on the safe side. You should especially go early if you do not know all Japanese Holidays, as the quarantine office does observe all Holidays. You can report to the quarantine office anytime after you receive your pet’s health certificate. The quarantine office will need to see your pet’s rabies TAG, your pet’s rabies CERTIFICATE, your ORDERS or 380 EJ, your itinerary, your PET, and your pet’s KENNEL. The quarantine office is located at the international airport terminal in Naha. It is open everyday from 0830-1700, except on Japanese Holidays. Here is a helpful checklist to ensure you have everything you and your pet needs to travel hassle free:
- Rabies Vaccination Certificate (DD form 2208: the original and minimum 2 copies per pet)
- Rabies Tag
- Animal Health Certificate (DD form 2209: the original and minimum 2 copies per pet)
- Your Travel Orders or USFJ Form 380 EJ (One photocopy per owner)
- Your ID card
- Itinerary/Flight information
Pet Safety and Comfort Tips
- When scheduling your pet痴 flight, try to arrange a flight with the fewest stops and transfers.
- When traveling in hot weather, try to schedule a flight in the morning or evening to avoid the hottest time period of the day.
- The majority of animals travel far better without tranquilizers
- Do not feed your pet within six hours of travel. Water should be placed in the kennel in a water bottle or frozen in a dish.
- Light exercise is recommended for the pet prior to travel
- Your pet should be accustomed to the kennel it will be traveling in. If your pet is not currently accustomed to the kennel, then you should start early kennel training your pet.
- In order to keep your pet from getting hung up in the kennel by its collar, we recommend removing the collar prior to travel. You can attach the collar to the kennel or carry it on your person.
- Place absorbent material in the bottom of your pet’s kennel, such as towels, a blanket, pet痴 pillow, etc. I always like putting something with your scent.
- Your pet will not feel so stressed if they have something that reminds them of you.
Important Phone Numbers
- Veterinary Services Kadena AB Okinawa 634-1362
- Naha Quarantine Office, Okinawa 098-857-4468
- Embassy of Japan, Washington DC (202) 939-6700
- USDA, National Center for Import and Export, Maryland(301) 734-8364
- US Fish & Wildlife Service, Virginia (703) 359-2104, ext. 54123
- Okinawa Branch Veterinary Service
Website Address: http://www.18services.com/VetWeb
Phone commercial from USA: 011-81-611-734-1362
Important Airline Information, Quarantine Laws and More
Japan District Veterinary Command
It is recommended to contact your airline in advance to get the most current information. Each airline determines their specific pet policies. The following is a list of major airlines and their phone numbers with embargo information.
- United Airlines – Temperature requirements are not less than 10 degrees Fahrenheit or more than 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Unless you have PCS orders there is a Pet Embargo from 1 May- 30 Sept.
- Northwest – Not less than 10 Degrees Fahrenheit or more than 85 Degrees Fahrenheit.
- American Airlines – Pet Embargo is from 15 May through 15 Sept and there is no exceptions to people that are on PCS orders.
- Continental – No pets will be transported in or out of Japan.
- Delta – Pet Embargo is from 15 May through 15 Sept unless on PCS orders. Temperature not to exceed 85 degrees.
**To view a complete list of airlines and comprehensive animal transportation information, view these websites:
A complete list of airline contact numbers and links to pet policies can be found at:
Numbers for the most Common Airlines
- American Airlines: 1-800-227-4622 Japan: 0120-00-0860
- Continental Airlines: 1-800-525-0280 Japan: 0120-24-2414
- Japan Airlines: 1-800-525-3663
- United Airlines: 1-800-241-6522 Japan: 0120-11-4466
- Northwest Airlines: 1-800-225-2525 Japan: 0120-12-0747
- Delta Airlines: 1-800-221-1212 Japan: 0120-33-3742
NOTE: The following breeds cannot be transported in temperatures above 70 degrees on several airlines. Use the links provided above for airline specific restrictions.
Dogs: American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pitt Bull Terrier, Bull Mastiff, French Bulldog, Brussels Griffon, Bull Terrier, Dutch Pug, English Bulldog, English Toy Spaniel, Boston Terrier, Chow Chow, Japanese Spaniel,Japanese Boxer, Japanese Pug, Pekinese, Pug, Shit Tzu, Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Cats: Himalayans, Persians, Burmese
Coming to Japan
Japan’s official Ports of Entry include:
Seaports: Nagoya, Keihin, Osaka, Kobe, Kanmon and Naha.
Airports: New Tokyo (Narita), Haneda, Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka, Kagoshima, and Naha.
Narita Quarantine Kennel Hours – Monday through Friday 0830-1700. Any arrivals which vary from these working hours will be considered overtime, and the pet owner will be charged accordingly (approximately Y10,000.) To avoid any problems, try to schedule your/your pet’s arrival between 0800-1600, Monday through Friday.
IMPORTANT – Buses to various military installations leave Narita and Yokota on a daily basis, but space for your pet is on availability only. Depending on capacity and the time schedule, you may have to leave your pet and return later. You will be charged for your pet’s stay. The buses are rarely full, but it is best to make arrangements for transportation through your sponsor. Japan’s new quarantine system began on November 6, 2004 for dogs and cats. Dogs and cats arriving after June 6, 2005 will be subjected to the new quarantine system. This system is coming directly from the government of Japan and cannot be waived as of right now.
As a quick overview, pets inbound to Japan will need to go through a series of checklists which can take up to 210 days or more. The new quarantine system include microchip implanting, rabies immunization, serological testing for rabies antibody, waiting period before export (six months), advance notification (notifying Japan of your intent to bring pets 40 days prior to arrival), approval of import, clinical inspection, and obtaining certification from the responsible exporting country government agency. Failure to follow the detailed checklist will result in having your pet either quarantined at your port of entry for up to 6 months (at your expense which can cost up to $7,000) or deported back to your country of origin. Please advise all your inbound personnel who wish to bring their pets into Japan about the new quarantine system. With PCS orders/slating still not fully completed for the summer rotation, this will be a big issue for inbound personnel who have pets. The only way to get around the new rule is if the pet is shipped prior to the 6 June cutoff date. There have been cases where pets have been accepted by the sponsors prior to the service member’s arrival.
Below is the link of the detailed information regarding bringing pets to Japan. Marine Corps Base is hosting a meeting on 17 May 2005 where this hot topic will be one of the issues discussed. More information to follow. http://www.mccsokinawa.com/welcomeaboard/pdf/petInformation.pdf (Right click and select “Save Target as”)
This information was compiled from the archives of Okinawa Branch Veterinary Services, Kadena AB, Okinawa and several other gracious sources. OAARS will be happy to assist you in whatever way necessary to enable you to take your pet with you when PCSing. We urge you to plan ahead and budget.
- General information on requirements for moving pets in and out of the United States can be found at the National Center for Import/Export (NCIE): http://www.aphis.usda.gov/NCIE/
- Check out this website for lots of good information on traveling with pets! http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ac/pettravel.html
- For specific entry requirements to the U.S. listed by state: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/sregs/
If you are taking a pet to another country (permanently or for a visit), contact that country’s consulate or embassy for information about any requirements that you must meet. A listing of consulates can be found at the U.S. State Department web page at: http://www.state.gov/s/cpr/rls/fco/
For your convenience, the following websites are provided to help you find information on importing your animal into these rabies-free areas:
- United Kingdom http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/quarantine/index.htm
- Guam http://www.36thservices.com/kennel.htm
- Hawaii http://www.hawaii.gov/hdoa/ai/aqs/info
- Japan http://www.usarj.army.mil/organization/vet/import.aspx
Please, LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND!