Exporting Your Pets From Malaysia

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8 Simple Steps to Export Your Pets from Malaysia

If you’re moving from Malaysia, of course you’re going to take your pets with you. They’re part of your family, and family always sticks together. Not to mention that they’re depending on you!

I recently rescued a dog here in Malaysia and exported him to the US. I was shocked to learn that there was very little information online about the required steps for the export process, which stressed me out quite a bit. I don’t want anyone else to experience that confusion. So fear not, my friends! I’ve put together this simple 8-step process to help you export your pets from Malaysia. The dog I rescued and exported is Singa – otherwise known as the cutest, most awesome dog in the world – and I’ll include his documentation throughout this article to provide you with helpful examples. And I’ll include information and links for exporting to several countries. So let’s hop to it!

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Singa’s ears are ready for lift-off

1. Start now

The process can be fairly simple, but some steps can take several weeks, especially if you need to update your pet’s vaccines, or if the country where you’re importing your pet has special requirements that need to be met. So start the process as soon as you know you’re moving.

2. Hire an export agent or pet relocation service

You’ll need an export agent to apply for and obtain your export permit, but don’t worry – they’re very affordable and they can help with everything from the permit to flight bookings. Here are two really reputable export/import agents:

Penang:

Best Way Global Services
CL Lee
bestwaygs@gmail.com
+60-12-482-6810

Kuala Lumpur:

CTI Logistics
http://www.ctikul.com/
Phone: +60-12-315-0298
Email: sunsun@ctikul.com

Alternatively, you can use a pet relocation service – they provide full turnkey solutions, but charge a premium price. Check out this post and you’ll see a bunch listed at the bottom of the article.

3. Meet the export permit requirements

To obtain the export permit, your export agent will need you to provide the following:

  • A vaccination card, showing that your pet is up to date on vaccines. (Note: vaccine requirements can change frequently, including when the vaccines are administered prior to departure, so be sure to check with your export agent about these ever-changing requirements. Sometimes even if your pet has been vaccinated within the past year, they may still require another vaccine within a few weeks of travel).
  • A JPEG or PDF of your passport.
  • Your address in Malaysia, and your address in your destination country.
  • A health certificate signed and stamped by your veterinarian, which lists:
    • Your pet’s age
    • Physical description
    • 15-digit microchip number
    • It must also state that your pet is healthy, free from contagious diseases, and is fit for air travel
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This is Singa’s vaccination card

Some veterinarians don’t have a standard health certificate form, as I found out the hard way when I asked a vet to write one up for Singa. I ended up creating my own and just asked the vet to sign and stamp it – here it is. Feel free to use this as a template if your vet doesn’t have a standard health certificate letter/form.

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4. Research and meet pet import requirements

Each country has its own pet import requirements, which can be very different from one nation to the next – and even from one species of animal to another. Some countries require import permits or pet passports, some don’t; some require rabies titer tests or other specific kinds of blood tests and lab work; some mandate quarantine stays, and some don’t even ask for vaccination records. For example, when we imported Singa to the US, we needed to provide proof that he’d been vaccinated against rabies. But for cats going to the US, you don’t even have to show a health certificate. Weird, right? So be sure to research the import requirements for the country where your pet will be going – here are links to those prerequisites for several countries:

Australia

Germany

Singapore

South Korea

Thailand

United Kingdom

USA

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5. Check your airline’s specific pet transport requirements

Most airlines have a section of their websites dedicated to international pet travel. Be sure to check for certain key issues, such as:

  • Minimum age of the pet. (Usually 3 months old.)
  • Does the airline require you to have a pet relocation agent? (Some do).
  • Can your pet travel in the cabin with you, or must they fly in cargo?
  • Pet crate requirements.
  • In-crate drinking/feeding kit requirements.
  • Restrictions on animal breeds. (For example, Malaysian Airlines will not transport any snub-nosed dog).
  • If your flight has an international transfer, will your pet require a transit permit, and if so, will the airline help you obtain that?
  • Fees for transporting your pet.
  • Required forms, and veterinary health records/certifications.

6. Book your pet’s flight

Some airlines will require you to book through their cargo department, whereas others can book your pet through their regular reservation agents. As noted above, many airlines will need you to fill out paperwork and provide proof of vaccination and/or health certificates before reserving your pet’s space on the plane or in cargo.

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7. Obtain a transit permit (if you’re connecting through an international airport where it’s required)

Your export agent or your airline can help you with this. But note that this can take some time to do though. For example, Singa’s flight had to connect through Hong Kong, and it takes 7 working days for them to issue the transit permit.

8. Book an appointment with the Malaysian State Veterinary Department for inspection

Your export agents will need to do this for you, so just make sure that you allot time for this. It’s typically scheduled within a week of departure, and yes, you’ll need to take your pet with you since this is an in-person inspection.

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“Inspection? Sure, I’ll be happy to inspect those treats in your hand!”

Up, up and away!

When it’s time to fly, be sure to line your pet’s crate with a few layers of puppy training pads, which will absorb any accidents or water spills while your pet is flying. And be sure to kiss your pets all over before they get on their flight, so that they know how much you love them and that everything will be all right. Your export agent or pet relocation service will need to take your pet the cargo area since most airlines do not allow anyone but them to do it. Before they know it, your pets will be home and back in your lap, right where they belong. 🙂

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Singa made it to San Francisco, safe and sound. And he got adopted by a wonderful woman named Frankie who loves him to pieces. I got to see him again on one of our trips back to SF and he forgave me for the long flights. 🙂

Please feel free to ask any questions you like. I really hope this helps you and your pets!

32 thoughts on “Exporting Your Pets From Malaysia

    • You need to get a microchip implanted in your pet by your veterinarian. Each chop has its own unique number. Ithe takes about 2 minutes and doesn’t hurt the pets a bit.

      I hope that helps!

  1. Hi Cimeron,

    Your post is helpful for me as I have no way to start with this.

    But my case is a bit different from yours. I was planning to send my cats from west Malaysia to east Malaysia using flight. Can I know is that a must to hire an export agent or import agent to do the documents?

    Possible myself to handle those documents? As I have low Budgets to do with my two cats.

      • Hi Catherine! Very happy to hear that this post has been helpful for you and your furry family members. I don’t know much about the process of flying with your pets from peninsular Malaysia to Malaysian Borneo, so I’d suggest talked with an expert pet exporter, like CL Lee: +60-12-482-6810

        I’m sure he’ll be able to advise you. 🙂

  2. Thanks for replied.
    I staying at Johor Bahru so I think Penang brand could not help me much. I try to search an agent base at jb. Thanks for your help.😊

    • He specializes in import/export of pets throughout Malaysia. The export ruses are the same throughout peninsular Malaysia, so he should be able to give you good advice.

  3. Hi Cimeron,

    To export dog out from Malaysia to Singapore, I was informed by my vet that I must engage agent to do the export. I am not allowed to do it myself. True?

  4. Hi Cimeron,
    Thanks for the info. it’s really helpful…as you said, we can only get limited info regarding pet import online. It does stressed me out too.. until I read your post.Thank you so much for sharing..May I know which vet (in Penang) are you assigned to do all the procedure needed?Such as,inserting microchip and blood test.Thank you!

    • Very happy to hear that the information is helpful to you! Any licensed veterinarian in Penang can do all the necessary vaccinations, blood tests and microchipping. As for the paperwork (like the letter for the airline), just create your own using the one I have in the post as a template, and take that to your vet to sign. 🙂

  5. Hi! I am looking at bringing my dog out of malaysia and am having trouble doing the rabies blood test for him. Do you’ve any recommendation or contacts where I could possibly bring him to for the blood test in Kl?

    Thanks!!

    • Sorry – I don’t know the vet offices in KL (since I live in Penang). Perhaps an export agent would know of a KL vet who can help? Best of luck!

  6. May I know how to insert the chip.
    Coz my dog is adopt by someone but is mix breed , don’t have any chip.what is the procedure .I am from Malaysia kl planning bring him to Singapore.
    Thank you so much

  7. Hi Cimeron,
    I’m relocating my pet to Australia. Do you know which lab should I send the blood sample for Rabies Test (RNAT) in Australia & where can I do 4Dx Snap test in Malaysia? I’m so sorry for asking so many questions here.. There are too little info which can be found online and I found that most of the test cannot be done in Malaysia.

    • You’re right – there’s far too little information online about importing and exporting pets to/from Malaysia.

      Your best bet to find answers to your questions is to talk with a pet exporter here in Malaysia – they know which vet offices can handle your lab test needed. And talk with a pet importer in Australia to find out a lab for the RNAT test.

      Best of luck to you and your pet!

    • Hi, I am also in the midst of preparing my dog to Australia. Maybe we can discuss further on the steps to take. I can’t afford an agent. I had already done the RNAT and got back the result. I would like to know why do I need an export agent? Can I apply an export permit myself?

      • Hi Joy,
        You can apply for the export permit yourself – you’ll need to look on the Department of Veterinary Services website or talk with them in person to get the application and figure out all the necessary steps. Here’s a link: http://www.mytradelink.gov.my/dvs
        Do note though that certain countries require you to use an agent when importing a pet, so you’ll need to check with the Australian authorities to see if they require this or not. Best of luck!

  8. Hi Cimeron,

    Thank you for the exellebt tips! We are in the process of hoping to do the same—importing a dog from Malaysia to the US…what is the difference between hiring an agent versus hiring a pet relocation company? The quotes we get from one of the IPATA-approved shippers are honestly quite high. I also tried calling Delta Cargo, unfortunately they won’t allow direct booking without the approved pet shippers. Do you remember the ball park of the cargo fare if you don’t mind sharing the info? Thanks for your time!

    • Hi Polly,
      The difference between hiring an agent versus a pet relocation company is this: pet relocation companies offer totally turnkey service and do everything for you (hence why they’re more expensive); an agent will do most of the work (like filling out and filing paperwork for the permits and booking pet-cargo for the flight) but it’s a less expensive option since you’ll have to do some of the legwork on your own (like take your dog to the vet to get the health check and letter for the airline certifying he/she is healthy enough for the flight, buy the proper dog crate, etc). When I flew Singa from Penang to San Francisco, I employed the services of the pet export/import agent listed in the article, and the total cost was around $1000 (and that included the flight on Cathay Pacific, dog crate, transit fee for Hong Kong, pet export agent fees, and permits). CL made it really easy and took care of the difficult bits. He even picked up Singa on the night of the flight and took him to the airport for us.

      I’ve had many friends who have used pet relocation services and they’ve been very happy with the experience too – it seems to be a great option for those who are a little swamped with moving.

      I hope that helps!
      Cimeron

  9. Hi Cimeron,
    Really helpful post! Thanks!
    If you don’t mind me asking, how much was the total cost of the whole process?

    • Hi AJ! I don’t remember the exact cost to export Singa from Penang to the US, but I believe it was around $1200USD. The most expensive part was the flight, which was $900, followed by the crate cost. If I remember correctly, I think the transit permit (required for Hong Kong, which he flew through) was $100. The agent fees, permits and cost of vet checks were very affordable. Hope that helps!

  10. Hi Cimeron, I am from Penang too and your article had provide a great help to me. I am planning to bring my furkids to Europe next year around Aug and just wonder where and when to start all this. I would like to find out from you below,

    1) From the time you start to prepare all the travel request to the time of travel, how many months ahead need to start prepare?
    2) Did US also has the required rules to comply below like Europe? i.e microchipped, vaccinated for rabies, ferret a rabies titer test (The sample must be sent overnight in a refrigerated blood pack to an approved laboratory for processing). If yes, which Vet in Penang you have been visit to? I guess it will really help me so that I do not need to and look for another approved vet again.

    Thanks and wish you and your furkids happylife at SF.

    Regards,
    Sze Yeong

    • Hi Sze,
      It’s great that you’re starting to plan ahead for your move! Europe has different requirements for pet import than the US does, and since many European countries require rabies titers, the preparation process can take a bit longer for importing your pets to Europe. I’d suggest you contact a pet importer/exporter now to discuss everything and get a timeline for all the steps required to prepare for pet export and import to Europe (I used Best Way Global Services, CL Lee, bestwaygs@gmail.com, +60-12-482-6810). I’m sure CL will know which vets around here do rabies titers (the US doesn’t require that, so I didn’t have to do that step). Once you find out which vets can do titers here, please do let us know – I’m sure others would benefit greatly from that info!

      Best of luck to you and your move,
      Cimeron

  11. Can i rely on petzania which is also an agent for exportation of pets?

    I need to export my 2cats to my home country.

    Thank you

  12. Hi! thanks for the article! may I know how much did it cost flying a dog from malaysia to Singapore? the total cost. My case its a cat, but I’m thinking about moving to Singapore soon, so It’d really help. thanks in advance!

    • Hi Suzy,
      You need to talk with a pet export agent or a pet relocation company to find out the cost. I’ve listed some in the story, so that’s a good place to start.

      I hope that helps,
      Cimeron

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