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
  • UPDATE FEBRUARY 2018 – According to one of my wonderful readers, Julia, who is in the process of exporting her dog from Malaysia to Europe, the Malaysian government has a new export requirement for dogs going to certain countries: a Nipah blood test. (Note: at the moment, this is not required for dogs being exported to North America, but it IS required for dogs going to Europe). Julia found that there is currently only one laboratory in Malaysia that does this Nipah test, and it’s located in Ipoh. Test results are valid only for 10 days. The test fee is RM18, plus postage fee for the test results. She says that it’s a bit of a hassle to get this test done yourself – it will be easier to seek help from an agent. She talked with several, and prices ranged from a few hundred ringgit up to RM1000. Julia recommends to dog owners: “Talk to different agents and request a breakdown of charges, especially the blood test part – i.e. the cost of taking the blood sample, lab fee, special logistics to transport the blood sample, etc.” (Thank you, Julia!)
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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!

55 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

  13. Hi Cimeron,
    Very helpful article thank you! I was wondering if you might have some advice for my situation. We have unofficially adopted a dog in Malaysia during my time volunteering here (more so she adopted us). I worry about leaving her behind at an spca, but I leave in 2 weeks now and know I won’t be able to get through all the necessary paperwork and vet visits in that time. Do you happen to know if it is possible/how difficult it is to arrange all the necessary steps if I am not here in person? I feel I might need to try to do this via the USA. Any advice will be greatly appreciated thank you!

    • Hi Chelsea,
      That’s great that you adopted a dog here! You are a wonderful person for doing so. If you hire a great agent, they should be able to do all the legwork for you, even while you’re in the US. I hired CL Lee (his info is in the story) and he was truly fantastic. Do contact him and see if he can take care of all the legwork for you – I bet he can. Best of luck to you and your pup!

  14. Hi Cimeron,

    Thanks for your insight! I’m hoping to bring my lab mix dog, Borg Borg, over from KUL to NYC in 3 months, hoping you can shed some light on flying Singa via Cathay Pacific and if you did so via checked baggage or cargo; and how long did Singa have to be in quarantine and was there a quarantine period in HK transit as well? Lastly, how was he feeling when you picked him up after he passed quarantine? Thanks!

    • Hi Trisha! Cathay Pacific requires that all pets fly cargo on long-haul international flights, so that’s how we did it with Singa. There was no quarantine in HK since that’s just a transit stop, but all pets are put into a special pet transit room and there’s a fee for that (if I remember correctly, it’s about $100, which I paid to our export agent). As for how he was feeling upon arrival in SF (where there is no quarantine), he was ready to get out of the cage and stretch his legs and immediately licked everyone in sight. Both emotionally and physically, he was fine. I’m sure Borg Borg will be as well! Best of luck to your family and Borg Borg on your move. 🙂
      Cimeron

    • Hi SP, I don’t have any experiencing exporting to Hong Kong. But I’m sure that Hong Kong has lots of info about importing pets. 🙂

  15. Hi Cimeron,

    First of all, I need to say ‘Thank you very much’ for you guideline. It is very helpful!

    I have rescued a kitten from street in KL. she was very little (6 weeks old) when I saw her at roadside. I decided to adopt her and send her to my hometown, Thailand to live with my wife and my 2 naughty cats there. I started searching the way to bring her back to Thailand and fortunately, I found your article!!! Thank God!!. Now she was sent to Thailand from KL since December 2017.

    I just want to share and add some information for anyone who want to send dog or cat out from KL.

    1. I hired CTI Logistics (as Cimeron advised ) to help me get export permit. They have good services and help me get the permit in time but the cost quiet expensive (They charged me RM300 only export permit and of course if you want them to do anything more you need to pay example transportation to Malaysian State Veterinary Department)

    2.I recommended VPAC pet clinic in KL. All of doctors are good and they have all vaccine that my cat needed. My cat also got sterilization from here.
    This is their website -> http://vpac.com.my

    3.I choose Malaysia Airline for transportation my cat will fly with me as checked baggage. They charged me around RM200. Just bring the cat to normal check-in counter at KLIA they will tell you what you need to do.

    Here are some picture when I checked her in at KLIA
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/LLAzWuLhDclC5hhW2

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/YHPYsOhDtcwq4HmH2

    Here is her picture after arrived in Bangkok.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/cabBWUZzIWmQ2dtr2

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/7BUHr73lYocnGMw33

    P.S. sorry for my poor English ;(

    Thank you Cimeron.

    Art

    • Hi Art! Oh I’m so happy to hear that the article helped you so much and that you sweet rescued kitty is now happily at your home in Thailand. She is super cute, as are your other two kitties. Thank you for letting everyone know about your experiences and the costs – it’s really helpful and I’m sure lots of people exporting their pets will truly appreciate it. Thanks again for letting me know how it all went and for sharing your adorable photos! 🙂
      Cimeron

  16. I want to bring my dog (german shepherd) to Turkey, do I need an import permit? I checked several places but couldn’t get much information about this. Does Turkey need import permit? Thanks

  17. Hi Cimeron

    Thanks for this extremely informative post – I have a follow up question, just in case you can help. I”m planning to take my unexpected cats back to Australia, and need to get a rabies vaccination at a ‘Government approved vet’, but I can’t find a list anywhere. I live in a remote part of Kelantan and my nearest vet (2 hours drive) is a university vet clinic – and very good too. I’ve no idea if they’re approved or not, and when I asked on the last visit she kept telling me to go to Gua Musang, which is a good 3 hours away. This may have meant, we can’t do it, I don’t know if we can do it, we don’t want to do it or we don’t have the paperwork. It’s complicated by the government web portal for the state being largely in Malay. Do you happen to know of any websites or authorities that I could go to for advice?

    • Hi Alison,
      Wow, I have no idea where to find a list of government approved vet clinics – I thought all vet clinics had to be government approved in order to even operate. My suggestion would be to call a Malaysian pet export agent to ask them, as they would surely know. The agent we used is CL Lee – he’s great and based out of Penang. Give him a call and see if he can help you with that – mention my name and perhaps he will give you a bit of free advice. Here’s his contact info: +60-12-482-6810; bestwaygs@gmail.com (for fastest response, try phone/whatsapp).

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

      • Hi Cimeron

        Thanks very much for your response – I’ve emailed Mr Lee so hopefully he can help me sort it out.

        I’ve another question, which again I don’t know if you can help with. I actually have 5 cats, because my little Kiki, who appeared around the side of my house starving and desperate, went on to produce kittens before the vet was willing to spay. I’m taking my 3 adults cats but I can’t possibly take all 5 – just don’t have the money, let alone a place to keep them.

        But re homing cats around here is just about impossible – the place is awash with them. Have you any experience with re homing cats – are there any adoption agencies etc? I’m actually in Kelantan but would happily travel to Penang if it means giving them a home – it’s stressing me out. I can’t take them and can’t abandon them.

      • Hi Alison,
        First off, it’s really sweet that you rescued the kitties and gave them a home. You are a wonderful person! I know that KL has a really fantastic SPCA that does a good job of rehoming animals in need, so you may want to try them. Another option would be for you to list them on http://www.petfinder.my/ for adoption…but it’s best to have a back-up plan since adoptions through Petfinder are apparently really hit and miss. But if you want to take all 5 back to Australia with you (which would be the best thing to do), I’d be willing to pitch in some money to help pay for the transport fees. 🙂

  18. Hi Cimeron

    Thanks so much for your offer of help – you are obviously a very kind, caring and generous person and I appreciate it more than I can say. At the moment my preference is to rehome the 2 kittens in Malaysia if, and only if, I can find great homes for them. It’s not just the cost of the airfares, it’s the quarantine and so on in Australia, and the fact that I’m not going to be in a financial position to provide the ongoing support and vet care needed for 5 cats, so the most responsible thing to do would be to rehome them anyway. If that all falls through of course I’ll have to rethink – I’m not going to abandon them.

    In other news, I’ve found a government vet only 2 hours from home that can carry out all the vaccinations, check ups and certification, so very happy about that. Between them and Mr Lee it should all be sorted.

    If you have any other readers in Kelantan, it’s the headquarters of the Government Veterinary service for Kelantan, located in Kubang Kerian, Kota Bharu.

    • That’s great news that you found a government approved vet much closer to your home. Thank you for sharing the info for others in the future who may be in need! I hope you’ll have good luck finding great homes for the kittens – surely there’s got to be someone wonderful out there who would appreciate all the love they have to give. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you and for them!

  19. I’d like to recommend an export agent in KL (I had no luck with CTI Logistics). His name is Khairil Zack and he can do everything from simply acting as an export agent to the full pet relocation service. I’ve been dealing with him organising to take my cats to Australia from Kelantan, and have found him to be very helpful and flexible. He even drove from KL to Kelantan to bring a microchip reader for a very reasonable charge. He seems extremely experienced, and specialises in exporting to Australia as he has a partner there. He’s also willing to negotiate on price if things seem a little steep.

    Khairil Zack
    worldpetservices0109@gmail.com
    010 225 6499
    Instagram #worldpetservices

    • Thanks for the recommendation, Alison! I hope your relocation planning is going well and I hope your move back to AUS with your kitties goes smoothly!

  20. Hi. Thank you for this write-up. I’ve been researching on how to take my 3 cats to Canada from Malaysia with me. I went to see an agency that said they’ll do everything for but it’ll cost me over RM1000 for each cat. I don’t think I need everything done for me but I doubt they’ll give me a discount as the whole thing is a ‘package’. And they weren’t too keen on breaking down the fee for me. However, they did tell me what airlines would have less hassle to deal with and what airports/countries to avoid (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore) as they’ll need a permit and I’d have to pay the agent close to RM2k for it. And all these charges don’t even include their passage to Canada. Between the costs and the headache to figure this out by myself, I feel like giving up but I can’t leave my cats.

    • Good for you for not giving up and for being determined to bring your furry family members with you! You’ve got a great heart. Definitely shop around and contact pet import/export agents instead of pet relocation companies, as the agents are far less expensive. I’ve put the contact info for some in the story. Also, we flew through Hong Kong and it wasn’t a problem at all, so I’m not sure why they’d tell you to avoid it. Hong Kong requires a transit permit, which was only $100. So that relo company’s quote of RM2000 is way out of whack. I’m not surprised though – pet relocation agencies are renowned for marking up prices like crazy. That’s why I went with an import/export agent instead – way more affordable, and they did a great job for us. I wish you and your furry family members the best of luck!

  21. Hi,
    I was just wondering if anyone could advise on whether the regulations on import to uk, which state a Malaysian vet needs to confirm pets have not been in contact with pigs or on a holding with potential nipah transmission for 60 days and to have a nipah test, means pets need to be quarantined for all that time? can anyone direct me on a good person to ask about this? Thank you!

    • Hi Claire, I’ve never heard of anyone needing to quarantine their pets for this. It would be best for you to contact one of a Malaysian pet import/export agent to confirm and get details. I list a few in the story. Best of luck!

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