The Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) has very strict regulations regarding the import/transhipment of dogs (including Disability Assistance Dogs) into Hong Kong.
Dogs cannot be brought into or transit through Hong Kong unless a Special Permit to do so is obtained in advance from AFCD. Additional prior approval from AFCD is also required for in-cabin transport of a Disability Assistance Dog.
Definition of Disability Assistance Dog (DAD)
A "Disability Assistance Dog" is a dog that has been trained to help people with physical disabilities to gain more personal independence. DADs are non-aggressive, highly obedient and hard-working. Their health conditions are regularly and closely monitored by veterinary surgeons and they would have a good history of vaccination against the major infectious diseases.
In light of these regulations, we currently only accept service animals for travel in our aircraft cabins if:
- they meet the AFCD definition of Disability Assistance Dog (DAD);
- the passenger has obtained a Special Permit from AFCD for the Importation/ Transit/ Transhipment of the dog;
- the passenger has obtained prior written approval from AFCD for in-cabin transportation of the Disability Assistance Dog; and
- original copies of all documentation required by AFCD are presented at check-in and on arrival into Hong Kong (we also encourage passengers to provide advance copies of this documentation to our reservations department as far in advance as possible).
All other animals are treated as pets and therefore other arrangements must be made for their carriage. Depending on each passenger’s situation, there may be quarantine regulations imposed.
To apply for the Special Permit, the passenger should submit the permit fee as well as the following documents to AFCD:
- Completed “Application for Special Permit” – Form no. AF240
- Completed “Importation of Disability Assistance Dogs into Hong Kong Disabled Person’s Declaration” – Form no. PC102
- DAD Certification - Certification that confirms that the dog has been trained and that the training is accredited by Assistance Dogs International (or equivalent). It must include the content of the training course and the level/qualification attained. The certificate may include the following contents:
- What sort of training has been given to the dog e.g. training in a high standard of appropriate behaviour, training in real life situations travelling and functioning on public transport, training to behave under the instructions from the owner, training not to react to noises, crowds or stressful environments.
- How much training the dog has received in each of the above training elements.
- Confirmation that the dog is competent in all of the above training elements.
- Rabies Antibody Test Certificate – certifying that the dog has been tested for rabies neutralisation antibody titre (RNATT) at least 180 days prior to entry to Hong Kong.
- Completed “Supplementary Certificate – Rabies Antibody Test” – Form no. PC103 or PC 104.
- Vaccination Records.
- Animal Health Certificate – to facilitate the correct certification it is strongly recommended to use the AFCD form (Form no. VC-dad).
- A combined Animal Health, Rabies Antibody Test and Vaccination Certificate is acceptable.
- The certificates must be signed and stamped by EITHER a full time salaried government veterinary officer OR a registered veterinary surgeon and endorsed by a full time salaried government veterinary officer.
The in-cabin transportation of a service dog is considered separately from the issue of the Special Permit. Passengers wishing to apply for their dogs to travel in the aircraft cabin should submit an additional request to AFCD for approval and provide the following additional information:
- A recent letter written from their medical doctor illustrating why he/she is required to travel with an assistance dog (or equivalent).
Applications can be submitted in person or by post and generally take 5 working days from the date of receipt of the application form and permit fee to the date of issue, subject to the provision of all required information. Please apply well in advance and make allowances for mailing time.
For more details, please refer to the AFCD website. In light of the AFCD’s stringent requirements, we ask that you contact our local Global contact centres and/or AFCD as far in advance as possible so that we can assist you with the permitting process and make necessary arrangements for the transport of your animal.
Please note that there may also be additional requirements for entry at your end destination if you are only transiting through Hong Kong. In order to facilitate transit through Hong Kong, the dog should also have been granted certification by the relevant end destination country's Health Department to accompany its owner or partner at all times and in all places due to the dog’s high standard of training, behaviour, health and welfare.