My little dog Lucky is from China, Fuzhou City. After working there for three years, I wanted to go back to Germany. First of all, I had to learn about import and export regulations for pets, which is quite complicated. In this article, I will explain step by step what I did, so you can save some time researching.
1. Get the dog chipped
Every dog in the EU must be chipped. This chip must be put BEFORE the vaccination. The microchips accepted by the EU are ISO 11784/11785.
Getting this type of microchip in Fuzhou was nearly impossible, so I had to order it in Beijing. It was in the mailbox two days later. Costs: 275 CNY including shipping. I ordered it at http://www.icvsasia.com, an animal hospital in Beijing. On this page, you can find useful information in English on how to exit China with pets.
2. Have the chip inserted by an officially designated animal hospital
Finding this state-approved veterinarian is very important, because only he is allowed to give the vaccination.
How do you know if it is an officially recognized vaccination center?
If it has a golden plate with the license number and it issues the red (or green) vaccination books.
My vet had never seen a microchip before and so I had to explain to him (in Chinese!) where to put it: under the skin, on the left side of the neck.
My vet in Fuzhou:
(now he knows how to do it!)
The vaccination booklet of Fujian Province is green (in most other provinces it’s red):
3. Get the dog vaccinated
As a puppy, a dog should have had its first vaccinations and then at the age of one year, it must be refreshed. Four to six months (at least 120 days!) before the planned departure, the dog should get his vaccination for his departure. This vaccination may also be given only in the state-recognized vaccination center and must then be entered in the vaccine book (just below the sticker of the chip number with the bar code).
4. Have your pet’s blood tested
Four weeks after the vaccination, your official vet must draw blood, run the centrifuge and send the collected blood plasma to the EU-accredited laboratory in Changchun.
Address of laboratory (click to enlarge):
Address (for copy-paste):
Since liquids cannot be sent by airmail, I used special delivery (kuaidi). The lab has to be paid in advance, I paid 200 CNY back in 2017 (Update June 2020: One of my readers just informed me that the prize is now 400 CNY). The best way is to get help from a Chinese speaking friend to make a phone call to the lab to reconfirm you have the information (price, bank account number, etc.).
The website of the laboratory http://cvrirabies.bmi.ac.cn contains offers the following form for download: 宠物血清狂犬病毒抗体检测委托单, „Request for Determination of Antibodies against Rabies“, which must be sent with the sample.
They will send the confirmation of (hopefully!) enough antibodies after a few weeks.
5. Buy the transportation crate and get the dog used to it
Most airlines allow dogs up to 8kg (including crate) to travel in the cabin. Larger dogs must be transported in the aircraft’s belly in an air-conditioned space for animal transport. Check your airline’s regulation on pets to be sure you can take them with you. Of course, it’s better to book a direct flight to keep the travel time for the animal as short as possible. I flew with KLM from Xiamen to Amsterdam and I was very satisfied.
Start early to get the dog used to the crate
This is Lucky during the acclimation phase. First, I removed the door, fed him in the crate and put his toys and a blanket inside. After a while I trained him with treats to go inside.
In the last weeks before departure, he slept in the living room with the crate’s door closed at night.
6. Obtain departure papers
At least 12 days before departure you have to get the exit papers. All you have to do is go to the Entry-Exit Inspection & Quarantine Bureau.
Here was my problem: According to my information, you have to do this in the city where you are registered. Unfortunately, the office in Fuzhou has never issued these papers and that’s why they sent me to Xiamen, the city I wanted to take my airplane from. So I had to clear my apartment within 48 hours, pack up and organize the trip to Xiamen with dog. Once we were there, I was under time crunch. That’s why I hired an experienced agency, an incredibly nice, fluent English-speaking Chinese agent, to help me. Owen’s website: www.netorap.com
If you live in Xiamen, I recommend you contact him.
7. Complete the EU health certificate
This form must be presented and validated by a veterinarian at the Entry-Exit Inspection & Quarantine Bureau and again at customs after you arrived in Europe at the airport.
8. Fly away!
At the airport, all papers and the microchip of the dog are checked again, the crate gets x-rayed, safely packed and loaded onto the aircraft. A nice ground staff member came into the cabin shortly before departure with his digital camera and showed me a picture of the safely secured crate and told me that the dog is fine. That made me calm down a little, as I had been worried for weeks before the trip. A big thank you to KLM for the nice handling of my dog!
I hope this review helped you with your research a little bit further. For questions, additions or changes, please feel free to contact me, then I will update the blog entry.