Bio Security

Suspension of Direct Importation of Dogs and Cats from Malaysia to Australia

Who does this notice affect?

All importers of cats and dogs from Malaysia.

What has changed?

Malaysia is no longer considered an approved country for the export of cats and dogs to Australia. Under the recent Suspended Goods Determination, importation of cats and dogs directly from Malaysia to Australia is suspended.

Purpose

To advise importers of cats and dogs of changes to conditions for import from Malaysia to Australia.

Policy

Australia’s biosecurity requirements for the importation of dogs and cats from approved countries is based on the 2013 Importation of dogs and cats and their semen from approved countries: Final policy review.

Consistent with advice on 7 February 2020 on the department’s website, Malaysia is no longer considered an approved country and direct imports of cats and dogs from Malaysia were paused. In order to formalise this change in status, a Biosecurity (Suspended Goods—Cats and Dogs Malaysia) Determination 2020 was made by the Director of Biosecurity under subsection 182(1) of the Biosecurity Act 2015 (the Act) and came into effect on 12 March 2020.

The Suspended Goods Determination does not affect cats and dogs being imported from other countries transiting through Kuala Lumpur International Airport en route to Australia, or cats and dogs originating in Malaysia that are being prepared, certified in and imported to Australia from other approved countries.

Prospective importers may import their cats and dogs to Australia by following the department’s step by step guides for approved countries.

Options for import of cats and dogs from Malaysia

The options to import your cats/dogs include:

  1. Move your cats/dogs from Malaysia to a group 3 approved country of your choice and follow the relevant group 3 approved country step-by-step guide.

OR

  1. Move your cats/dogs from Malaysia to a group 2 approved country of your choice and follow the relevant group 2 approved country step-by-step guide. The group 2 import conditions include a mandatory 180 day residency requirement immediately before the date of export to Australia.

OR

  1. Move your cats/dogs from Malaysia to a group 2 or 3 country of your choice and follow the relevant non-approved via approved country step-by-step guide which includes the requirement for a blood sample collected in the non-approved country (i.e. Malaysia) to be sent to an OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) rabies reference laboratory or the Australian Animal Health Laboratory.

The 180 day waiting period will commence from the date the sample arrives at the OIE rabies reference laboratory or the Australian Animal Health Laboratory. This is offered as a concession step only and the cats/dogs will still need to move to an approved country to undergo a confirmation Rabies Neutralising Antibody Titre Test and complete all other preparations required per the non-approved via approved country step-by-step guide.

Please note, prospective importers will need to apply for an import permit for the relevant approved country of export and provide all supporting documentation required for the department to assess the application.

Further information

We encourage prospective importers to check our website regularly or subscribe to our mailing list for up to date information as import conditions can and do change without notice.