Travelling with Cats and Dogs from
Sri Lanka to the United States of America (USA)
Taking Pet Cats and Dogs from Sri Lanka to the United States of America (USA)
Travelling with Pet Cats & Dogs from Sri Lanka to the United States of America (USA)
CDC’s temporary suspension for dogs imported from high-risk rabies countries such as Sri Lanka has been extended through 31st July 2023. All current requirements will remain in place.
Beginning 1st March 2023, all foreign-vaccinated dogs flying from Sri Lanka to the United States must have a valid CDC Rabies Vaccination and Microchip Record in addition to either a CDC Dog Import Permit or a reservation at a CDC-approved animal care facility. CDC will NOT accept foreign-issued pet passports or any other certificates for foreign rabies vaccinations.
The above entry regulations do not apply to Pet Cats travelling to the USA. The above laws are only applicable for dogs. Cats do not require an RNATT or an import Permit issued by the CDC. Cats can enter the USA through any airport.
CDC issues regulations to control the entry of dogs into the United States from other countries. These rules apply to all dogs, including puppies and service animals. They also apply whether you are a US citizen, legal US resident, or foreign national.
Everything you need to know when travelling with Dogs from Sri Lanka to the United States of America (USA)
Did your dog travel from the United States to Sri Lanka recently? Does your dog have a valid US-issued rabies vaccination certificate? If Yes, your pet dog may enter the United States without a CDC permit.
Under this scheme, the dog may fly in to one of 18 airports with a CDC quarantine station. The pet will be immediately released on-arrival.
Owners of foreign-vaccinated dogs may apply for and obtain a valid CDC Dog Import Permit before arrival. CDC will only issue permits for up to two (02) dogs per person during the suspension. The pet owner must apply online for a CDC Dog Import Permit. It is recommended to apply for the CDC permit at least 8 weeks before intended travel.
Before beginning the process, your dog must have a readable microchip, primary rabies vaccine, and a Rabies Neutralising Antibody Titre Test (RNATT) carried out after completing minimum 30 days from the rabies vaccine. RNATT must be from an approved lab drawn at least 45 days and no more than 1 year before arrival.
Dog can enter at any port of entry with a 6-month travel history statement and healthy appearance. All dogs that have been in Sri Lanka in the past 6 months must be at least 6 months old to enter the United States.
This option is for pet dogs without a valid US-issued rabies vaccination certificate; or if the pet owner wishes to fly the dog to the United States without a CDC Dog Import Permit. This is also the only option for persons importing 3 or more dogs into the United States.
– Your dog must be accompanied by a valid CDC Rabies Vaccination and Microchip Record upon arrival. The rabies vaccine must be administered by a licensed veterinarian on or after 12 weeks of age and at least 28 days before arrival if it is the dog’s first vaccination. Booster rabies vaccines administered after 15 months of age are valid immediately.
– You must make a reservation at one of the CDC-approved animal care facilities with necessary follow-up services at your (the importer’s or owner’s) expense. CDC Approved Animal Care Facilities in Atlanta (ATL), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami Florida (MIA), New York (JFK), Washington DC (IAD).
– Your pet dog must arrive at the port of entry where the CDC-approved animal care facility is located. The facility will determine if the dog has a valid CDC Rabies Vaccination and Microchip Record and Rabies Neutralising Antibody Titre Test (RNATT).
– If invalid CDC Rabies Vaccination and Microchip Record: dog will be denied entry.
– If valid CDC Rabies Vaccination and Microchip Record: CDC-approved facility will determine if the dog has a valid RNATT. If VALID RNATT: Each dog must be examined and re-vaccinated with a US-licensed rabies vaccine by a USDA-accredited veterinarian at the CDC-approved animal care facility upon arrival at your (the importer’s or owner’s) expense. If INVALID RNATT or NO RNATT: Each dog must have a reservation to quarantine at the CDC-approved animal care facility for 28 days after the exam and re-vaccination at your (the importer’s or owner’s) expense.
Approved Airports for pet dogs to enter the United States
Anchorage (ANC), Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Honolulu (HNL), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Minneapolis (MSP), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Philadelphia (PHL), San Francisco (SFO), San Juan (SJU), Seattle (SEA), Washington DC Dulles (IAD).
Our Services when moving pets from Sri Lanka to USA includes
Cats Travelling from Sri Lanka to the United States
Cats do not require proof of rabies vaccination for importation into the United States. However, CDC / USDA highly recommends that all Cats be vaccinated against rabies & also feline vaccine (FVRVP / TriCat / PCH), as the specific US destination may have additional requirements.
An Export Health certificate of health is not required by CDC for entry of domestic cats into the United States, although most international airlines or specific States may require them.
Cats are subject to inspection at ports of entry and may be denied entry into the United States if they have evidence of an infectious disease that can be transmitted to humans. If a cat appears to be ill, further examination by a licensed veterinarian at the owner’s expense might be required at the port of entry.
Frequently Asked Questions on flying dogs from Sri Lanka to the United States
1. Does the owner have to be present at the airport of entry and accompany the dog? No. The dog may be shipped via cargo. The dog’s rabies vaccination certificate or CDC Dog Import Permit should be submitted to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) when filing the formal entry for the dog. If you are applying for a CDC Dog Import Permit for a dog you will ship via cargo, list the owner (yourself) as the Permit Holder on the application.
2. How long does it take to process a permit? Because of the high-volume of applications, it can take up to 40 business days or 8 weeks to process a complete and valid permit application. However, if required information is missing from the application, the process can take longer. We will respond to you within 8 weeks.
3. How long is an approved CDC permit valid for? The permit is valid from 14 days before planned date of arrival until 90 days after planned date of arrival.
4. Do dogs need a permit if they are transiting through the United States to travel to another destination country? Customs clearance in the United States is the key determining factor. Dogs that don’t go through customs clearance when transiting through the United States don’t need to meet CDC entry requirements. They can transit through any US port of entry without a permit. Dogs traveling in cargo usually don’t go through customs clearance while in transit. However, if the dogs go through US customs (such as hand-carried baggage or as checked baggage) before transiting to their final destination, then they are subject to CDC’s temporary suspension of dogs from high-risk countries for rabies. Dogs from high-risk countries with foreign rabies vaccination certificates aren’t permitted to transit through the United States on passenger flights (as hand-carried or checked-baggage) if they are required to go through customs clearance before boarding the next flight. These dogs will be denied entry to the United States and will be returned to the country of departure.
5. What kind of importers are eligble to request a permit to import a dog in to the United States? All people 18 years old and older are eligible to apply for a permit to bring in 1-2 dogs from a high-risk country for dog rabies. CDC no longer requires the applicant to provide proof they are an eligible importer.
6. What kinds of dogs are NOT allowed to have permits? CDC no longer considers the purpose of the dog importation. Dogs intended for adoption, resale, transfer of ownership, or any other purpose may be eligible for entry provided they meet the requirements as described in the flow process on Bringing a Dog into the United States.
7. What does the CDC permit look like? The permit is embedded in the body of an email, and the Permit Holder is required to present a paper or digital copy of the email during travel.
8. Can I apply for a CDC Permit before the 45-day RNATT waiting period has ended? Yes, but make sure the travel date on the application is at least 45 days after the titer sample was drawn. You must submit the results of the titer as part of your CDC permit application. Apply at least 8 weeks before you intend for your dog to travel. Plan ahead to make sure you have enough time: to have the titer sample collected (at least 30 days after the dog’s initial vaccination) and sent to the laboratory; to get the results (which can take 3-5 weeks); and to submit your application to CDC at least 8 weeks before the date you intend for your dog to travel.
9. How long do I have to wait after the Rabies vaccine to get a RNATT? Titers must be drawn a minimum of 30 days after the dog’s initial vaccination and at least 45 days before US entry. Dogs due to receive rabies vaccination boosters may have their titers drawn at any time, but titers are most easily detected at least 30 days after vaccination.
10. How long is the RNATT valid for? The titer test is valid for 1 year from the date the sample was drawn.
11. Does a dog travelling from Sri Lanka to the United States require a RNATT if the current US Rabies vaccine certificate is still valid (such as a 3 year rabies vaccine)? If a US rabies vaccination certificate is still valid, a titer test and a CDC Dog Import Permit are not required, even if a dog received a foreign vaccine booster after the US vaccine was given.