Traveling with pets can be a stressful experience for many owners especially on long-distance flights.
Regulations can be strict and difficult to navigate and of course, all pet owners want to ensure that their animal travels as safe and comfortable as possible.
The Republic of the Philippines is an archipelagic country consisting of over 7,600 islands. This means that in most likelihood, visitors and their pets will need to take a flight in order to reach them.
It’s possible to take animals into the country but rules and regulations apply. If you’re a foreigner coming into the Philippines, you won’t only need to make sure that you have a valid travel authorization but also that your animals travel with the relevant permits and documentation.
Just like it happens with importing regulated goods there are rules and conditions in place that you need to respect if you wish to import animals into the Philippines hassle-free.
In this article, you’ll find practical information regarding taking animals into the Philippines that should help clear your doubts. This includes:
- Permits and licenses
- Chips and other forms of identification
- Traveling with service animals
- Pet fees.
The Philippine Bureau of Animal Industry Import Permit Form
If you wish to bring your cat or dog into the Philippines, planning is key. You will need to get information well ahead and obtain all the necessary documents and certificates.
One of the most important ones is the Import Permit issued by the Philippine Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI). Fortunately, the permit can be obtained online from the Bureau’s official website.
The application procedure requires the owner to create an account and provide a current email address. They will then need to complete the application form in all its parts.
It usually takes up to 2 working days for the Philippine authorities to process applications. Once the permit is granted, it stays valid for up to 2 months. Applicants can also choose to send a letter request but this process may take longer.
The Veterinary Health Certificate to Bring Animals into the Philippines
Animal importers also need to obtain an International Veterinary Health Certificate from the relevant veterinary authority in their country. This certificate will state that the animals have been properly inspected and that it’s been verified that they have not been exposed to dangerous communicable animal diseases and they are currently disease-free. This is to protect the health of both people and native Philippines animals.
A Health Certificate must be obtained for each pet. Moreover, please note that the Certificate must be obtained within 30 days before the intended date of arrival into the Philippines.
Finally, owners will need to provide an updated Vaccination Record that will need to be obtained from a vet. Just like for humans, vaccinations are necessary before traveling to avoid contagion and the spread of diseases. For cats and dogs, the vaccination requirements are as follows:
- Cats: rabies vaccination and vaccination against herpes, calicivirus, panleukopenia, and feline leukemia.
- Dogs: rabies vaccination and vaccination against distemper, leptospirosis, parvovirus, adenovirus type 2.
The above health document requirements are mandatory and must be met by all animal importers. Travelers will be asked to provide the relevant documents at the Philippine airport upon arrival.
Failure to present the above documentation will result in the animal(s) being denied entry into the country. The pet(s) may then be put into quarantine.
Does My Animal Need to Be Chipped?
Yes, pet dogs and cats need to be appropriately chipped before traveling to the Philippines. This means that your animal will need to be equipped with mandatory identification (an ISO compliant microchip or an RFID Radio Frequency Identification).
Dogs and cats traveling without the required identification will be rejected entry and returned to their origin. All costs incurred will fall upon the importer.
Are Pets Allowed with Philippine Airlines?
Different airlines will have different policies when it comes to traveling with animals. In the case of Philippine Airlines, animals are allowed only as checked baggage. This includes, for example, cats, dogs, and household birds.
Other conditions apply:
- The animals must be accompanied by a passenger of at least 12 years of age
- Philippine Airlines must be contacted in advance regarding the animals and the Philippine Airlines Reservation Office must give approval at least 48 hours prior to departure
- The animals must be accompanied by relevant permits and documentation
- The animals must be crated in a leak-proof container
- The accompanying passenger assumes full responsibility for the animals.
How much does it cost to transport pets with Philippine Airlines?
Animals are not included in the Free Baggage Allowance (FBA). Just like with excessive baggage, the fee will be calculated depending on the total weight of the pet and the container.
- Domestic flights
Up to 20 kg – PHP 1,000 per 5 kg (e.g., 11 kg – PHP 3,000).
15.1 kg up to 50 kg – PHP 2,000 per 10 kg (e.g., 37 kg – PHP 8,000).
- Regional flights – depending on the total weight (pet + container):
1-4 kg – 100% EBR for 5 kg.
5 kg and above – 100% EBR for the actual weight.
Traveling to the Philippines with Service Animals
Service animals are allowed into the passenger cabin free of charge. Service dogs are animals that assist passengers that suffer from a sight or hearing impairment. In order to prove that the animal is a service dog, the airline might accept identification cards or other documentation, harness or tags, or the verbal assurance of a passenger with a disability traveling with the dog.
Unless the service dog occupies the aisle or another area that must be kept clear, the animal is allowed to accompany the disabled passenger to their seat. Some airlines provide for the animal either a bulkhead seat or a seat other than a bulkhead seat in the same class of service.