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Travel Alert: New CDC Requirements on Importation of Dogs from High-Risk Countries for Rabies (June 26, 2021)
June 21, 2021

Location: Worldwide

Event: CDC has published a new rule that is effective July 14, 2021 temporarily suspending the importation of dogs into the United States from countries classified as high risk for dog rabies and of dogs that have been in high-risk countries during the previous 6 months. Mozambique is considered a high-risk country. U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents relocating to the United States are eligible to apply for a CDC Dog Import Permit.

  • Dogs from high-risk countries may be imported only with CDC’s advance written approval (CDC Dog Import Permit), including dogs that have been in a high-risk country during the previous 6 months. Such approvals may be granted on a limited case-by-case basis at CDC’s discretion. If your request for advance approval to import a dog is denied, CDC’s written denial will constitute final agency action. No appeals will be allowed.
  • People applying for a CDC Dog Import Permit must have a valid rabies certificate showing their dog is vaccinated for rabies and fully immunized. Dogs must also have a valid rabies serologic titer from an approved laboratory if the dog was vaccinated outside of the United States. Serologic titers must be drawn in accordance with World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) recommendations. Currently, titers must be drawn a minimum of 30 days after vaccination and at least 3 months before U.S. entry. To request list of laboratories, email CDCanimalimports@cdc.gov
  • There is currently a 90-day waiting period between when a titer is drawn and when a dog can be imported.
  • Dogs with a CDC Import Permit must enter the United States through an approved port of entry.

Requesting an Import Permit

To request advance written approval, follow the instructions at How to Apply for a CDC Dog Import Permit and send an email to CDC at CDCanimalimports@cdc.gov, at least six weeks before you intend to enter the U.S. Requests cannot be made at the port of entry upon arrival into the U.S. All dogs from high-risk countries granted advance CDC written approval must enter the U.S. at a port of entry with a live animal care facility with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)-issued Facilities Information and Resource Management System (FIRMS) code. Currently, the only approved facility is located at the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York City. CDC will update the list of approved ports of entry at this website as they become available. Dogs that arrive from high-risk countries without advance written approval from CDC will be denied entry and returned to the country of departure at the importer’s expense. For more information, please access https://www.cdc.gov/importation/bringing-an-animal-into-the-united-states/high-risk-dog-ban-frn.html