Import of animals to Israel

Author Veterinary Consultant
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Import of animals to Israel

Import of animals to Israel

  • Please be guided that, while most commonly owned domestic animals including dogs, cats, household birds, home rabbits, and rodents are permitted entry into Israel, however, the following high-risk dog breeds such as the American Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Terrier, Argentinian Dogo, Japanese Tosa, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Pit Bull Terrier, Fila Brazileiro, Rottweiler, and their respective hybrids, are strictly prohibited from importation into Israel.
  • Furthermore, it should be noted that one person is permitted to bring up to two of each specified animal into Israel. If you wish to import a larger number of dogs and cats, advance permission from Veterinary Services is required.
  • Additionally, entry points into Israel for the transportation of pets are limited only to Ben Gurion Airport, as well as the seaports of Haifa, Ashdod, and Eilat.

General requirements

For the import of any domestic animal, the following general requirements must be fulfilled:

  • Animals under the age of four months are strictly prohibited from entry into Israel.
  • Your pet must have a microchip that complies with the ISO standards (ISO 11784/11785). Information about microchip must be stored in the international database.
  • ISO-standard (ISO-11784/11785) chip, must be implanted in the pet, with the data stored in the international database.

The primary vaccination of an animal is to be administered:

  • To animals at the age of 12 weeks;
  • Not earlier than 31 days before the scheduled departure;
  • Not later than twelve months after the previous shot has been given.

Any rabies vaccination must not be performed prior to the insertion of the mandatory microchip within the pet. If, for any reason, the animal has received its rabies shot before being fitted with the chip, then it must be re-vaccinated once again.

For travel to Israel, a valid and up-to-date veterinary passport, complete with a detailed vaccination record and regular treatments against parasites, is required for all animals and their respective owners or attendants. It is imperative that all those planning a trip to the country make sure to familiarize themselves with the complete list of vaccination requirements, as provided by the Consulate General of Israel.

Rabies Titer Test Requirements:

  • The test must be carried out no earlier than 31 days after the animal has undergone the rabies vaccination.
  • The test must be performed no later than two months prior to the expiration of the animal's vaccination coverage;
  • An antibody concentration of at least 0.5 IU/ml must be maintained to ensure effective protection and immunity against rabies.

Veterinary Certificate Form 1 is an authoritative document issued by a state veterinary clinic, with a validity period of five days from the date of issue and preceding the transport of an animal. It is exchangeable for an International Veterinary Certificate Form 5a in any airport.

THE VETERINARY CERTIFICATE FOR DOMESTIC DOGS AND CATS ENTERING ISRAEL is certified and sealed by the veterinary control office at the airport of departure.

A crucial step in the import process of any domestic animal into Israel involves the submission of certain required documentation, namely: Annex B - Notification of Pet Arrival, and Annex C - Declaration of Animal Possession.

Other requirements

It should be noted that, under the recently-enacted rules regarding the import of domestic animals into Israel, with personal accompaniment is permitted only if the pet in question has resided alongside the owner or responsible individual for a duration longer than three months. A valid and verifiable proof of this circumstance is required for a successful entry into the country.

If a newly-acquired animal is to be transported to Israel and the owner or individual responsible cannot confirm at least a three-month period of possession and ownership of the animal, then said animal must only be shipped as part of a cargo shipment within the aircraft's hold. In the event of an animal export without an owner present, one must procure the necessary approval from Rosselkhoznadzor. A pet's transportation by cargo system entails a separate itinerary from the owner, and must conform to airline regulations regarding animal weight and kennel requirements:

  • In accordance with airline regulations, any animals exceeding 8 kilograms in weight, including the weight of their carriers, must be placed in the aircraft's hold;
  • Cargo is only available transportation for pets traveling alone.

In order to secure permission to import an animal into Israel (under the circumstance that the animal will be transported separately from its owner) it is imperative that you first acquire prior approval from the relevant Israeli government veterinary officials. This approval is contingent on the submission of a favorable rabies titer test result, which must be conducted and presented to the officials in question prior to the transportation date.

It is of utmost importance to note that the state of Israel, in stark contrast to certain EU nations, does not enforce or impose a mandatory quarantine period for healthy animals, provided such animals possess all necessary documentation and permits, including those related to rabies vaccination. Other countries such as those of the European Union, however, often impose a compulsory quarantine period for arriving animals, which may range from a minimum of one to a maximum of eighteen months and entails financial responsibility on the part of the animal's owner or responsible individual. For specific and comprehensive guidelines regarding the import of pets and other domestic animals into Israel, you can access the requisite information here (both English and Hebrew).

Airline requirements

Transportation of animals, particularly domestic pets and other companion animals, by air is governed and regulated by the individual policies and guidelines of airlines, with varying restrictions and rules depending on factors such as the animal's physical size and weight, as well as the specific circumstances and conditions surrounding the intended mode of transportation. Some airlines allow pets to be transported within the passenger cabin, while others strictly forbid such practices. To make an informed decision regarding the air travel of your animal, it is highly recommended that you thoroughly consult and familiarize yourself with the pertinent regulations and requirements pertaining to your chosen airline beforehand.

A prominent example of this policy and process in practice is provided by the El Al, which sanctions the transport of animals, such as cats and dogs, in the cabin, provided that their weight does not exceed 8 kilograms. On the other hand, an animal that has a weight in excess of 8 kilograms may only be transported in the aircraft hold. In this latter case, it is imperative that the individual handling the animal ensures that both the pilot and crew are duly informed of the shipment in advance, so as to permit proper regulatory adjustment of the temperature within the aircraft's hold. As a result, during the course of any potential transfer flights or connections, it is also prudent to confirm that the pet has reached the correct cargo section of the subsequent aircraft.

To facilitate the air travel of pets with the least hindrance and complications, it is absolutely imperative that special and specialized pet crates or kennels are made use of, which are specifically designed for the safe and secure transportation of animals. According to El Al's specific regulations and guidelines, the size of the crate should not exceed 40 x 21 x 40 centimeters, which allows it to fit conveniently and securely underneath the passenger's seat. You can find further information on the full list of requirements, including the acceptable dimensions of the crate and other relevant details, over here:

Before commencing the journey to Israel with a pet, you are strongly encouraged to make contact with the closest Israeli embassy or consulate in order to clarify and obtain further and more in-depth information regarding the necessary documents and procedures for successfully completing the entry process, including vaccination requirements, importation permits, health inspection protocols, and other relevant topics that must be carefully addressed to ensure a seamless and compliant transit of your animal into the designated country.

Useful tips

Before the pet's arrival to Israel, the importer or responsible individual must, without delay, provide a full and accurate notification to the relevant Veterinary Services team by submitting copies of the listed and required documents pertaining to the animal in advance, with a minimum period of 48 hours prior to its arrival. Apart from the aforementioned documents the following information is required:

  • The owner's passport data;
  • The pet's veterinary passport: the animal's species and age;
  • Departure port;
  • Arrival time and flight number;
  • Please contact the Israeli embassy for a sample application form and related further information in this regard.