SAC (UNDER $1000)


Have you purchased an animal and completed all of your permits/ health checks and need to arrange clearance through Australian Customs and Quarantine?

We are able to complete the customs entry to ensure you are able to collect your Cat or Dog without any delays.

If the purchase price for the animal was under AUD $1000 a SAC declaration can be completed and Duty and GST will not be payable, however if the value is over AUD $1000 GST is applicable.

For example a dog from New Zealand arriving via AIRFREIGHT through Qantas.

1. Quarantine will need to be informed of the dog a minimum of 3 days before arrival
2. You will need to contact us to ensure you complete a customs declaration form, and provide the purchase price for the dog if over $1000 and the freight amount
3. Provide the health certificate and airway bill along with the invoice and freight price and documents will be lodged to Customs to receive the Declaration number
4. Pay the GST owing to Customs and clearance fee.
5. Once declaration number received, paperwork will be submitted to Quarantine so on arrival the Quarantine officers can CLEAR off your customs entry and release the dog to you.

If you do not have the applicable health forms, please ensure these are obtained or your animal will not be allowed into Australia.

email imports@mattthewshort.com.a for more information or to get your clearance arranged or phone 02 9540 5599


Importing cats and dogs from New Zealand

Cats and dogs entering Australia from New Zealand do not require an import permit. There is no Australian post entry quarantine period.

The following import conditions need to be met in order for cats and dogs to be eligible for importation into Australia.

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Step 1: General eligibility


Cats and dogs must have been continuously resident in New Zealand for 90 days immediately prior to export, or since direct importation from Australia or since birth.

Cats and dogs must not be under quarantine restrictions at the time of export.


Cats and dogs must be at least eight (8) weeks old at the time of export.


Cats and dogs must not be more than 40 days pregnant nor be suckling young at the time of export

Cat breeds:

In accordance with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) cats that are derived from a cross with a wild cat species are not eligible for importation into Australia. This includes (but is not limited to) breeds such as the Savannah cat (which is a cat derived from crossbreeding a domestic cat (Felis catus) with a serval cat (Felis serval), the Safari cat (crossed with a Geoffroy cat, Leopardus geoffroyi) and the Chausie (crossed with the Jungle cat, Felis chaus). The only exception to this is the Bengal cat (Felis catus x Prionailurus bengalensis) which may continue to be imported provided it is five generations removed from the Asian Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis).

Dog breeds:

Under the legislation of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, dogs of the following pure–breeds are prohibited and are not eligible for importation into Australia:

  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brazileiro
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Pit Bull Terrier or American Pit Bull
  • Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario

The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service can be contacted by phone: +61 2 6275 6666 or 1300 363 263 (within Australia) or by email customs information.


Any domestic/non-domestic animal hybrids (e.g. Savannah cats or wolf-dog crosses) are not eligible for import. The only exception to this is the Bengal cat (Felis catus x Prionailurus bengalensis) which may continue to be imported provided it is five generations removed from the Asian Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis). Contact the Wildlife Trade Regulation Section, the Department of the Environment phone +61 6274 1111 or email.

Step 2: Permission to import

An import permit is not required.

The exporter must sign a Statutory Declaration that:

  • identifies the cat/dog by breed, sex and age;
  • verifies that the cat/dog has been continually resident in New Zealand or Australia for the 90 days immediately preceding export to Australia, or since birth;
  • verifies that the dog is not a pure–bred Dogo Argentino, Fila Brazileiro, Japanese Tosa, Pit Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull, Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario.

Step 3: Health certification requirements

The animal must be accompanied by a health certificate signed by a veterinarian approved to certify live cats and dogs to Australia by the New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) (formerly MAF). For further information see the MPI Biosecurity New Zealand website.

The health certificate must certify that:

  • the animal must be identified by a microchip
  • New Zealand is free from rabies
  • the animal was examined within five (5) days prior to export and found to be fit to travel
  • the animal was treated for internal and external parasites within five (5) days prior to export.

Dogs only:

  • Canine brucellosis (Brucella canis), leptospirosis (Leptospira canicola) and indigenous cases of, and established populations of competent vectors for, canine ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia canis), and leishmaniasis have not been confirmed in New Zealand during the 12 months prior to export.
  • Evidence that either the dog has been continuously resident in New Zealand since birth or since importation from Australia. If the dog has not lived all of its life in New Zealand or has not resided only in New Zealand since import from Australia, the following evidence of testing must be presented to the MPI (MAF) approved veterinarian:
    • a negative test (IFAT at 1:40) result for Ehrlichia canis and
    • a negative test (IFAT or ELISA) result for Leishmania infantum

These tests must be done after the dog has resided in New Zealand for a minimum of 21 days. This testing remains valid only if the dog is continuously resident in New Zealand from the sampling date until export to Australia.

  • Babesiosis — dogs that have ever been in mainland AfricaThe dog must be treated as in Option 1 or Option 2 while resident in New Zealand or for the purpose of import into New Zealand/Australia. Where the dog is not treated in New Zealand a copy of the certification of the treatment as in Option 1 or Option 2 must be endorsed by MPI (MAF) and accompany the dog to Australia.
    • Option 1: A government approved veterinarian must treat your dog once with imidocarb dipropionate (Forray—65®, Hoechst or Imizol® by Coopers) at a rate of 7.5 mg per Kg body weight by subcutaneous injection
    • Option 2: A government approved veterinarian must treat your dog twice with imidocarb dipropionate (Forray—65®, Hoechst or Imizol® by Coopers) at a rate of 6.6 mg per Kg body weight by subcutaneous injection given two weeks apart.

Step 4: Transport

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources does not place any restrictions on the airline you choose. However, the animal must travel as “Manifested Cargo” (not in the cabin) and in an International Air Transport Association (IATA) approved container (crate) for cats and dogs.

IATA guidelines can be viewed on the IATA website.

Strict compliance with crate specifications is vital for the safe and secure transport of your animal. Problems will occur if the animal can escape from its crate or if any part of its body (nose, limbs, or tail) can protrude. The IATA standards have been developed to prevent escape and injury during transportation.

For more details regarding IATA regulations contact the airline.

Assistance dogs may travel with their handler in the cabin, at the discretion of the airline.

Step 5: Importation procedures

  1. Documentation must be provided as specified and all import requirements must be met. All health certification and relevant documentation must travel to Australia with the animal.

  2. The department must be given at least three (3) days notice of the animal’s arrival in Australia. You must fax notification to the department office in the state in which your animal will first arrive in Australia.

    State Office



    New South Wales

    +61 2 8334 7434

    CER Animal Imports


    +61 3 83186767



    +61 7 3246 8633
    +61 7 3247 7749

    QLD Live Animal Imports

    South Australia

    +61 8 8201 6000

    Import Assessment

    Western Australia

    +61 8 93347132

    WA Live Animal Imports

  3. Your fax or email must include:
    • date and estimated time of arrival
    • flight number
    • air waybill number
    • a short description of your cat/dog
    • a phone number in New Zealand or Australia should the department need to contact you
    • the address at which the animal is to reside in Australia
    • whether the dog is a assistance dog

  4. Cats and dogs imported to Australia from New Zealand must be cleared at the first port of arrival in Australia i.e. animals destined for Canberra must be cleared in Sydney.

    Allow at least one (1) hour for the animal to be released by airline cargo and cleared by the d epartment . Connecting flights must not leave within one hour of the animal’s arrival in Australia.

    If your animal is to connect with a domestic flight you will have to arrange for it to be moved from the international to the domestic terminal. Animal transport agencies can help you with this if required. A list of agents can be obtained from the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association website.

  5. Please contact the relevant the state office to determine the fees involved with clearing your animal upon arrival in Australia.

Payment of fees is usually collected by the airline carrying your animal, prior to export from New Zealand. The payment should appear on the air waybill. The department then invoices the airline to recover the fees. If the air waybill has not incorporated these fees the department will require payment prior to releasing your animal.

Step 6: Quarantine

Cats and dogs that do not meet the above requirements may be ordered into quarantine, subjected to additional testing or treatment, or returned to New Zealand at the importer’s expense.

Last reviewed:
13 Jul 2016

February 2015




If you import an animal or animals into Australia there are legal requirements that must be met.

You will need to contact the Department of Agriculture (Agriculture) to ensure the importation will meet the conditions regarding species, country of origin and other quarantine requirements before you decide to import an animal.

More information is located on the Live Animals and Reproductive Material webpage of the Agriculture website.

Goods, including animals, have been imported into Australia if purchased, ordered or otherwise arranged to be brought or sent to Australia from overseas. If goods are sent to you, even unsolicited, you have imported those goods.

Imported pets are domesticated animals. Pets that you have owned for at least 12 months before you arrived in Australia or before you had your pet sent to Australia, may qualify as your personal belongings. Personal belongings may arrive with you in Australia or you may send them separately.




In most cases, pets and all other animals require an import permit from Agriculture prior to export from the country of origin. It is your responsibility as the importer to obtain the required permit. Further information is available on the Agriculture website.




The welfare of animals is a high priority for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) and Agriculture. It is an Agriculture requirement that clearance of live animals is to be conducted at the first port of arrival regardless of the final destination for the animal/s.

After Agriculture requirements are met, ACBPS will facilitate clearance. If an animal arrives outside of normal business hours please contact Cargo Support on 1300 558 099 for assistance.




All dogs and cats being imported into Australia, whether it is for the first time or they are returning to Australia, must meet the standard Agriculture conditions. Different Agriculture conditions apply for the importation of disability assistance dogs.




Dogs of the following breeds are prohibited from import under the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956:

 Dogo Argentino

 Fila Brasileiro

 Japenese tosa

 American pit bull terrier or pit bull terrier

 Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario.




Pets that can currently be imported into Australia are:

 birds – selected species from New Zealand only

 cats – approved countries only

 dogs – approved countries only

 horses – approved countries only

 rabbits – New Zealand only


Currently no other pet animals can be imported into Australia.




Import declarations


An import declaration is required if the value of the imported animal/s exceeds AUD$1000. Duty, Goods and Services Tax (GST) and other charges may be payable. This applies if the animal is to become a pet, be used for breeding or other purposes.

For more information refer to the Import Declarations fact sheet.


Self-assessed Clearance (SAC) Declarations


A SAC Declaration is required if the value of the animal/s is at or below AUD$1000. No duty or GST is payable.

For more information refer to the Self-assessed Clearance (SAC) Declarations fact sheet.

Declarations should be made prior to the arrival of an animal to minimise any delays in clearance. February 2015


Personal belongings (pets)


Pets that arrive in Australia as, or with, your unaccompanied personal effects (UPEs) will be cleared as your UPEs. No import declaration is required.

For more information regarding UPEs, refer to the Sending your Personal Belongings to Australia as Cargo or by International Mail fact sheet.




Pets as personal belongings that arrive in Australia with you on the same ship or aircraft will be cleared by ACBPS without any declaration requirements.

Agriculture requirements must still be met.




Animals, including cats and dogs, that are imported for breeding purposes are not defined as pets. Breeders must make either a SAC Declaration or an import declaration, depending upon the value of the animal, to clear the animal from Customs control.

ACBPS may require you to produce all commercial documents associated with the purchase of the animal including proof of the amount paid.




Live animals that are native species or wildlife imported under the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) may require a permit from the Department of the Environment (Environment). Further information is available on the CITES webpage on Environment's website.




Animals that are not native to Australia are defined as ‘exotic animals’.

In order to be eligible to import a live exotic animal into Australia, the species must be listed in the List of Specimens Taken to be Suitable for Live Import which is available on Environment's website.

To import a live exotic animal you may need a permit from Environment. You must meet all relevant laws to keep the animal legally in your state or territory before you buy it and/or apply for a permit.




As an importer you are legally responsible for the accuracy of information provided to ABCPS, even if you use a Customs broker, freight forwarder or service provider to prepare your documents. For your own protection, ensure you retain copies of all documents supplied to ACBPS, check them for accuracy and advise your agent of any errors.FOR MORE INFORMATION


For further information on ACBPS matters:

 visit www.customs.gov.au

 email: information@customs.gov.au

 contact the Customs Information and Support Centre on 1300 363 263.