Importing terrestrial animals to Canada
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has prepared basic guidelines for importing or travelling with pets.
Travellers are required, by law, to declare all plant, animal, and food items they bring into Canada. For more information visit Travellers: what you can bring into Canada.
The Health of Animals Act and Regulations provide the legislative and regulatory authority for the animal health import program, which includes live animals, animal products and by-products, semen and embryos.
Import requirements are based on the disease status of where a shipment originated. The evaluation of a country, or a region(s) or zone(s) within a country is reviewed by the CFIA on a case-by-case basis.
- Diseases of concern for international trade in animals, animal products and by-products
- Country animal health status as evaluated by Canada
Some animals and products must also meet the requirements of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
Requesting import permits online
If you've determined that you need a permit to import animals, it can be requested through the agency's online service portal, My CFIA. By signing up for a My CFIA account, you can submit a new service request, track the status of your application and pay for the service online.
If you do not have access to My CFIA, a completed application can also be faxed or mailed to CFIA, Centre of Administration.
Important notice: Declaring imports to the Canada Border Services Agency
Those who declare imports electronically to the Canada Border Services Agency should have completed testing and became certified to transmit their import declarations through the Integrated Import Declaration (IID) by January 1, 2019. If you have not already, learn how to become certified today.
Advance notice needed for CFIA inspections of live animals at border ports of entry
Some animals, including livestock, require inspection by the CFIA at border ports of entry. In most cases, this inspection must be completed by a CFIA veterinarian at the first point of arrival in Canada. If a CFIA inspection is required, this is indicated in the Automated Import Reference System (AIRS). It is the importers responsibility to arrange an appointment for an inspection at least 24 hours prior to the expected arrival of the animal at the port of entry. This ensures a veterinarian is available for the inspection and minimizes delays.
For further information, please contact your local CFIA office.
Notices to industry
Changes to plant and animal import permit application forms
Changes to the permit to import animals form
New import policy framework for terrestrial animal products and by-products
Importing horses from the United States
Additional import information
- Animal health status by country
- Animal health status by disease
- Application for permit to import
- Automated Import Reference System (AIRS)
Programs and services for commercial importers
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