Do you need an apostille for your pets documents in order to travel with them?
If you are travelling to a member country of the Apostille Convention, you may be required to have a South African state veterinarian certificate, issued (signed and stamped) by the state veterinarian, and apostilled for official use abroad. Before your pets will be allowed to enter another country, you must obtain a veterinary export certificate. This certificate proves as an assurance by the relevant role-players in the exporting country to the relevant authorities in the importing country that the animal complies with the requirements of the importing country.
It is wise to note that even though a country might be a member of the Apostille Convention, not all member countries require pet travel documentation to be legalised for official use outside of South Africa. A lot of countries have very strict regulations when it comes to international pet travel, which is why you should always get in touch with the embassy or consulate of your destination country to confirm their pet travel regulations and obtain all the necessary paperwork like health certificates and other documentation.
What are the requirements for obtaining a South African state veterinarian certificate?
In order to apply for and obtain an export certificate for your pet, you will need to have the following in place:
• An import permit from the country you are exporting to. These permits are generally issued by the Department of Agriculture in the relevant country.
• Your pet should be fitted with an ISO-readable microchip for identification purposes
• The veterinary health certificate has to be completed by your veterinarian for your destination country
After your pet’s veterinary health certificate (VHC) has been issued and he has had all the necessary blood tests and vaccinations administered, the certificate, along with your pet’s vaccination booklet and supporting documents have to be taken to the State Vet’s office for certification. After the certification process, your documents will have to be legalised by means of apostille if it forms part of the destination country’s regulations.
To find the State Vet, either ask your vet or any vet registered in South Africa (see here for a vet directory of South Africa). You could also contact the DAFF (Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries).
Which pet documents may have to be apostilled?
In general, you might have to get the following documents legalised for official use abroad:
• Rabies Titre Test Results
• Vaccination Booklet
• Microchip Certificate
• Veterinary Health Certificate
• State Vet Clearance Certificate
• Copies of your travel/immigration/visa documentation
How Apostil can help
If you plan on moving your pet outside of South Africa, you might have to get their official documents apostilled in order to ensure their validity. Before obtaining an Apostille for your South African state veterinarian certificate, you’ll need to verify that the country that will be receiving the document is a signatory to the Apostille Convention (Convention de La Haye du 5 Octobre 1961) and that legalisation is part of their import regulations for pets.
We offer apostille services quickly and efficiently. See our pricing.