The government has allowed persons transferring their residence to India after two years of continuous stay abroad to bring up to two pets — dogs or cats — as passenger baggage without permission from the directorate general of foreign trade.
This is part of the clarification issued by the commerce ministry for import of pet animals.
“Import is allowed as passenger baggage, without DGFT authorisation, only to persons transferring their residence to India after two years of continuous stay abroad. Only cats and dogs can be imported under baggage rules,” the directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT) said in a trade notice to all international airlines, all embassies and consulates of India abroad; and concerned pet owners.
The notice was issued by the government following representations received for clarity on norms for import of pets.
It also said that permission would be required for import of more than two pets.
A person who has not stayed continuously for more than two years abroad would also have to seek permission for import of up to two pets, it added.
“Import authorisation (for up to two pet) from DGFT is required if — the period of continuous stay abroad is less than two years, or the pet is not being transported as passenger baggage, or pet cannot be imported under the baggage rules,” the directorate said.
In case of more than two pets, applications have to be submitted for examination based on the justifications along with supporting documents to the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
Further, the notice said that in case of temporary imports of pets, permission from DGFT is required.
Vaccination book, pet passport, pet book, certificate for emotional support are required for permanent import of pets.
Besides these documents, a copy of return ticket or expected date of return; and an undertaking from the local host/relative/family that in case the applicant/pet owner fails to take back the pet, he/she would be liable for action under the Foreign Trade (Development & Regulation) Act, 1992.
It said that the pet owners travelling to India are advised to initiate the import authorisation application process at least two months in advance of the travel dates.
“Import of pet animals is allowed only through airports and seaports of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Kolkata,” it said.
The directorate also said that all international airlines are directed to ensure that the required regulatory compliances are duly fulfilled prior to on-boarding of pet animals to avoid challenges for their passengers/pet owners upon disembarking at destination.
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