Notice of Temporary Suspension of Dogs Entering the United States from Countries Classified as High Risk for Dog Rabies

Summary of Most Recent Changes

Starting June 10, 2022, the temporary suspension for dogs entering the United States from high-risk countries for dog rabies will be extended until January 2023. This includes dogs arriving from countries without high risk of rabies if the dogs have been in a high-risk country in the past 6 months. The extension will expand eligibility for importation from high-risk countries to all people, provided the dogs meet the requirements below.

UPDATE June 10, 2022:

  1. Dogs vaccinated against rabies in the United States by a US-licensed veterinarian may re-enter the United States from a high-risk country without a CDC Dog Import Permit if the dog:
  • Expired US-issued rabies vaccination certificates will not be accepted. If the US-issued rabies vaccination certificate has expired, the dog must get a booster dose outside the United States and meet requirements for foreign-vaccinated dogs (see below).
  1. For foreign-vaccinated dogs coming from high-risk countries, there are additional options for bringing in 1-2 dogs or 3 or more dogs.

    Three or more dogs coming from high-risk countries can now arrive at specific ports of entry with a prior reservation at a CDC-approved animal care facility. All dogs must have a valid rabies vaccination certificate and adequate rabies serologic titer or complete a 28-day quarantine at the US animal care facility. This option is also available to shipments of 1-2 dogs arriving without a CDC Dog Import Permit.

Please view the extension in the Federal Register

Summary of Past Changes

About the Notice

On June 14, 2021, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the “Notice of Temporary Suspension of Dogs Entering the United States from High-Risk Rabies Countries.” Through this notice, CDC is informing the public that, effective July 14, 2021, it is temporarily suspending the importation of dogs from:

  • countries classified by CDC as high risk for dog rabies; AND
  • countries that are NOT at high risk if the dogs have been in high-risk countries during the previous 6 months.

This temporary action is necessary to ensure the health and safety of dogs imported into the United States and to protect the public’s health against the reintroduction of canine rabies virus variant (dog rabies) into the United States.

In 2020, CDC identified a significant increase compared with the previous 2 years in the number of imported dogs that were denied entry into the United States from high-risk countries. Due to reduced flight schedules, dogs denied entry are facing longer wait times to be returned to their country of departure, leading to illness and even death in some cases.

CDC estimates 6% of all dogs imported into the Unites States arrive from countries at high risk for dog rabies. Inadequately vaccinated dogs are not protected against rabies and are a public health threat. Rabies is fatal in both humans and animals, and the importation of even one rabid dog could result in transmission to humans, pets, and wildlife. Dog rabies has been eliminated from the United States since 2007. This suspension will protect the health and safety of imported dogs by preventing importations of dogs inadequately vaccinated against rabies and will protect the public’s health against the reintroduction of dog rabies.

CDC has coordinated with other federal agencies and entities as necessary to implement this action, and CDC will review this suspension periodically.

Dogs from high-risk countries may be imported only with CDC’s advance written approval (CDC Dog Import Permit), including dogs imported from a country NOT at high risk if the dogs have been in a high-risk country during the previous 6 months. Such approvals may be granted on a limited case-by-case basis at CDC’s discretion. If your request for advance approval to import a dog is denied, CDC’s written denial will constitute final agency action. No appeals will be allowed.

To request advance written approval, you must follow the instructions at How to Apply for a CDC Dog Import Permit at least 30 business days (6 weeks) before you intend to enter the United States. Requests cannot be made at the port of entry upon arrival into the United States.

Dogs that arrive from high-risk countries without a valid US-issued rabies vaccination certificate, a CDC Dog Import Permit, or a reservation at a CDC-approved animal care facility will be denied entry and returned to the country of departure at the importer’s expense.

Before entering or re-entering the United States with a dog, importers should continue to check other federal regulations as well as rabies vaccination requirements of state and local governments at their final destination.

Please view the FRN as a PDF [PDF – 9 pages] file.  For questions about this notice or CDC’s import regulations, contact CDC-INFO.

Summary of Past Changes

As of July 14, 2021, there is a temporary suspension for dogs entering the United States from high-risk countries for dog rabies. This includes dogs arriving from countries not at high risk if the dogs have been in a high-risk country in the past 6 months.

Dogs that have NOT been in a high-risk country in the past 6 months are not required by CDC to present a rabies vaccination certificate or a CDC Dog Import Permit. Such dogs can enter the United States at any port of entry but must be healthy upon arrival, and vaccination against rabies is recommended. If your dog has not been in a high-risk country, please read Bringing a Dog Into the United States.

CDC has the authority to issue a CDC Dog Import Permit for US citizens and lawful residents relocating from high-risk countries to bring their dogs into the United States. Such permits will be issued on a limited basis.

UPDATE: Effective December 1, 2021:

  1. Dogs vaccinated in the United States by a US-licensed veterinarian may re-enter the United States from a high-risk country without a CDC Dog Import Permit if the dog:
    • has a valid US-issued rabies vaccination certificate;
    • has proof of a microchip;
    • is at least 6 months old;
    • is healthy upon arrival; and
    • arrives at an approved port of entry

Expired US-issued rabies vaccination certificates will not be accepted. If the US-issued rabies vaccination certificate has expired, you must apply for a CDC Dog Import Permit, if eligible.

  1. All dogs that have been in a high-risk country in the past 6 months may only enter the United States through an approved port of entry, which includes all 18 airports with a CDC quarantine station: Anchorage (ANC), Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Honolulu (HNL), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Minneapolis (MSP), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Philadelphia (PHL), San Francisco (SFO), San Juan (SJU), Seattle (SEA), and Washington DC (IAD).

All dogs imported into the United States must be healthy on arrival.