A Guide To Bring Pets To South Korea

For pet owners planning a move to South Korea, ensuring the smooth transition of pets is a top priority. South Korea boasts a rich culture and vibrant lifestyle, but navigating the regulations and requirements for bringing pets into the country can be complex. In this guide, we’ll explore the essential steps and considerations for bringing pets to South Korea, ensuring a safe and comfortable journey for both pets and their owners.

1. Understanding South Korea’s Pet Import Regulations

Before embarking on the journey, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with South Korea’s pet import regulations. The country has specific requirements for bringing pets, including dogs and cats, into its borders. These regulations typically involve documentation, vaccinations, and quarantine procedures to ensure the health and safety of both pets and the local population.

2. Obtaining Required Documentation

One of the first steps in bringing pets to South Korea is obtaining the necessary documentation. This often includes a pet passport, a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian, a quarantine certificate issued by the government authority, and proof of up-to-date vaccinations, including rabies. Additionally, certain breeds may require specific permits or additional documentation, so it’s essential to research breed-specific regulations beforehand.

3. Microchipping And Identification

South Korea mandates the microchipping of pets for identification purposes. Ensure that your pet is microchipped with an ISO 11784/11785 compliant chip before traveling. This microchip should be registered with your contact information and linked to your pet’s health and vaccination records for easy identification upon arrival in South Korea.

4. Meeting Vaccination Requirements

Vaccination requirements are stringent when bringing pets to South Korea. Most notably, pets must be vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days before travel but not more than one year before departure. Additionally, other vaccinations, such as distemper and parvovirus for dogs, may be required. Ensure all vaccinations are administered by a licensed veterinarian and documented accurately.

5. Understanding Quarantine Procedures

South Korea has strict quarantine procedures for imported pets to prevent the spread of diseases. Depending on the country of origin and compliance with vaccination and documentation requirements, pets may be subject to quarantine upon arrival. The duration of quarantine varies but typically lasts between 14 to 30 days. Familiarize yourself with the quarantine process and any associated costs before traveling.

6. Seeking Veterinary Care And Services

Upon arrival in South Korea, establish a relationship with a local veterinarian to address any medical or health-related concerns. Register your pet with a nearby veterinary clinic and familiarize yourself with emergency veterinary services in your area. Regular veterinary check-ups and preventive care will ensure your pet’s health and well-being in their new home.

Bringing pets to South Korea requires careful planning, adherence to regulations, and consideration of your pet’s well-being throughout the journey. By understanding the import requirements, obtaining the necessary documentation, and acclimating your pet to the new environment, you can ensure a smooth transition for both you and your pet. With proper preparation and attention to detail, relocating with pets to South Korea can be a rewarding experience, allowing you to explore this vibrant country while sharing unforgettable moments with your beloved pet.

Entry Requirements To Travel To South Korea With Your Pet

Passengers don’t have to prepare anything to quarantine their pets if they don’t enter Korea. There is no transit permit in Korea.

When bringing pets to Korea, the owner should prepare the below,


1. Animal Quarantine Certificate By The Government Authorities Of The Exporting Country

  • Owners must submit an animal quarantine certificate issued by the veterinary authorities of the exporting country or by the government agency which states the animal’s microchip numbers.
  • The quarantine certificate issued by the exporting country must contain the date of birth, microchip number, the result of rabies neutralizing antibody titration test, test date, test agency, name of the agency that issued the quarantine certificate, issue date, and name and signature of the person who issued it. It also must contain a statement guaranteeing that the animals are healthy and cannot transmit infectious diseases to domestic animals.
  • A pet without an original quarantine certificate has to return to the exporting country, all at the owner’s cost as well.
  • In case of re-entry into Korea, if an owner has a health certificate from the Korean government issued at the time of departure from Korea, it can replace an animal quarantine certificate of the exporting country. (There is no expiration date)
  • Pet Passports issued by EU countries can be replaced when departing from EU countries instead of the quarantine certificate. (Norway is not an EU country)

2. Implanting An Electronic Microchip (iso11784/11785 type)

3. Rabies Vaccines & Rabies-neutralizing Antibody Test

  • A rabies-neutralizing antibody titer test should be conducted by the government agency of the exporting country or an internationally accredited agency for testing rabies. The results of the rabies-neutralizing antibody titer test are valid within 24 months before boarding based on the blood collection date, and the titer must be 0.5 IU/ml or higher.
  • Animals from rabies-free regions and those that are 90 days old or younger are exempted from the rabies antibody titration test. However, their ages must be identified in the quarantine certificate from the exporting country.
  • Rabies-Free Countrieshttps://www.qia.go.kr/english/html/Animal_livestock/02AnimalLivestock_045_2.jsp
  • Labs List: https://ec.europa.eu/food/animals/pet-movement/approved-labs_en
  • *Optional: If the owner wants to get the result in Korea, their pet will stay in quarantine facilities, more information tel. +82-32-752-1280.

※ Additionally required documentation

Cats imported from Australia and cats and dogs imported from Malaysia required an additional certificate confirming that there have been no cases of Hendra and Nipah virus disease in exporting country or state(only larger than the Republic of Korea), or that the animal produced a negative result in a Hendra and Nipah virus test ( within 14 days before export) and the animal has been kept in an area where no cases of Hendra and Nipah virus were reported for 60 days before departure. Without such a certificate, the quarantine period will be extended by 21 days. After 21 days of quarantine, if there are no abnormal symptoms, the animal can be released.

Import animal quarantine inspection is possible no matter when you come, and no separate reservation is required.

※ A cat or dog whose accompanying documentation has been verified and whose health has been confirmed through a clinical examination at the port of entry may be released on the day of arrival. However, an animal that has not received a rabies-neutralizing antibody test or whose rabies-neutralizing antibody titer is 0.5IU/㎖ or lower may be quarantined for an extended period of time to undergo a rabies antibody test, all at the owner’s expense.

※ The average extended period for quarantine is 10 days, and this period can be extended more depending on the case.

※ If you don’t bring a health certificate with your cats or dogs, your cats or dogs have to return to the exporting country, all at the owner’s cost as well.


  • Upon arrival, please prepare the required documents (export country quarantine certificate and rabies neutralizing antibody test result) and customs declaration form which is listed in item 5 (quarantine subject). Before passing through customs, please visit the regional quarantine office (4 offices at T1 locations, 2 offices at T2 locations) near the baggage claim area in the arrival hall on the 1st floor to view animal quarantine.


  • For dogs and cats that are 90 days old or older: If their microchip implants can identify them and have rabies-neutralizing antibody titers of 0.5 IU/㎖ or higher, they are released on the day of arrival. Otherwise, the quarantine period will be extended until they have received microchip implants and rabies vaccinations, and when their antibody titers have become 0.5 IU/㎖ or higher.
  • For dogs and cats that are younger than 90 days old or from rabies-free countries: If their microchip implants can identify them, they are released on the day of arrival. Otherwise, the quarantine period will be extended until they have received microchip implants.
  • If quarantine is required due to the failure to meet the quarantine requirements, the owner of the animals needs to be responsible for the costs for transports, upkeep during the quarantine period, titration test for neutralizing antibodies, and microchip transplantation, as well as the fee for issuing the quarantine certificate. The government agency charges 110,000 KRW/animal for rabies antibodies titration test and 10,000 KRW/case for issuing a quarantine certificate. Other than those items, the owner should make a contract with an agent such as a veterinary clinic for transport, rabies vaccination, and microchip transplanting.

※ The below link is where you can find Korean regulations:


※ For further questions, contact the following number:

  • IMPORT(ARRIVAL) :    +82-32-740-2670~1 (Incheon airport Terminal 1), +82-32-740-2021(Incheon airport Terminal 2)
  • EXPORT(DEPARTURE) : +82-32-740-2660     (Incheon airport Terminal 1), +82-32-740-2028(Incheon airport Terminal 2)

※ To check any further information: The contact information for foreign embassies in South Korea can be found on the homepage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade:


※ South Korea Animal And Plant Quarantine Agency:


※ If you are looking for professional pet shippers, IPATA pet shippers are dedicated to the safe and humane transport of your pet:



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