09 Nov

USDA Health Certification Endorsement: An Introduction

international pet travel is complex. That doesn’t stop anyone from travelling with their pets – in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Since the world opened back up after a series of lockdowns, the number of pet parents embarking on international journeys with their pets has only increased and for good reasons. Before embarking on an international journey with your pet, it is important to research the import requirements and customs checks you’ll be subjected to so you can prepare accordingly. International travel rules are stringent as the series of checks and permits are designed to guarantee that a sick or unhealthy pet does not enter a country. A USDA Health Certificate Endorsement Is one such permit.

Among the requirements of an international pet relocation are a health certificate and a pet passport. The former is an indicator of good health for your pet and is a mandatory requirement to enter a country with your pet. some countries require a few extra measures on top of that as well; the United States, for example, require you to get a USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) health certificate endorsement. What does this mean, you may ask? To simplify, we’ve broken down the specifics of a USDA Health Certificate Endorsement.

What is a USDA Health Certificate Endorsement?

Simply put, all pets who are registered in the U.S, travelling through the U.S, entering the U.S, or leaving the U.S require a USDA Health Certificate Endorsement. This endorsement is done via an endorsement stamp by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service), or VS (Veterinary Services) of the area of the state in which your veterinarian professional resides.

Depending on the nature of your journey and your destination, the endorsement for a health certificate could be on a USDA health certificate, an APHIS 7001 form, or your destination country’s health certificate.

How To be USDA Endorsed?

First, you’ll need a veterinarian to complete and sign the health certificate for your destination country. The vet will examine your pet and complete the form once your pet has passed this inspection, after which they will sign it and hand it over to you. Make sure the certificate you need endorsement for has your vet’s USDA certification number.

You’ll need to acquire and complete a form which will then be submitted to one of the regulatory bodies for endorsement. Each form costs $38 USD which includes the rabies vaccination charges. Separate forms carry separate costs. You can then carry the original copy of this form to USDA/APHIS/VS Area Office which is close by in your state where they will endorse them and stamp them. Offices often require you to make appointments, so make sure to call ahead of your visit.

If the nearest office isn’t quite near enough to you, you can send the form in by mail. You will need to include a few things alongside the form:

  • Original health certificate(s) 
  • Original rabies titer or other test results 
  • Rabies certificate 
  • Payment details 
  • Self-addressed postage-paid envelope

To conclude, the procedures of international pet travel can be challenging. They are designed to be so, given the importance of health and safety. But, if you follow the step-by-step procedure and make sure to plan your journey, you should have no issues getting a USDA Health Certification Endorsement. Happy travels!



Carry My Pet

Passionate pet enthusiasts and globetrotters, dedicated to easing furry friends' journeys worldwide. Penning tales of compassion at CarryMyPet, where every relocation is a tail-wagging adventure.

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