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Small mammals

Small mammals such as rabbits, mice, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, and chinchillas can be kept as pets.

You are required to fulfil our requirements in order to import, export, or transship small mammals.

Importing small mammals

You can bring in small mammals from any country as long as your consignments fulfil our import requirements. Our veterinary conditions for import of small mammals contains more details.

Below are the steps to follow if you want to import small mammals. 

1. Ensure the animals fulfil our veterinary conditions for import

Ensure that the small mammals entering Singapore fulfil the veterinary conditions for import stated here

Veterinary conditions for import include having the animals treated for parasites, and confirming that the animals show no signs of certain diseases. As some conditions need to be fulfilled within specific time frames, read the conditions carefully before you begin the application process.

Importing small mammals as pets

Please note that pet owners must have kept their small mammals as pets continuously since birth, or for six months immediately before importing to Singapore.

Pet owners may at times wish to import directly from an overseas breeder or farm. These animals would not be able to comply with the requirement that they have been kept as pets continuously since birth or for the past six months prior to export, and have been assessed for import on a case by case basis. With effect 1 June 2017, personal importers of small mammals importing directly from breeders and farms would need to comply with the following requirements:

a) The veterinary health certificate that accompanies the animals should comply with the conditions for “commercial consignments” instead of “personal pets” 

b) The animals shall be subjected to 2 weeks of post-arrival quarantine at the Sembawang Animal Quarantine Station. Importers of the small mammals are required to make a quarantine reservation online at the Quarantine Management System (QMS).  

c) The importer of the small mammals must submit a signed and dated Letter of Declaration at the point of import licence application, declaring that the animals are to be imported as personal pets and are not for sale or commercial purposes.
 
The requirement (a) above means that personal imports of small mammals directly from breeders and farms would need to be from AVS approved breeding facilities. As application for approval of breeding facilities may only be made by a licensed pet shop or pet farm, personal importers may wish to appoint a licensed pet shop or pet form to apply for approval of the breeding facility. The import of small mammals as personal pets from unapproved breeding facilities will not be allowed.

2. Reserve quarantine space 

All small mammals have to be quarantined for two weeks upon arrival in Singapore. Please prepare proof of ownership and attach it to your import licence application in LicenceOne. This applies to you only if you have owned your small mammal for more than six months.

If you have owned your small mammal for less than six months, please click here for more information on the Sembawang Animal Quarantine Station (SAQS) and steps on reserving quarantine space.

3. Apply for Singapore Customs clearance

AVS-issued import licence

Apply for and obtain an import licence to bring small mammals into Singapore via GoBusiness Licensing Portal. This import licence is valid for 30 days from the date of issue.

A step-by-step guide on how to apply for an import licence is available here.

Type of licence    Cost and validity
Licence to import/export/transship animals, birds, eggs, and biologics (commercial) • S$87 for normal service. Licence issuance will take place two working days after submission of all completed documents.
• S$174 for express service. Licence issuance will take place one working day after submission of all completed documents.
This licence is valid for 30 days from the date of issue. Each licence allows you to export one consignment only.
Licence to import/export/transship animals, birds, eggs, and biologics (personal) • S$50 for normal service. Licence issuance will take place two working days after submission of all completed documents.
• S$100 for express service. Licence issuance will take place one working day after submission of all completed documents.
This licence is valid for 30 days from the date of issue.

Singapore Customs permit

A Singapore Customs permit is needed for clearance at border checkpoints if you are bringing small mammals into Singapore. You can apply for this permit via TradeNet

For enquiries on the permit, please contact Singapore Customs at (65) 63552000 or customs_documentation@customs.gov.sg

4. Obtain a veterinary health certificate

Each incoming consignment of small mammals must be accompanied by a veterinary health certificate signed by a government veterinary authority or a registered veterinarian from the exporting country.

5. Make an appointment for border control inspection

All small mammals arriving in Singapore must undergo inspection at our border control office (either the Changi Animal & Plant Quarantine Station or Tuas Checkpoint).

Visit this page for information on how to book an inspection appointment.

6. Inspection and quarantine upon arrival in Singapore

Small mammals will undergo veterinary inspection upon arrival in Singapore. Upon clearing customs, those animals that require to be quarantined at Sembawang Animal Quarantine Station for fourteen days will be transported to the quarantine facility.

More information on animal arrival procedures can be found here.

Additional requirements for commercial importers

In addition to the steps listed above, commercial importers of small mammals must also ensure that the following requirements are met.

Approval of overseas facilities

Small mammals imported for commercial purposes must come from AVS-approved facilities.

You are required to supply technical information (e.g. name, address, type and population of animals, vaccination regime, etc.) of the breeding facility you are sourcing your consignment from.

Approval of the facility must be granted before you apply for an import licence. 

You can submit your application via our contact centre at animal_feedback@nparks.gov.sg.

Pet shop licence

In order to import animals for commercial purposes, you must first obtain a pet shop licence.

Customs clearance permit 

You also need to obtain a customs clearance permit via TradeNet. This permit is needed for clearance at border control checkpoints.

For enquiries on the permit, please contact Singapore Customs at (65) 63552000 or customs_documentation@customs.gov.sg.

Exporting small mammals

You are required to obtain an AVS-issued export licence, and fulfil the destination country’s import requirements for every consignment, if you are exporting small mammals.

1. Check the destination country’s animal import requirements 

Find out the destination country’s animal import requirements before you export your animal.

These import requirements can be found on the website of the destination country's relevant government authority.

2. Apply for an export licence

Apply for and obtain an AVS-issued export licence via GoBusiness Licensing Portal within 30 days of leaving Singapore. As this licence is only valid for 30 days, it is important that you apply for it at the right time.

A step-by-step guide on how to apply for an export licence is available here.

Type of licence  Cost and validity 
Licence to import/export/transship animals, birds, eggs, and biologics (commercial) • S$87 for normal service. Licence issuance will take place two working days after submission of all completed documents.
• S$174 for express service. Licence issuance will take place one working day after submission of all completed documents.
This licence is valid for 30 days from the date of issue. Each licence allows you to export one consignment only.
Licence to import/export/transship animals, birds, eggs, and biologics (personal) • S$50 for normal service. Licence issuance will take place two working days after submission of all completed documents.
• S$100 for express service. Licence issuance will take place one working day after submission of all completed documents.
This licence is valid for 30 days from the date of issue.

3. Obtain a veterinary health certificate

This step only applies to you if the destination country mandates that a veterinary health certificate is a condition for entry.
You can obtain a veterinary health certificate from a licensed private veterinarian by bringing your small mammal to any AVS-licensed veterinarian for examination. The statements needed on the certificate, as well as the certificate’s validity period, will depend on the destination country’s import requirements.

However, the destination country may require that the veterinary health certificate be issued or endorsed by a government veterinarian instead. You can approach us for the following services to fulfil this requirement.

(a) Endorsement of importing country's veterinary health certificate template

This requires us to manually endorse the importing country’s veterinary health certificate template. You can obtain this template from the website of the importing country’s relevant government authority.

How to apply

1. Bring your small mammal for examination by a licensed private veterinarian. Bring along the veterinary health certificate template for the veterinarian to complete and sign.

2. Apply to have us endorse the certificate via GoBusiness Licensing Portal. Please note your application number as it is needed for collection of the endorsed certificate.

A step-by-step guide on how to apply for the endorsed certificate is available here.

3. Please submit the completed health certificate template at:.  

Address Operating hours:

AVS Drop-off box

Level 1, JEM Office Tower (next to security counter)

52 Jurong Gateway Road

Singapore 608550

Mondays – Fridays 8:30 am – 5 pm
Closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and Public Holidays

(b) Issuance of watermarked electronic veterinary health certificate 

We can convert a veterinary health certificate issued by a licensed private veterinarian into an AVS-issued veterinary health certificate.

How to apply

1. Bring your small mammal to a licensed private veterinarian for an examination, and to obtain a veterinary health certificate.

2. Apply for our watermarked electronic veterinary health certificate via GoBusiness Licensing Portal. A step-by-step guide on how to apply for this certificate is available here.

Please retain your application number as it is needed during collection of the certificate.

The following information must be included in your application:
The signed veterinary health certificate.
Your application number.

3. Pay an administrative fee of S$23 (for certificate issuance within two working days) or S$46 (for certificate issuance within one working day).

4. You can print the veterinary health certificate yourself using a watermark-enabled printer. The certificate bears an optical watermark and electronic signature, and should be printed in black and white. 

For details on how to print the certificate yourself, please refer to this template.

4. Make an appointment for pre-export inspection

This step applies to you if the destination country mandates pre-export inspection as a condition for entry.

Make an appointment for us to conduct a veterinary inspection. This appointment can be booked via our inspection and laboratory e-services website. Bringing your small mammal for inspection without making an appointment will subject you to an S$80 inspection fee.

This pre-export inspection should be held at least four hours before departure so there is sufficient time to transport your small mammal to the cargo terminal. The inspection must be done during CAPQ operating hours.

Address   Operating hours 
Changi Animal & Plant Quarantine Station

Gate C7, 
Airport Cargo Road
Changi Airfreight Centre
Singapore 918104
Mondays - Saturdays:
8 am - 1 pm
2 pm - 10.30 pm
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.
 Contact   How to get there*
Tel: (65) 65457523
Bus: 9, 19, and 89 (alight at the third bus stop after the Police Pass Office, along Airline Road).

MRT: Bedok (transfer to bus 9), Tampines (transfer to bus 19).

*This travel information is meant for commuters without pets, as animals are not allowed on buses and MRT trains.

View the detailed directions to CAPQ here.

5. Make arrangements with the ground handling agent

Contact the transporting airline(s) to make arrangements with the ground handling agent prior to your small mammal’s departure. There are two ground handling agents for this purpose:

SATS Gateway Pte Ltd.
DNATA Singapore.

Before you transport your small mammal to the ground handling agent on the day of departure, ensure that it is accompanied by the following documents:

A copy of the AVS-issued export licence.
The original veterinary health certificate that fulfils the import or entry requirements of the destination country (if required).
Any other additional supporting documents required by the destination country. 

SATS location   DNATA location
SATS 
Terminal 5
20 Airport Boulevard, 
Singapore Changi Airport
Singapore 918141
 DNATA Outbound Terminal
50 Airport Boulevard, 
Singapore Changi Airport
Singapore 819658

Additional requirements for commercial exporters

In addition to the steps listed above, commercial exporters of small mammals must also ensure that the following requirements are met.

Pet shop licence

In order to export small mammals for commercial purposes, you must first obtain a pet shop licence.

Customs clearance permit

You will need to obtain a customs clearance permit for clearance at border control checkpoints. This permit can be obtained via TradeNet

For enquiries on this permit, please contact Singapore Customs at (65) 63552000 or customs_documentation@customs.gov.sg.

Transshipping small mammals

Transshipping small mammals via Singapore is allowed if you have an AVS-issued transshipment licence.

Apply for transshipment licence

Prepare the following documents in soft copy:
A valid veterinary health certificate.
An import permit issued by the importing country (if applicable).

Apply for and obtain a transshipment licence via GoBusiness Licensing Portal and upload the above documents.

A step-by-step guide on how to apply for this licence is available here.

Type of licence  Cost and validity 
Licence to import/export/transship animals, birds, eggs, and biologics (commercial) • S$87 for normal service. Licence issuance will take place two working days after submission of all completed documents.
• S$174 for express service. Licence issuance will take place one working day after submission of all completed documents.
This licence is valid for 30 days from the date of issue. Each licence allows you to tranship one consignment only.
Licence to import/export/transship animals, birds, eggs, and biologics (personal) • S$50 for normal service. Licence issuance will take place two working days after submission of all completed documents.
• S$100 for express service. Licence issuance will take place one working day after submission of all completed documents.
This licence is valid for 30 days from the date of issue.

What happens during transshipment

Your consignment of small mammals will be transferred to the Changi Animal & Plant Quarantine Station (CAPQ) if its transit in Singapore lasts more than six hours. If your consignment is transiting Singapore for less than six hours, or during CAPQ’s non-operating hours, it will be kept in the airline's animal holding area instead.

You are required to pay S$26.25 per kennel unit per day to accommodate your consignment of small mammals at CAPQ. Feed will not be provided during the stay.