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  • 9 Post By Peaky

Write up on moving a cat UK to HK

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2018

    Write up on moving a cat UK to HK

    Our tiny cat Fifi arrived safely last weekend... Despite using an agency it was still one of the trickier parts of our relocation so I thought I'd give a quite write up.

    We used PetAirUK... They aren't the cheapest but were well reviewed. There were two options at £800 and £1200 and we took the cheaper option. Most of the details can be done online with a few forms to fill and scan through.

    You need to ensure all vaccines are up to date and are administered at least 2 weeks before travel.

    You also need to apply for an import permit from AFCD (paper application, enclosing a cheque or using a credit card... Cost was about HKD450). Good to do this in HK if you can... It takes about 5 working days for a permit to be issued. You then need to get it collected (AFCD need you to sign authority and give HKID number of anyone collecting as a delegate). They give you a copy and an original... The copy wasn't really needed but we brought it back to UK to be safe while the original is needed later for collection in HK.

    The cat needs a medical check no more than 10 days before travel by a vet who needs to also fill in various DEFRA papers. Local vet charged is £80. The agency sent the papers to the vet in advance.

    The shipping company at the HK end 'Jardine' need you to confirm the waybill number is "ok to forward" as part of shipping regs. They got in touch with me by phone and then WhatsApp.

    On the day of travel the cat was dropped off in Staines (right next to Heathrow airport) 4 hours before takeoff and put in a fairly big wooden travel crate by the transport company rep. Water bowl attached. You can put a familiar smelling t shirt or similar in the box and they spray it with something to calm them down which apparently lasts 18 hours.

    On arrival you need to get to the HACTL super terminal one cargo building at the airport. Either a cab or short bus ride from Tung Chung (s52 or s64 buses drop off just opposite it).

    You then end up in a bit of a maze of offices to find the Jardine guys. Within 40-60 mins of the cat landing they sent me a few pictures of moggy looking confused but safe (including a great one of her on the ramp down from the plane) which was a big relief!

    HKD450 in shipping related fees were payable, and they check your passport/HKID and the import certificate. You then get sent down into the warehouse part of the cargo terminal (dodging forklifts) and find another desk for another stamp and piece of paper before you end up at AFCD's office where all the paperwork was checked meticulously.

    It's then time for reunion with moggy (about 2 hours after landing). They checked her chip number matched the paperwork and helped to call a taxi to the obscure bit of the airport we were in which duly arrived and off we went.

    Hope this helps someone!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Thank you for sharing.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2018

    Wow, a LOT cheaper than import from the US!! I paid $600 US per cat to do it myself and the pet relocators that I saw online were priced in the thousands US. And I had to supply my own crates...

    Do you know what the DYI price is, say, using Cathay to ship a cat?

    And does AFCD accept credit card by mail now (for example, if you don't you don't have a HK checking account yet and don't have someone you can send to AFCD)? Because that makes it hard for people applying from overseas for the AFCD permit.

    Also the exam is more work in the US as the US Dept of Agriculture has to seal the vet exam (basically certifying the vet).

    Anyway, glad you had a good experience, the import of my cats was the most stressful part of my relocation as well...mostly because of the rabies issue (in US have to certify the area within 10 km is rabies-free for 6 months and you never know when a rabies case will be reported).

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    If you thinks that bad, try shipping a snub nose cat or dog. If going to US you have to transit through Europe as no US, Japanese airlines or Cathay will touch them. If going to Australia or New Zealand then plan a year in advance and it aint going to be cheap as blood tests need to be done and sent to labs outside of HK as there arent any here to facilitate. Not the sort of thing you want to go DIY on.
    Also coming into HK, nothing can come excess baggage, countries are grouped into 3 groups with UK, Australia etc in group 1, US, France, EU etc in group 2 and group 3 such as Malaysia, UAE etc will have to do 4 months quarantine which is fully booked 6 months in advance.
    Do your research and plan well in advance when shipping pets.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2015

    I shipped a cat from the UK to HK last month. Just contacted the pet company (James Cargo) based at Manchester airport who arrange the booking with Cathay Pacific. I did the paperwork myself. The whole thing cost less than 500 pounds. There's no need to use an expensive agent.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2018

    Hi there and welcome to HK! We used the same service to transfer our cat over from UK to HK.

    Slightly off off topic but related - have you been able to source a good cat sitter yet or do you know of anyone that provides this service at a good quality?