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Importing a Dog into Canada

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada continue to restrict certain activities and freedoms. As a direct result of this, we are seeing imports of things that help people deal with spending more time inside. Products like exercise equipment and board games are very popular. However the biggest increase has been in imports of dogs. Since people are forced to spend more time social distancing and maintaining social bubbles that restrict who you can spend time with, having a happy, loving best friend makes a lot of sense.

Imports of dogs into Canada are regulated by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The documents required to import a live dog vary based on the age of the animal and whether you are importing it for personal use or commercial use. The HS code for a live dog is 0106.19.00.90 and has no duty. Dogs imported for personal use are subject to GST and PST or HST depending on your province of residence. Dogs imported for commercial use are subject to just 5% GST regardless of where you are in Canada.

Puppies under 8 months of age 

To import a puppy that is less than 8 months of age for your personal use, importers are required to present a health certificate. This certificate will show that the puppy is in good health and has received the appropriate treatments. If the puppy is over 3 months of age, it would also require a rabies vaccination certificate. It has to be signed by a veterinarian and issued within 72 hours of the arrival of the puppy. Without this document the dog will not be permitted to enter. A bill of sale or invoice is required as this is the amount the taxes will be based on.

Dogs over 8 months of age

To import a dog over 8 months of age, importers are required to present a rabies vaccination certificate. This needs to be signed by a veterinarian and issued within 72 hours of the dog’s arrival in Canada. Again, they would not be permitted to enter into Canada without this document. A bill of sale, or invoice is required as well. 

Commercial imports of dogs

CBSA’s definition of commercial imports include show dogs, and dogs imported for breeding and sale. Imports of dogs of a certain age for commercial purposes do require a permit to import which is administered by the CFIA. Permit application details can be found here. They also require a health certificate or rabies vaccination certificate depending on if the animal is younger or older than 8 months. This will need to be issued within 48 hours of arrival in Canada. The vendor will also need to provide an invoice or bill of sale. A federally issued business number is also a requirement.

It is vital that you prepare for the arrival of the dog by ensuring you have the appropriate documentation. As with the transport of any living being, the last thing you would want is to have the dog be held at the border due to incorrect documentation. Orbit Brokers helps importers across Canada bring in dogs. We can also recommend companies that specialize in transportation of your dog. Click here for more info or click here if you would like a free quote on our services.

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