My Experience: Philippines Import Requirements for Cats

Philippines Import Requirements for Cats

At this point, I am feeling absolutely overwhelmed and mentally exhausted while in the process of figuring out the requirements for importing cats to The Philippines, what documents are needed and how long the documents are valid. In this article, I’d like to take you through the Philippines import requirements for cats.

So far, I know I need the following to be able to import my cats to The Philippines:

◣ Pet microchip
◣ Health certificate
◣ Clinical report
◣ Pet passport
◣ Vaccination and deworming records
◣ The above need to be legalized
◣ Photos of my cats
◣ Import permit from the Bureau of Animal Industry (“BAI”)

The required vaccines for my cats are: FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia) and a rabies vaccine.

I’m running into these problems:

  • My flight is scheduled in 56 days from this post
  • An authorized health certificate is valid for 30 days
  • The BAI import permit is valid for 60 days
  • However, I can’t apply for the import permit until I have my health certificate filled out and authorized
  • The cats need to be dewormed 2 days before leaving…
  • …however, the deworming records are required upon filling out the BAI import permit

So, I need to do some thinking on the order of all of this. It basically means I have to deworm my cats two times, just to be able to get the import permit.

After covering all of the Philippines Import Requirements for Cats… I need a transit permit for Malaysia

As part of the challenge of importing my cats to The Philippines, my flight will make a stopover in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. For this stop, a transit permit is required. To apply for a transit permit for Malaysia, I need the following:

↳ Application letter addressed to the Director General of MAQIS
↳ A copy of my passport
↳ Pet passport or pet vaccine record
↳ A photo of my pet
↳ A copy of my flight ticket

When importing cats to Malaysia, quarantine is required. However – and I asked and verified – quarantine is not required during a stopover. (Makes sense to me, but I figured I’d ask just in case.)

I also inquired whether any additional treatments or vaccines are required for Malaysia, and the answer is no. The cats will be able to pass through with all records and data as required for our flight to The Philippines.

The mystery of the UBN number

Since I ammoving from The Netherlands to The Philippines with my cats, there was also the mystery of whether I need a UBN number. This stands for “Uniek Bedrijfsnummer”, meaning Unique Company Identifier. A vet, as well as the NVWA in my country – the people that will be legalizing my documents – said I need a UBN number for my cats’ pet passports.

Obeying the authorities as a good citizen, I went ahead and started applying for one. Only to run into an issue… they needed to know for what reason I’m having cats. And “they’re just my pets” wasn’t an option in the list. In other words, the UBN number doesn’t seem to apply for regular pets. So, I went ahead and asked the people of the RVO, where the UBN is gotten from, and they told me I DO NOT need a UBN number for my pet passports.

Later on I realized, given what UBN stands for, that this makes sense. But when you rely on authorities to tell you exactly what you need to bring your cats to The Philippines in a safe and sound manner without issues, you tend to do what you are told.


I’m in the process of moving with my cats to the Philippines, but there’s quite a challenge involved. I need lots of papers, a chip for my pets, a paper from the vet stating they’re healthy, a special pet ID, papers showing they got their vaccines and deworming treatments and even pictures of them.

Each paper has a different time it’s valid for, which makes planning tough. I also need papers for my stopover in Malaysia, such as a letter, my passport copy, pet papers, pictures of the cats, and my flight ticket. I got mixed up about needing a special number (UBN), and it made things more confusing.

All of this is making me feel stressed out and overwhelmed. But I’m trying hard to manage it and get everything done properly before our flight. I really want to make sure nothing goes wrong as I take my cats on our move from The Netherlands to The Philippines, where a new journey awaits us.

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