New Delhi: Tightening norms for import of cats and dogs as part of baggage, the government has decided that only those persons who are shifting residence to India after two years of stay abroad will be allowed to bring two pets.
The new norms for import of pets (cat and dog only) will come into affect from April 15, the Revenue Department said.
Under the current dispensation, import of up to two pets per passenger is allowed against production of health certificate from the country of origin and their examination by quarantine officer in India. The existing baggage norms are silent on the duration of the stay abroad by the importer.
After re-examination of the about 12-year old policy, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has now "decided to allow import of two pet animals as baggage only to persons transferring their residence to India after two years of continuous stay abroad...".
Other requirements like health certificate from the country of origin and examination of the pets by the concerned quarantine officer remain the same.
"This new dispensation shall come into force with effect from April 15, 2013," the CBEC said.
However, imports of larger number of pets is allowed only against an import sanitary permit issued by the department of animal husbandry and dairying or against an import licence issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).
The CBEC has directed Customs officials to instruct the trade, airlines and carriers regarding the new norms.