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Pets Aboard



Prior to 2021 the regulations pertaining to pets aboard boats did not appear to exist in writing and accordingly OSASA sought clarification from the South African Veterinary Service. See attached letter from the Ministry of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development dated 11 October 2021.

Local officials may not be familiar with the regulations so you may print this letter to show to them.


In essence, there are two broad cases:

  1. Pets aboard boats which are being imported into South Africa. In this sense “imported” means being brought in with the intention of remaining permanently in RSA.  The regulations here are quite clear; the pets must be put into a South African quarantine facility of which there are only two. One is in Kempton park adjacent to Oliver Tambo Airport in Johannesburg and the other is at Cape Town International Airport.


In practice, unless the pet is flown in, if arriving on board at a Port of Entry other than Cape Town the pet must be declared on entry and must remain aboard and in quarantine aboard whilst the boat is sailed to Cape Town, and then transferred to the State Veterinary facility.


  1. Pets aboard boats and in transit. “In transit” means that the pets will eventually leave South Africa aboard the boat. In this case the pet should be declared on arrival but should remain aboard the boat in quarantine at all times and not go ashore.


In both cases pets should be chipped, fully vaccinated and have accompanying documentation.


OSASA/11 October 2022

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