The Makawao Veterinary Clinic is approved by the State of Hawaii Quarantine Division to inspect animals at the Kahului Airport for Direct Release to the owner. Because Hawaii is Rabies Free, the State law is very strict on the importation of dogs and cats into Hawaii. Only dogs and cats who meet specific pre- and post- arrival requirements may qualify for the direct release program.
To qualify for the direct release program you must:
- Start preparations at least 4 months prior to arrival. Sometimes it can be longer
- Your pet must have 2 rabies vaccinations at least 30 days apart
- The second rabies vaccination must be given at least 3 months prior to arrival in Hawaii
- Your pet must pass a blood test that shows a response to the vaccine at least 4 months prior. (Rabies Titer – FAVN)
- Your pet must be micro-chipped
- Due to the minimum requirements for the rabies vaccine, puppies and kittens must be at least 9 months old
Note: Some airlines may not be participating in dog and cat entry program at Kahului Airport. You must check with your airline well in advance about participation
Step-by-Step Instructions for traveling to Hawaii
ALL DOGS AND CATS ORIGINATING FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES ARE NOT PERMITTED TO ENTER THE STATE THROUGH ANY PORT OTHER THAN HONOLULU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
The following information provides the necessary steps needed when traveling with your pets to Hawaii. Completion of these steps qualifies you for our Direct Release program. Be sure to keep with you ALL documents listed below.
Step 1: Make sure you get your puppy or kitten vaccinated for its first rabies vaccine when they are at least 12 weeks old (Be sure to keep the Rabies Certificate, you’ll need it when traveling). This would also be a good time to get their microchip placed (a requirement for traveling to the state).
Step 2: You must wait at least 30 days from your pet’s first Rabies vaccine before they are ready for their booster. (This vaccine must be given at least 3 months prior to your arrival. You will need to keep this certificate as well).
Step 3: At least 14 days after your pet’s booster rabies vaccine, your licensed veterinarian must complete and submit the OIE-FAVN Rabies Serological Test for your animal(s). It usually takes 2-3 weeks before receiving your results. KSU or DOD MUST receive your pets blood sample at least 120 days before arriving in Hawaii.
WARNING! Arriving anytime before the 120-day waiting period has elapsed will result in disqualification of a pet from the 5-day-or-less quarantine program and direct airport release and will be subject to animal quarantine.
Step 4: You must then submit two (2) required rabies vaccination certificates, a completed and notarized AQS-278 “Dog and Cat Import Form” and a payment of $145.00 (or applicable re-entry fee) to the State of Hawaii Office more than 30 days before you are planned to arrive in Hawaii. You must also provide the OIE-FAVN Rabies Serological Test Results so the state can verify if your pet(s) qualify for the direct release program.
Step 5: At this point you must contact our office at (808) 572-9003 and schedule an appointment no less than 22 days before arrival, for us to process and release your pet(s), from Kahului Airport’s designated port, on arrival. You must also arrange for all payments to be made prior to your appointment.
Additional after hours fees will apply to any Direct Airport Release that is done out of our normal business hours. These fees are non-refundable if cancelling within 22 days of travel date. There will be a cancellation fee if cancelling more than 22 days of travel date.
Please have the following information available:
- Date & Time of Arrival
- Airline & Flight Number
- Owner Name, Address, & Phone Number
- Address you would like the NIIP sent to via regular mail or FedEx (Must provide YOUR FedEx Account #)
- Pet Information (Name, Microchip#, Age, Breed, Color, etc)
Step 6: The State will then mail you an original copy of the “Neighbor Island Inspection Permit”, AQS-NIIP (NIIP) to the address that you specify. This original copy MUST be present with you and your pet at all times. An animal will not be permitted to arrive at or be released from the Kahului Airport without an original NIIP labeled with the specific Airport seal.
Step 7: At this point you should be at least 10 days from your arrival in Hawaii. You will need to get a Veterinary Health Certificate for your animal with their complete description including age, markings, identification numbers, sex, and breed. In addition the Veterinary Health Certificate shall:
- State that the animal was treated to kill all ticks by a product containing fipronil or other tick control product with similar residual activity except when a veterinarian provides a written statement that such treatment may be detrimental to the animal’s health;
- List the name of the treatment used and date of the treatment;
- State that the animal was found to be free of external and intestinal parasites within fourteen (14) days of arrival; and
- State that the animal described has been inspected and appears to be free of any infectious or contagious diseases and, to the best of the issuing veterinarian’s knowledge, exposure thereto.
Step 8: Upon arrival we will need to verify your pet’s identification by reading the implanted electronic microchip with an electronic scanner.
Step 9: After verifying identification we will then review the following documents (examples shown below):
Step 10: After all documents are verified, any and all fees are paid, and your pet(s) are clear of any external parasites including ticks, we may then release your pet(s) to you. Welcome to Hawaii!!
These steps are general guidelines only. You should check with the State of Hawaii Quarantine website for detailed information on the steps for the direct release program. If owners don’t follow the necessary steps correctly, their pets may be denied direct release at the airport and are subject to quarantine.
For best and most complete information and to download forms, access the state website at: “http://www.hawaii.gov/hdoa/ai/aqs/info”