Question: What can I bring into Bhutan?
Answer: Animal of any species and their products including foods of animal origin are restricted from entry into Bhutan by its laws. This ensures that the biosecurity risk to Bhutan’s agricultural industries and unique environment is minimized.
Prior permission must be obtained from Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests to import any animal or their products including foods of animal origin.
While at the entry point, the importer must declare these imported animal or their products to the Regulatory and Quarantine Officials of BAFRA on duty along with relevant documents who would check and determine whether they can be allowed into Bhutan.
Some products may require treatment to make them safe. Other items may be restricted due to pest and disease risks.
Question:Why can’t I bring or send animals and their products into Bhutan that are already available in Bhutan without having to acquire prior permission from BAFRA?
Answer: The animals and their products that you find in Bhutan are being subjected to regular surveillance for pest and disease outbreaks. Similar items that are purchased overseas could carry biosecurity pest or disease risks and hence, cannot be imported without prior permission from BAFRA.
Question: What does BAFRA do to ensure that the animals and their products that they authorize for import does not poses any biosecurity risks?
Answer: Upon receipt of the request to import animal and their products into the country, BAFRA conducts import risk assessment. If the biosecurity risk is minimal, import is authorized but with certain conditions viz. the need for the zoosanitary/ health certificate issued by the competent authority of the exporting country.
If the biosecurity risk is high, request for import of animal and their products is denied.
Question: Can I take animal and their products or other items from Bhutan through an airport to another country?
Answer: Export of endangered or protected species of animal and their products from Bhutan is restricted. Otherwise, each country has specific requirements as to items that are allowed to be imported. For further information you should contact the relevant country’s quarantine office.
Question: What is the procedure to import live animals including pet dog or cat into Bhutan?
Answer:Conditions for importing live animals including dogs and cats vary depending on the species of the animals involved. However, all animals entering Bhutan require an import permit, issued by the BAFRA. To obtain an import permit, an application to import your animals must be completed and submitted to the nearest BAFRA office. Your application must include the details of the animals to be imported including the entry point via which the animals would be imported. The animals would be quarantined at the entry point for a minimum period of 15 days except for pet animals (dogs and cats) and day old chicks which would be quarantined at the place of destination.
Question: What is the procedure to import animal products into Bhutan?
Answer: To obtain an import permit, an application to import animal products must be completed and submitted to the concerned BAFRA office. Your application must include the details of the products to be imported (as required in the application form) including the entry point via which the products would be imported. Permit would be issued if the biosecurity posed by products to be imported is minimal. The applicant must import the products as per the conditions prescribed in the permit.
Question: What is the fee levied for issuing import permit?
Answer: If the import is for commercial purpose, a permit fee of Nu. 300/- per permit is charged. If the import is for personal use/consumption, a fee of Nu. 100/- is charged per permit issued.