Helpful info for bringing a dog from Korea to Canada

Hey everyone,
Just wanted to take this time to share some not so obvious helpful information we learned through our adoption of Pook and what you can expect if your dog is coming to Canada!

1) First off, every airline will have different/varying fees and regulation for pet travel. It is a good idea to take the time to review all potential airlines for pet travel. Pook flew Thai Airways from Seoul to L.A. accompanying a passenger so he was a “checked baggage”. From L .A. to Vancouver, he flew as “cargo” on Alaska Airlines, so no passenger accompaniment. Alaska Airlines requires there be a water AND food dish attached to his crate; Thai Airways did not require a food tray.

2) Once Pook arrived at the airport, he had to be inspected by CBSA (Canada Customs). This inspection cost $30 + 12% HST (tax). The process of inspecting and paying took about 15 mins- time will vary depending on the amount of people of course.

3) CBSA will charge you 12% HST on EVERY FEE involved in the adoption process- adoption fee, crate, water bottle, food dish, air ticket, even the transportation fee to get Pook from Asan to the airport. To them, there is no difference between a rescue dog and a Gucci hand bag! They just asked me for the amount in total (no receipts requested) and added 12%...soooo, be aware of how much you declare ;) We were lucky it was Christmas and that Pook was so cute, so the agent decided to wave this fee!

4) If you are using Cargo to bring your pet over, there will be a third-party handling company involved, for Alaska anyway. My understanding is that with every “package” you ship (i.e. furniture, bike, pet) via cargo, the airline will contract a third party handling company to unload, pick up, process your package. “Swiss Port” charged a $58 fee. If your flight arrival time is say 9pm, as excited as you will be, there is no need to come until 930-945pm. It will take some time to process. The pick-up location for these companies are usually not in the airport itself, but located near or on airport grounds. So once Pook arrived at the pick-up location, we were given documents to take to the customs office (located back in the airport) to “clear” Pook. This is when you declare and pay the $30 fee. We then drove back to the pick-up location to finalize and take Pook! This whole process took about 2hrs!

All in all, the process was not that arduous, a little tedious though :). It will be well worth it in the end. Allison and Jenn were the real troopers in this whole process. I'm sure they can add to this note as they carried out the first few legs.

Tags: adoption, Canada, pet shipping, airlines


Karen's picture

When we went to pick up a dog who was shipped from Korea to Toronto a couple years ago, yes like you said the whole processing time took about 2~3 hours, including just the waiting and then the paying of various fees. Wish I had known in advance what it would be like.

Thanks so much for sharing this information, it's super helpful.