Pet Passport – what is it? Why does your pet need one? How much will it cost?

Pet Passport - why it is important for international pet travelThe term “pet passport” was originally popularized in the European Union (EU) where dog, cat or ferret owners could get a blue pet passport from their veterinarian under the Pet Travel Scheme and travel freely through the EU member countries. This is still true today for people living in the EU. It will last for the lifetime of the pet as long as the rabies vaccination is kept up to date and you don’t run out of pages.

However, for pet owners residing in countries outside of the EU, a “pet passport” is simply a term we use to represent all of the pertinent documentation needed to take your pet to other countries. Customs officials will need to see these documents in order to clear your pet, and the inconvenience caused by losing them can be significant.

Your veterinarian can help you create a pet passport for your pet to enter almost any country in the world. For example, if you are from the United States and are visiting most European Union countries, then the pet passport will consist of the following:

  • The Annex IV and APHIS 7001 forms (if required by your airline) for the country you will be visiting (they are all different) completed by your veterinarian and endorsed by the State USDA veterinarian.
  • Your pet’s inoculation record which must be attached to the certified Annex IV form. (Sometimes the inoculation record is referred to as the Rabies Certificate.)

If you are visiting one of the United Kingdom countries (England, Ireland or Scotland) or Finland or Malta, your pet will need proof of a tapeworm test to complete your pet passport.

UPDATE: When Brexit occurs, note that the United Kingdom will no longer be a part of the European Union and UK Pet Passports will no longer be accepted for pets entering the EU. The requirements will depend on how the UK is classified by the EU after Brexit. More details on how Brexit will affect your pet.

Every country in the world will require a minimum of proof of good health and a rabies certificate, although the rules for additional testing vary widely from country to country. You should have a health certificate completed by your veterinarian. This certificate is also referred to as a Veterinary or Sanitary Certificate. Sometimes, import permits and other testing is required.

The cost for a pet passport will depend on your veterinarian’s fees, the fees for microchipping (if required), and the fees for completing and endorsing the necessary forms. There will always be a trip to the vet just prior to travel for a health certificate. Other tests such as tapeworm, internal/external parasites, microchips, and rabies titer tests, if required, will affect the cost. USDA endorsement in the USA or CFIA endorsement in Canada will add $38.00 per form at this writing and if a titer test is required, the costs rise to $121.00. Many countries also require an import permit and they will charge for processing it.

The first thing to do is to find out the requirements to bring your pet to your destination country. In some cases (like Hawaii), you have to plan 6 months in advance to avoid quarantine. The key to avoiding delays at the border and/or quarantine when traveling with your pet is to have your pet passport complete and accurate for the countries you are visiting.

You can find information on country requirements in our immigration section and pet passports with instructions on over 220 countries all over the world. You can also post questions on our blog homepage or forum and we will answer them promptly. More information on pet passports can be found here: https://www.pettravel.com/news_pet_passport.cfm


Comments

Pet Passport – what is it? Why does your pet need one? How much will it cost? — 158 Comments

  1. Sid – you can find current regulations to import your Great Pyranees to India here and there are links to further instructions and forms that can be emailed to you: https://www.pettravel.com/immigration/india.cfm. You will need someone in India (friend, family, representative or agent) to apply for the Notice of No Objection for you. If you need the assistance of an agent, you can search for one at IPATA.org. The weight of your dog and its crate may necessitate that your dog fly as air cargo. In that case, you should contact the cargo department of an airline that flies the entire route and ask them if you can book the route or whether an agent will be needed in Canada to book the transport.
    Susan

  2. Hello i am looking to take my 1year old great pyranees( weighs about 98 pounds) to India from Canada.
    Want some information on the average cost for his move and of you guys have any sort of packages at a total cost to help with the appropriate travel arrangements.

    Thanks

  3. Simone – you can find current regulations to import your puppy to South Africa here and there are links to further instructions and forms that can be emailed to you: https://www.pettravel.com/immigration/SouthAfrica.cfm. Your veterinarian should keep track of your puppy’s shots and will give you a vaccination book that reflects those shots. Be sure and get a microchip implanted at the same time or prior to rabies vaccination. This vaccination should not be administered prior to 3 months of age. Some vets will wait longer than that to give rabies vaccination shots.
    Susan

  4. Hello I just got a new puppy I came to work here in Zhengzhou china.I got him a week ago as a gift .Simply adore him but it worries me that once my contract is up in a year I Dont want to leave him behind .What do I need to get to take him back home to South Africa.I am taking him for his first set of shots in Thursday and wanted to know what I need to do from the time I get his shots Do I need to keep record of all the shots he gets ?Pls help also does the record of his shots need to be in English as the vets here are Chinese and most of the Chinese in this city are not very good with English

  5. Hi Sue – the requirements to import your dogs to Spain will depend on what country you will be entering from. You can find those requirements here and there are links to further instructions and forms that can be emailed to you: https://www.pettravel.com/immigration/Spain.cfm. If you are entering Spain from another EU Member State then yes, an EU Pet Passport will be required. If you are entering Spain from outside of the EU, then your pet’s passport will be the collection of documents required to enter Spain.
    Susan

  6. Hi I’m moving to Spain with my 2 small dogs do I have to get passports for them.thay have been chipped and had 2 injections what do I need now.thanks.

  7. Debra – as you are accompanying your cats, they can fly into Glasgow on an approved airline. Due to regulations imposed by all commercial airlines, live animals must arrive in the UK as air cargo and likely, an agent will be required to book the transport. Some approved airlines to fly live animals into Manchester are Air Canada, Air France, KLM, American, Delta, United, SAS, Lufthansa and Virgin Atlantic.

    You can avoid the air cargo regulations by flying into Paris or Amsterdam and taking Le Shuttle our of Calais (vehicle needed) or DFDS out of Amsterdam. Not sure how to get 3 cats in the cabin with you to these airports unless you purchase an extra seat (if allowed) and someone flies with you.
    Susan

  8. I am moving to Scotland with my 3 cats and family. Am I correct that you cannot fly direct to the UK with cats from the US?
    Trying to find best airline and way to get them there safely. I need to be able to keep them in the cabin. They have all shots, rabies, all internationally chipped, VET certified

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