Pet Travel: New forms and rules for entering the European Union

As of January 1, 2012, the rabies free countries of the European Union relaxed the rules regarding quarantine. Now, if entering the UK, Malta or Sweden from a countries with a low incidence of rabies, pets need only be micro chipped and vaccinated for rabies at least 21 days prior to entry. Several EU countries require a tapeworm test be performed by an accredited veterinarian just prior to travel.

EU changes rules and forms once again. All EU countries now have a new veterinary certificate that replaces the old EU form 998. You can still use the Annex form for entry into an EU country until June 1, 2012 but only if it has been completed by an accredited veterinarian prior to the end of February 2012. After that time, only the new form called Annex II will be accepted. Another rule change affects those countries who require a tapeworm treatment and examination prior to entry. That treatment must be done in the country from which the pet is traveling 24 to 120 hours prior to entering the EU country.

Because these forms must be endorsed by the USDA or CFIA if traveling from the United States or Canada, the timeline for obtaining USDA endorsement for traveling pet owners has been limited. If you are not located in the city where your State USDA office is located, be sure and plan your tapeworm treatment carefully and use express services both to and from the USDA office.

We have all the current forms and instructions for pet travel to the EU available for a nominal fee at under our Pet Passports section.


Pet Travel: New forms and rules for entering the European Union — 85 Comments

  1. Navidad – all EU countries require an EU health certificate which must be issued within 10 days of travel by a USDA-accredited veterinarian and endorsed by the USDA. No EU country will accept a normal health certificate. That said, if you are flying in and out of Germany on the same airline and, if your pet is flying in th ecargo hold, your layover is not more than 3 hours, then the airline will transit your pet through Germany and no documentation to enter that country will be required.

  2. i am traveling to spain from the united states but we do have a transfer in we need a EU certificate even though spain only requires a endorsed normal health certificate and microchip and rabies? the EU certificate is requiring alot more lab work than my final destination is requesting and i wasn’t sure if i needed it or not.

  3. David – try to find an airline that flies directly to the UK if possible. If not, then just be sure and stay on the same airline for the entire trip. Keep layovers under 3 hours. Not sure when your travel is, but would advise that you get the titers redone and samples processed in an approved lab as soon as you can (depends on when your cats’ current rabies vaccinations expire and you can speak to your vet about maximizing your chances of an acceptable test results). Your cats will need to be imported to the UK under quarantine regulations and serve the remainder of the 3 months wait in the UK if you do not have time to wait before you leave.

  4. Hi, we’re looking for some advice. We have 2 cats and will be travelling from Brazil to the UK through Europe. Either Portugal or France. Our cats have been microchipped, vaccinated against Rabies and had the serology test, all fine. However, we’ve just realised that the lab that did the serology test is not an EU approved lab. So, we’re wondering; do we risk it and take them with us? What’s the worst case scenario? They get quarantined in the first country we land in or is the worst case that they get returned to Brazil? If anyone has any firsthand experience with this, any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  5. I am currently in south Africa, Pretoria. I want to immigrate to Portugal, but can I take my African Pygmy hedgehog with me. Tried to google but I don’t get definite answers

  6. Mike – according to EU legislation, no rabies vaccinations count that were given prior to a microchip being implanted. This particular arrangement that the USDA posted on their website is not included in that legislation, but it likely was confirmed prior to posting.

  7. Hi,
    huh, okay thanks.
    I did find this on USDA website:

    If your pet had a non-ISO compatible chip implanted at the same time as or before your pet?s most recent vaccination, your pet will not have to be re-vaccinated even if it had to be re-microchipped with an ISO compliant chip to travel to the EU.

    So, I do not know what is the truth now.

    Thank you

  8. Mike – if you are not going to carry a scanner that will read the Avid chip, then you need to have your cat re-vaccinated and wait for 21 days before traveling to the EU. Make sure that the ISO microchip number is present on the Annex form and rabies certificate.

  9. Hi,
    I want to fly with my cat end of the month from the USA to Europe.
    He has two microchip; one of is encrypted Avid and one of is ISO. He got the Avid in March on the same day with the rabies vaccination (is valid for 3 years), and he got the ISO 3 days ago.
    Does he need a new rabies vaccination or no?
    Thank you for your help.

  10. Hi Laura – veterinary officials in Spain will not need any additional information. Ask your airline whether they will need to see an updated health certificate. (probably not).

  11. Dear Pet Travel,

    I am taking my dog with me on a 15 day holiday from Spain to the USA and then returning to Spain. My dog has his EU passport, rabies shot and updated micro chip ISO approved. My question is as my dog is only going on holiday with me from Spain to the USA and back 15 days later, do I need anything other than his EU passport and Health certificate completed and signed by my vet. in Spain? Many thanks! Laura

  12. Gabi – the 3*3 chip is an encrypted Avid chip which is not ISO compliant. Avid is a different company than HomeAgain. The vet should fill out the form. It is ok for your vet to complete the form in English.

  13. Hi,
    Thanks for your help.
    What 3*3 it means 123*456*789 digits on the blue tag.

    So I got a blue tag with this 3*3 digits and there written on is AVID.
    On the paper what we have been received from the vet it is say Microchip (Home Again).

    The question is, Is this two are the same or may the vet made a mistake when he filled out the paperwork?

    I need to fill out the linked form or the vet should?

    If it is me than.
    It is matter which language what i choose to fill out the paper what i have been downloaded from your link?

    I mean, it is needed to fill out with English and Hungarian both?

    Thank you for your time and patience (again) and sorry about many question 🙂

  14. Gabi – the EU is pretty strict on the order in which the following steps are performed: 1. microchip 2. rabies vaccination (in that order, but same day is fine – no sooner than 21 days before traveling from the US). According to EU regulations, the microchip must be ISO 11784/11785 compliant (15 digit). There are only a few 10 digit chips that are compliant. One is made by HomeAgain. If your pet’s chip is not one of these, regulations state that you must bring a microchip scanner. We can’t predict enforcement, but those are the rules. Not sure what 3*3 means in your post. Their health certificate is called the Annex IV (if you are traveling with your pet) and it must be completed within 10 days of travel by a USDA-accredited vet and endorsed by your State USDA office. Here are the regulations for importing a pet to Hungary. There are links to instructions and forms if you need them:

  15. Hi Guys, I hope that you can help us.
    So, we will like to take our cat to Hungary from USA through Germany, end of September.
    We would like to have the cat on board with us. He already have the vaccination’s like rabies and some kind a FVRCP what I’m not sure what it means… both at 03.25.2016.
    On the same day he got the microchip too (but after the vaccinations). What have only 3*3 number and not 15 number, “I’m not that sure how much is it does matters” and they give us a blue tag what we can hang on his collar. The microchip number has been writed on the tag.
    He did not get the passport when we finished with the vet.
    What we received is a piece of paper : HEALTH CERTIFICATE.
    There is not too much information on it about.
    Only regular things like: His name, birthday, the date when we were there and thats it.

    My question is: Are we still need any vaccination?
    Which paperwork we still need and where could we find them/get them?
    Are we need to buy a microchip reader?

    Thank you for your help. 🙂

  16. Hi Jennifer – the Annex IF form can be in English. There are Annex IV forms that are bi-lingual which are more appropriate for the country you are entering.

  17. Hi Greg – if you are entering Italy from the US, your dog will need to be microchipped, then vaccinated for rabies no sooner than 21 days of travel. The rabies vaccination must come after the implantation of a 15 digit microchip. If your dog presently has a chip that does not have 15 digits, you should carry a scanner with you that will read the chip. Within 10 days of travel, a USDA-accredited veterinarian will complete the Annex IV form for Italy to be endorsed by your State USDA office. You can find more details here with links to forms and instructions if you need them: Titer test is not necessary if entering Italy directly from the US.

  18. we are traveling to Italy,for the summer,and want to bring our dog.
    My wife is Italian,I am a U.S. Citizen.
    Can you tell us what we need to bring our dog,and do we need another chip besides the one he has in the U.S,also I have heard something about a (titer test ?) thank you Greg

  19. Jocelyn – so sorry we did not get back to you before your trip. As long as your pet was flying in and out of Amsterdam on the same airline, documentation for the Netherlands is not required.

  20. I’m going to Canada in 3 days from manila. Stop over at schiphol airport Amsterdam. Do I need annex iI or eu998 form? I’m now in a panic. I’ve chosen KLM to bring home my dog. We are travelling the pet in cabin. I hope someone can share.

  21. Robert – legislation introduced at the end of the year in 2014 introduced the Annex IV form for animals that are traveling with or within 5 days of their owners. This legislation made the Annex II inappropriate to use for this purpose.

  22. We are relocating back to Europe and will travelling from Vancouver Canada to Amsterdam with 4 house bunnies, 2 per adult. We have our soft carry cases with hard interiors(they are quite something!)for under the seats.
    We will be traveling in around a months time.
    We are starting to clarify and book flights and get our paperwork in order.
    We understand these days an number of airlines are now more accepting of pets in the cabin and we are finalizing a current list but we also need to finalize the health paper work.
    I want to clarify the AnnexII form also applies to rabbits and any other info we need to get firm before we travel.

    Many thanks


  23. Ella – your pup should be fine in the car as long as temperatures are not too hot. This is very important because heat will build up in a car if the temperatures are high. You need to give your sister Power of Attorney to represent you. More information in our previous post.

  24. I live in uk and my little dog live in Romania,soon my sister law come here and i want to bring also my dog,she can travel with her if in her passport it s my name? And she will be fine on ferry? She will travel with a car,and i m afraid for her because she will stay alone in the car on ferry. Best regards!

  25. You can contact BACKHOME as they should have a microchip database. There are also worldwide microchip databases that will allow you to enter your details. Try searching for microchip database on your browser.

  26. My pets are both microchipped (15 digits) and registered in KUSA by BACKHOME South Africa, but this one does not appear in and my 2 chip numbers are not registered anywhere.

    What can I do to have them registered?
    Recontact BACKHOME?

    Thank you in advance!

  27. Charlotte – you will need the Annex II form for the Netherlands. That is your point of entry to the EU. The form is good for 4 months in any EU country.

  28. I flying on Dec 22th with my dog from Calgary nonstop to Amsterdam and from there my brother in-law is picking us up from the Airport Amsterdam-Schiphol and we’ll driving with his car to Dortmund/Germany.

    Do I need, beside the form what Pettravel(Petpassport Netherlands FORM0443) already sent me, the forms from Germany (Petpassport Germany FORM023) too? I’m so confused with this whole Annex II.


  29. Hi,

    I hope you can help because I’m panicking a little. I’m flying cabin with 2 cats on Finnair to Amsterdam and then taking a ferry to the UK. My big problem right now is that no-one that I’ve spoken to so far in Thailand seems to know what an Annex II is. The vet who provided the rabies vaccinations seems to have no idea and the animal quarantine station at Suwarnabhumi were also confused. Any information about the need of this document or where I should obtain it would be most gratefully received.


  30. Carrie – The required inspection of the animals once landing in Switzerland is only carried out during the normal opening hours of the inspection office concerned. In the case of arrivals outside these times, the animals are taken to the animal room of the inspection office and not checked until the next working day.

    As long as you are staying on the same airline and your layover is less than 2 hours, your fatty fat cat will be transferred from plane to plane. You will need to stay behind the clearance counter in the secure area of the airport. As long as you don’t clear customs, you will not need to adhere to Germany’s import regulations.

  31. Hi!

    My husband and I are flying from the US to Switzerland via Frankfurt Germany within the next week. We’re moving there for employment and will remain for the next 2-5 years. We’ll be flying with 2 cats and a small dog and will have one cat and the dog with us in cabin while the larger, fatty fat cat will travel in the cargo hold. Does anyone know about the inspection req’ments in Frankfurt and/or Switzerland? We’re concerned about booking airfare that would put us landing in Geneva, a small airport, on Sunday July 6th 2014. We heard that there is nobody available at that airport on weekends to inspect incoming animals. We’ve been trying to hunt down the answer but have gotten mixed information. Any info would be appreciated!


  32. Janet – the Official Veterinarian is the accredited vet (your vet) You will sign Part II.7 “I, the undersigned …”

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