Planning to transport your pet to Europe? Starting today in December, 2014, the Pet Travel Scheme rules, which address the import of pets into the European Union, have changed. The reason for the change is to stem the import of improperly bred and non-vaccinated “designer puppies” entering territories such as the United Kingdom where the demand is significant. The import of these puppies from Poland and Romania through ground and ferry transport has alarmed officials in the UK and endangers their status as a rabies-free country. Unfortunately, all pet owners transporting pets to or within the EU will be affected by these rules.
Puppies must be vaccinated for rabies no sooner than 3 months of age. Their owner, or a legal representative, must travel within 5 days of their pet. The owner must sign a declaration that their pet’s transport is not for the purpose of re-homing or sale. Pets who are traveling without their owners will travel as commercial transport and be subject to import taxes. They must be examined within 48 hours of transport, originate from a licensed establishment in a rabies-free or rabies-controlled country, and enter via an approved Border Inspection Post after giving 24 hours notification of entry.
If you are traveling to Europe with your pet or within 5 days of your pet’s transport, then commercial rules do not apply and the requirements remain the same. Pet Import Rules for EU Countries