EU Pet Travel Scheme Changes for Pet Transport

PupptPlanning 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


EU Pet Travel Scheme Changes for Pet Transport — 61 Comments

  1. Hi!
    I do have a doubt about flight conexion with pets aboard going through the EU ’cause me and my husband are moving from Brazil to Beijing and our two small dogs are going with us in the airplane cabine.
    So in this specific case of entering the EU ONLY FOR TRANSIT (flight conexion only) do we really will need to have the blood titer test done on them both? They will be microchiped this week and we probably will be moving on December 2015/January 2016.
    Thanks for the attention.

  2. Bebitalinda = try researching your airport and find out which cargo airlines service it. At that point, you will need to contact them to find out whether they will fly your route and whether they transport live animals. You will not be able to fly with your Boxer, but it will be in the cabin part of the aircraft. Remember though, that, because cargo airlines do not carry people, their schedules are very subject to change depending on their cargo demands. You must be very flexible if you choose this option.

  3. Hi. I’m suppose to been move to Atyrau (Kasakhstan) and my dog is a boxer 10.5 years old. The only airline that gets Atyrau is air astana , but basically i’m afraid to put her in an airplane . already gets one for 14 hours from Venezuela when was 2.5 years old and she was suffer some kind of convulsions for few months. Is any way to send her by land? or is a safe enough cargo freight to send her with the appropriate pressure and temperature in the cargo cabin.?

  4. Hi Sue – no quarantine if the regulations are followed. 1. microchip 2. rabies vaccination (in that order and even if your pet’s vaccinations are up to date) 3. wait 21 days 4. within 10 days of travel, have your vet complete an Annex IV form for your first point of entry to the EU and have the form endorsed by the CFIA. The Annex IV form will be good for travel anywhere in the EU for 4 months. Ask your airline if an additional health certificate is required. Find details for all EU countries with links to forms and instructions here:

  5. Hello,

    I am a Canadian and would like to know if I am allowed to bring my dogs into Portugal and Spain for the winter. It would only be for 2 to 4 months. I do not want my dogs to be quarantined and they are up to date on all their shots.

  6. Not knowing the EU country you are departing from, your pet should be microchipped, then vaccinated for rabies before leaving the EU. The rabies vaccination cannot occur before 3 months and the puppy must wait for 30 days before entering the US. The US does not differentiate pets arriving as cargo from pets arriving with their owners as far as requirements go.

  7. Yulia – I have revised my post. It is a regulation of the Swiss Government that pets from high-rabies countries enter Switzerland directly or transit through an EU country. I would suggest that you contact the Border Inspection Post in Madrid and ask whether they can issue the authorization for your pet to transit Madrid without entering the country. Email or call 91 272 97 51,-52,-53,-56,-57, -60, -64, -65, -66, -68, or -82.
    Hope this helps.

  8. Where would I find clear details on shipping a puppy by air or travelling (by air) with a puppy from EU to USA? Interested in EU rules. Are there specific requirements for pets travelling without an owner? Thanks, PT

  9. Hi Susan,
    We are moving from Dominican Republic to Geneva, Switzerland this fall, but cannot take with us our 4 year old Boston Terrier, who will have to be transported separately more than 10 days after our trip. As I understand, he can fly only as air cargo (his microchipping, vaccination, blood tests are already done). We have just learned that Swiss FSVO authorities cannot issue an authorization to have the dog travel unaccompanied, since there is no direct flight between Dominican Republic and Geneva, and advised that we must get that authorization from the first EU point of entry, in this case, probably Madrid (if we book him on Iberia). Does that mean he has to clear the EU customs there as well? If so, I assume we will need to pick our dog up in Madrid… Do you see any other option to bring him to Geneva? Thanks so much for your thoughts!

  10. Just a warning about the company “passport for pet” a diversion of Air supply Shipping Agents. I have just lost my deposit to them in a fraudulent way. They offered a service they couldn’t keep, and now refuse to give my deposit back. They are cheats and crooks. I believe they knew what they were doing! Keep away from them, just be warned not to use “passport for pets” ever!!

  11. Eva – it is very difficult to predict enforcement of the rules of pet import. Some countries allow unapproved pets to transit the country and I would assume that this will be the case in your trip. What we would suggest is that you contact a Border Inspection Post along your route and inquire. You can find a list of them here:

  12. Hello!

    The trip takes place through these European countries: Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and finally Estonia.

  13. Eva – Any puppy traveling through the EU must be microchipped and travel with an EU pet passport. If your puppy is less than 12 weeks of age, you cannot have it vaccinated for rabies as it is too young. There are several EU countries that will allow you to enter with an unvaccinated puppy, but not all of them permit it. What countries are you passing through?

  14. Hello!
    I intend to buy a puppy from Hungary. I must travel through six EU countries with the puppy. I plan to travel by car. What are the rules for transit.
    Thank you.

  15. Rena – most all airlines will take hamsters as either checked baggage (which you arrange through reservations) or as air cargo (which you arrange through an airline’s cargo department) In both cases, your hamsters should travel on the same plane as you. We are not familiar with any airline that will allow them to travel in the cabin. Not sure what your destination is in Spain, but Iberia and Norwegian fly non-stop to Madrid from London as does Japan Airways. Ask if they will permit your hamsters as checked baggage (or in-cabin if you want to give it a try)

  16. Hello. My Son’s family is moving from UK to Spain. The children have 2 pet hamsters they dearly would love to take. Can you advise of any airline that is going to Spain and would take them? What requirements would there be? like vaccination, quarantene etc. And what would the cost of the transport be?

    Thank you very much for your help

  17. Thank you so much susan! yes pretty long process, but those are the rules.. :/
    thank you again for yr infos and the great help u are giving everybody with this website!!

  18. Greta – we cannot recommend that you not follow the rules as your pet will be returned to Zanzibar. There are quarantine facilities in London, but it is very expensive. It used to be that puppies from EU Member States or rabies-controlled countries could enter the EU with the rabies statement, but not anymore. The regulations have changed and the EU has gotten stricter. Pets from high-rabies countries have always required a titer test. It used to be 6 months ahead of entry; now it is 3 months. We wish we could give you better news, but we cannot advise differently than to follow the rules.

  19. Thank you Susan for yr precious info! How hard is to import such a little innocent creature :/ and is there any other way i dont have to wait for so long? I read somewhere there are exceptions, like if the vet declares that the cat has no rabia, and that its mother had no rabia too and he didnt have any contact with other animals with rabia…then u can ship him younger than 3 months. Of course, its not valid for a found cat unless the vet lies…ooops.
    Not sure though if it can be valid for a cat from tanzania though..

  20. Greta – in order to import your kitty from Zanzibar, you must travel with it into the EU. Zanzibar is considered a high-rabies country by the EU, so the process is as follows: microchip, then vaccination for rabies no sooner than 12 weeks, wait 30 days, have your vet do a blood titer test, send sample to an approved lab. Assuming acceptable results, your pet can enter the EU 3 calendar months after the day the blood was drawn for the titer test with an Annex IV form completed within 10 days of travel. You can find details for entering every EU country here: Thanks for your comments; we appreciate them.

  21. You can find an airline that will fly your pet out of the UK in the cabin, but not on the return flight…

  22. Margherita – it is not a regulation of DEFRA for pets to arrive as air cargo; it is the requirement of the airlines. The reason for this is that the Animal Reception Center needs notification of your pet?s arrival and it is easier to get them that info if your pet travels as air cargo as opposed to in-cabin or checked baggage. Additionally, a licensed agent must collect your pet and take it to the Animal Reception Center where you will pick it up. This process has been in place for years and the airlines don?t seem to want to change it.

  23. Lucy – your pet’s transport would qualify for non-commercial movement as long as you are traveling with or within 5 days of your pet. If your Mum’s vet will not issue a new passport in your name (which would be preferred), then have your Mum issue you Power of Attorney to represent her during the transport. The registered name on the chip does not matter; you can change that at any time. Your pup will also need a tapeworm treatment between one and five days of entering Ireland.

  24. Hi there! When i was travelling in zanzibar last month i found a little abandoned and sick kitten and i took care of him. He traveled with me all over the island…time to leave and i found an animal association where they could keep him-but in a cage…i wanna bring him to europe (italy or uk or spain…i can pick him up anywhere), but he is still too young…so what will happen when he will have 3 months- same as the procedure for the cat in india? i guess tanzania is high risk of rabia too…
    If i do all the processing, can i send him via cargo? Anybody knows any airline? I looked for some that do the same route~but none of them is willing…
    Any ideas? 😛
    Thanks!! Great website btw 🙂

  25. I forgot… I mainly travel to Italy or France from the UK and back! Thanks again!

  26. Hello,

    I am about to take a small dog and I have just realised that the UK has different regulations to those of the other UK countries. I travel a lot and I was sure I could take her with me sometimes for my trips in and out the UK.

    I am reading that no airline allows pets in cabin, which concerns me a lot. Is that right? I checked the website of the UK government and they do not seem to have requirements incompatible with dogs in cabin.

    Thank you,


  27. hi, my mother lives in the Czech Republic and has a dog that she is no longer able to look after. I am originally from the Czech Rep too, but have lived in Ireland (the Republic, NOT the United Kingdom) for a long time. I want to take my mum’s dog with me to Ireland since she cannot look after it. I would travel with the dog so it would be accompanied.

    Does that qualify as commercial or non-commercial movement? I am assuming i would need to change the ownership of the dog in the Czech Republic from my mum to myself before I travel? But can I do that if i am not resident there? Also how is ownership of the dog determined: By the name of the person attached to the dog’s chip, or by the name of the owner on the dog’s passport? The dog is chipped, vaccinated and has a passport. But the name registered with the chip and the name on the passport is my mum’s name.

    If I don’t qualify for non-commercial movement, how does it work with the ‘registered premises’ requirement? What would be the registered premises in my case? I would just be taking the dog from my mum and taking it with me to Ireland, so would ‘registered premises’ be my mum’s apartment? Or would I have to go through some sort of an organisation or a pet transport company?

    many thanks

  28. Hi Annie – the EU considers India to be a high-rabies country. The process is specific: 1. microchip your pet 2. vaccinate for rabies (in that order) 3. wait 30 days 4. have your vet administer a blood titer test to be processed at an approved laboratory 5. assuming acceptable results, your cat can enter the UK 3 calendar months after the day the blood was drawn for the test. Your cat will need to accompany you and your vet must complete an Annex IV form within 10 days of entry. You can find details here with links to forms and instructions if you need them: The US is very pet friendly regarding cats. Your documentation for the UK will be fine to enter the country.

  29. Hi my name is Annie Meek and my family and I are flying from India to London for one week and then continuing on to Orlando Florida USA. We are taking our cat home with us from India. What do we do with the cat while we’re in London for a week? What would be required of us to bring him into London with us for a week and then into the USA?

    Sincerely, Annie Meek

  30. Going to France via Chicago, Ohare airport using KLM to Amsterdam with 2.5 hour layover then to Marseille, France, the final destination. Will I be able to keep 4 pound dog inflight in carrier with me during layover? Dog is 2 years old given to me by my cousin. I am a permanent French citizen with French and US passport. Visiting relatives for approximately 1.5 months. Grandparents are keeping dog from May 1st till I arrive in later July, 2015. Dog is update with all shots and microchip but need to do his passport. Any help appreciated

  31. No worries, Calin. You can find requirements to take your pet to France here: Have your pet microchip your pet first, then vaccinate for rabies. This must be done at least 21 days prior to entering France. You will need to have a USDA-accredited veterinarian complete the Annex IV form within 10 days of travel for endorsement by the USDA office in your State. You can find links to forms and instructions on the link above if you need them.

    If your pet is traveling in the cabin with you, it will need an airline compliant pet carrier like one of these: Get a pad to put in the carrier. There are several airlines that fly non-stop to Paris from Chicago: Air France, Lufthansa, Iberia, United and Finnair, so we would recommend that you start with one of these. Let us know if you have additional questions.

  32. Calin – what country are you traveling to France from? Need to know that to answer your question.

  33. It’s always horrifying to think about leaving pets behind when you travel. You just know that there will be very few people who can give them the same care that you do, and it is very important for traveling pet owners to know the latest policies when traveling with pets. Great travel requirements for pets, though. One can never be too careful about un-vaccinated dogs. Thanks for sharing this travel advisory for pets in Europe.

  34. Hello, i intend to travel to France in May 2, I will go with my Dog…buddle terrier, 8 years old..10 lb.., I don’t know nothings to much about roles in this condition, please give me some information extra where I can get evrething need for safety travel together…give me address or website.., thank you

  35. Hi Jan – your titer test is good for the life of your pet as long as the rabies vaccination does not expire. If you can get an EU pet passport in Portugal, that should get you back to Turkey without problems. If not, then get an Annex IV form for the first country you will enter after leaving Portugal (Spain) and that form will be good for your trip. You should not have to re-vaccinate your pet as long as its rabies vaccination has not expired.

  36. Hi. We left Turkey by car in September 2014 with our pet cocker spaniel, who was issued with a pet passport, a rabies vaccination in May 2014 and a blood Titer test in August 2014 and also a health certificate.
    We are now planning to return to Turkey at the end of March after leaving Portugal and driving back across southern Europe.
    Do we need to get our pet dog revaccinated to enter Turkey again or are there any other requirements?Thanks

  37. Gurea – no commercial airline will fly a pet to the UK as anything other than manifest cargo. Have you considered a pet friendly ferry? You will need a car, however, but Brittany Ferries has a route from Bilbao to Portsmouth. Worth a look perhaps… the other two alternatives are Le Shuttle from Calais (car also needed or you can hire a service to pick you up) or a ferry from Amsterdam.

  38. Evgenia – as of 12/29/14, all cats, dogs and ferrets traveling unaccompanied need to do so commercially. This is a more complicated process than traveling under the Pet Travel Scheme. YOur cat will need to be microchipped, then vaccinated for rabies at least 21 days prior to traveling. It must travel with an EU pet passport. It must travel from a licensed premise registered with the Ministry of Rural Development and Food, and it must also have a health exam within 48 hours of travel. The transport must be registered in the TRACES system. If you or a representative could accompany your pet, it would be a lot easier. Either way, your pet must arrive in the UK as manifest cargo, so you should contact the cargo department of an airline that flies the entire route.

  39. Hello – you will need to microchip your puppy, then vaccinate for rabies (in that order) no sooner than 3 months of age. Your puppy must travel with an EU pet passport. It can enter Italy no sooner than 21 days after the day it was given the rabies vaccination.

  40. Hello. We are moving with 2 cats from San Francisco to Northern Ireland. We have been searching on this and we found out that cats have to travel in another aircraft and company too as a “cargo”. To avoid this, we decided to fly from San Francisco to Spain (where we are from) so we can fly with our cats in cabin, with US Airways and Iberia (as we think these companies allow them). Then, after expending few days in Spain, we need to go to our destination, Belfast. After searching further, we realised no pets can enter in the UK in-cabin or as checked baggage. So we are thinking in flying to Dublin (Ireland) but we are not still sure if this country allows pets in cabin. We would appreciate very much any clarification on that. Thank you for your great job!

  41. hello.I just moved into London,and i left my cat back to Greece(Athens).Can you please tell me the way and the cost to bring her here?thank you

  42. hey:) we are buying a puppy here in slovenia and we want to transport a dog to italy… its actually a gift for our friend. she lives in pordenone. soo i know we have to vaccinate the dog against rabies and we need a passport for dog too… but do we have to wait 21 days or can we do something else? if we vaccinate today can we take the dog to italy in friday?

  43. Hello Anastaisa – to enter Canada, your pet must have proof of rabies vaccination and a health certificate in English or French issued by a licensed vet within 10 days of travel. You should contact the cargo department of an airline that flies the entire route. Air Canada has many flights, but they share the routes with Aegean Airlines (code sharing partners) which may mean your pup will need to change airlines and you should confirm with them that they will transit your pup on the layover. Lufthansa is in the same position. Turkish Airlines also flies the route entirely, but they transit in Istanbul which may not be as appealing as transiting in the EU. To leave Greece, your pup must be microchipped and vaccinated for rabies (in that order) at least 21 days prior to travel. Get an EU pet passport as well.

  44. We like to transport a small dog from Athens Greece to Toronto Canada..We need information please…We live in Canada,so the dog will fly solo….Thank you

  45. Hello Safarigirl – as long as you are flying in and out of the EU on the same airline and as long as your layover is under 2 hours (assuming your cats are traveling in the cargo hold), you will transit the EU and the titer test will not be required. As far as traveling to Istanbul, you will need a titer test regardless of what country you enter from. The test must be done 3 months in advance of entering Turkey.

  46. Cannot find information; traveling from Cameroon (w/2 cats), transiting through the EU, to the US. Do I need Titer Test to transit through the EU? Then, after 3 months in US, traveling to Istanbul (which does require Titer Test if I went directly from Cameroon), but is 3 months in US sufficient to waive getting Titer test?

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