Regulations related to travel with pets and other animals within the EU

11 May 2021by damirres

Traveling with pets: dogs, cats and ferrets

The European passport for pets is issued only for dogs, cats and ferrets.

Traveling with your dog, cat or ferret to another EU country (in this case 27 EU Member States and Norway) is easy thanks to EU regulations. These regulations also cover travel to the EU from a country or area outside the EU.

EU regulations on travel with pets apply to private travel with pets that does not involve a change of ownership or sale.

With a few exceptions, your pet can travel with you from one EU country to another or from a non-EU country to an EU country under the following conditions:

  • has a microchip (in accordance with the technical requirements of Annex II of the EU Pet Movement Regulation) or a clearly legible tattoo tattooed before 3 July 2011.
  • was vaccinated against rabies
  • treated against Echinococcus multilocularis tapeworm if necessary (not required for dogs traveling directly between Finland, Ireland, Malta and Norway)
  • has a valid European passport for pets when traveling from one EU country to another, or an EU animal health certificate when traveling from outside the EU.

Travel documents for dogs, cats or ferrets

The European passport for pets

A European passport for pets is a standardized document and is necessary for travel within the EU. It contains a description of your pet and details about it, including the code in the microchip or tattoo, as well as information on the history of rabies vaccination and contact information for the owner and veterinarian who issued it. You can obtain a European pet passport for your dog, cat or ferret from any authorized veterinarian (authorized by the authorities to issue pet passports). A pet passport is valid as long as you regularly vaccinate your pet against rabies.


If you travel to an EU country from Andorra, Switzerland, the Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino or the Vatican, your pet can also enter the EU with a pet passport issued in one of these countries.

EU animal health certificate

The EU Animal Health Certificate is another type of document with information about your pet (name, health status, history of rabies vaccination) and is based on the standard EU form.

If you are traveling from a country or area outside the EU, your pet must have an EU animal health certificate validated in the country of departure by an official state veterinarian no later than 10 days before your pet arrives in the EU. This certificate is valid for travel between EU countries for four months from the date of that confirmation or until the expiry of the rabies vaccine.

In addition to the certificate, you must have a completed written statement that you are traveling with your pet for reasons that are not of a commercial nature. This statement is also required if your pet is traveling with a person you have authorized to do so. In that case, you must pick up your pet within five days of your trip.

Pets traveling without owners

Pets generally have to travel with their owner. You can also give written permission to another person to travel with your pet instead of you (that written permission has been described previously). However, you must pick up your pet within five days of his trip.


If your pet travels unaccompanied, you will need to adhere to the animal health rules that apply to the importation or trade of dogs, cats or ferrets into the EU.

Traveling with more than five pets

You can travel with up to five pets, and if you travel with more than five of them (dogs, cats or ferrets), you must be able to provide proof:

    • to participate in a competition, exhibition or sporting event (eg confirmation of registration for such an event) and
    • that they are older than six months

If you travel with more than five pets (dogs, cats or ferrets) that do not meet these conditions, your pets are subject to the animal health rules that apply to commercial animal imports into the EU
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