Rules and Tips for Travelling to Europe With Pets
Traveling abroad with a pet has become more and more common in recent years. People not wanting to leave their felines behind, and easier ways to take a pet in a trip, are among the main reasons for that.
Many countries have established regulations and facilities for people entering and leaving their territories with pets, in order to make traveling safer and more enjoyable. The European Union as well, has established a regulation that sets all rules and conditions for pet owners to enter the territory of its 28 member states.
Following in this article, you can find the EU regulation on traveling with pets explained shorty and clearly, containing all the information you need to know.
Which Pets Classify for Traveling to Europe?
Only dogs, cats and ferrets classify for accompanying their owner when traveling to any of the EU member states. In addition, the trip must be undertaken for non-commercial purposes.
How Many Pets Can I Bring with Me to EU?
Note that the maximum number of pets you can bring with you in Europe in a non-commercial trip is five.
Yet, you will be permitted to bring more, if the non-commercial movement of the pets is for participating in competitions, exhibitions or sporting events or in training for the aforementioned events. You should submit written evidence that the pets are registered either to attend an event as the ones mentioned above or with an association organizing such events.
Moreover, in order to be eligible to participate in such events the pets must be older than six months.
EU Pet Travel Scheme Categories
The first thing that you have to know about the EU rules on the movement of pets is that the country of owner’s residence matters a lot. In fact, the whole requirements that need to be met depend on where you come from.
To set up these rules, these are three categories of countries, known as:
- Part 1 listed countries
- Part 2 listed countries
- Unlisted countries
To become part of the two first groups, a country must apply for the status at the relevant EU bodies. Those countries and territories that did not apply or were not accepted, fall in the third group.
Part 1 listed countries
Part 1 listed countries and territories operate under the same EU Pet Travel Scheme rules as EU member states. There are a very few countries in this group.
These countries are: Andorra, Switzerland, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Vatican City State.
Part 2 listed countries
The majority of countries are Part 2 listed, which means they need to meet additional conditions, such as the use of temporary health certificates.
These countries are: Ascension Island, United Arab Emirates, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Aruba, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Barbados, Bahrain, Bermuda, Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba (the BES Islands), Belarus, Canada, Chile, Curaçao, Fiji, Falkland Islands, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Japan, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Cayman Islands, Saint Lucia, Montserrat, North Macedonia, Mauritius, Mexico, Malaysia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, French Polynesia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Russia, Singapore, Saint Helena, Saint Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, Taiwan, United States of America, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna, Mayotte.
If a country has not applied or has not been accepted as a Part 1 or Part 2 listed country, it means it is categorized as an unlisted third country. In such cases, pet owners must take some specific actions several months before they travel to Europe.
Conditions for Bringing a Pet to the EU
When traveling to the EU with your pet(s), you will need to meet several conditions prior to the trip. These requirements are:
Pet Documentation / Pet Passport
Also known as, the Common Veterinary Entry Document, a pet passport is required for every pet entering the EU. Any official veterinarian can issue this document following the successful outcome of the identity, documentary and physical checks performed on the pet.
Dogs, cats and ferrets traveling with their owners to the European countries shall be marked by the implantation of a transponder or by a clearly readable tattoo.
Vaccination Against Rabies
Before traveling to Europe, you must vaccinate your pet against rabies by an authorized veterinarian. Your pet must be at least 12 weeks old at the date of vaccination.
The period of validity of the vaccination starts 21 days from the completion of the vaccination protocol for the primary vaccination.
Rabies Antibody Test
The rabies antibody titration test is mandatory for pet animals entering the EU. An authorized veterinarian must carry out the test at least 30 days after the date of vaccination against rabies.
Moreover, you must wait 3 months from the date the successful blood sample was taken before you can travel.
The test, which should be performed in an approved laboratory, must measure a level of neutralizing antibody to rabies virus in serum equal to or greater than 0.5 IU/ml.
Treatment against Echinococcus multilocularis (tapeworm)
This requirement is only for dogs. You need to make sure your dog is treated for tapeworm 24 to 120 hours (1 to 5 days) before arriving in one of the following countries:
- Republic of Ireland
A veterinarian must administer the treatment within the period given above. The administering veterinarian in the relevant section of the passport must certify the treatment.
After you complete all these steps for making your pet medically eligible for the trip, you will need to get a pet health certificate. You can get this certificate from an official veterinarian or by an authorized veterinarian and subsequently endorsed by the competent authority.
The health certificate must contain the following information:
- The alpha-numeric code displayed by the transponder or the tattoo.
- The details of vaccination against rabies.
- The details of the blood sampling, and where applicable.
- The details of the treatment against Echinococcus multilocularis.
The health certificate must be valid for 10 days from the date of issue by the official veterinarian until the date of the documentary and identity checks at the travelers’ points of entry designated by Member States. A new certificate is required for every trip.
This requirement is valid only for Part 2 listed and unlisted countries.
A written declaration is also required, completed by the owner or an authorized person traveling with the pet stating the non-commercial nature of the trip.
Traveling with a Pet from UK to EU Post-Brexit
Depending on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, and whether there is a deal or not, the UK may be categorized as part 1 listed, part 2 listed or unlisted country.
However, it is known already that you will not be able to use your pet’s EU passport any longer. Therefore, you will have to get one from an authorized veterinarian in the UK.
EU Points of Entry for Travelers with Pets
Travelers with pets from Part 2 listed and unlisted countries will have to pass through a designated travelers’ point of entry in the EU.
Pet animals entering an EU country from a territory or a third country listed in Part 1 are not required to pass through a travelers’ point of entry.
You should check with your travel agency for the designated travelers’ point of entry in the EU for travelers with pets from Part 2 listed and unlisted countries.
Tips & Advices for Traveling to Europe with a Pet
Maybe you already have experience for traveling with a pet elsewhere. However, when traveling to Europe make sure you
- Book a hotel that is pet friendly. Many hotels in Europe have strict no-pet policies, so do not just assume you will be permitted to bring your pet inside. Others may charge you extra for bringing a pet with you, it is always better to check beforehand.
- Check nearby pet-friendly places to eat. Again, many places in Europe do not want pets where food is served. Therefore, after you pick your hotel, check for nearby places where you can eat while having your pet with you.
- Research local vets. Changing the environment where a pet is used living, may affect their health. It is always better to look of for local vets and get their contact info, in case you need one while in Europe.
- Bring a pet first aid kit. As we said, you can never see what may happen, so bring a pet first aid kit in any case.
- Choose a pet friendly airline. Just as with hotels, some airlines also may have no pet policies. Or there are others that do not have very good conditions for transporting pets. Ensure you pick an airline that offers better conditions for your feline.
- Crate your pet before entering the airport. The crowds and noises can be a stressful environment or pets. If you crate them before you enter the airport it will be better for it and you.