Pets can be exported from Finland to countries outside the EU only if the origin of the animal can be sufficiently ensured. The pets have to be marked (tattoo or microchip) so that the animal can be identified.
The regulations on pet transports also have to be adhered to. The welfare of the animal during transport has to be ensured. The purpose of the legislation is to protect the animals during transport and from injury and illness and all avoidable pain, agony and suffering in conjunction with the transport.
As a rule, the countries of destination and potential countries of transit will have set conditions for the import/transit of pets. According to section 52 of the national Animal Diseases Act (76/2021), an individual or operator who exports a pet from Finland to a country outside the EU is responsible for examining and meeting the requirements for imports in the country of destination and for those of any possible country of transit.
As a rule, the countries of destination and the countries of transit try to prevent the spread of harmful animal diseases into their country. The conditions are mostly related to animal diseases. The EU has also put conditions in place for the import of live animals into the EU, such as Finland, in order to avoid the spread of animal diseases.
Nearly without exception, the pet has to be accompanied by a health certificate in order to assure the authority in the country of destination that the pet fulfils the requirements. The certificate can be written in a free format or be precisely defined by the country of destination. The certificate can be supplied by an official veterinarian or a private veterinarian depending on the requirements of the country of destination. An official certificate is always granted by a municipal or city veterinarian. In order to grant an official certificate, the municipal or city veterinarian has to be able to ensure the origin of the pet and know the conditions for the export of the pet to the country of destination. The conditions set by a country of transit outside the EU also have to be worked out. Some countries of destination also accept the EU pet passport as proof of the animal’s health. We recommend an EU passport for all travelling pets (cats, dogs, ferrets).
If the conditions set by the country of destination or the country of transit are not adhered to, the pet can, depending on the country of destination or transit, have to be returned to Finland, put in quarantine for a certain time or be euthanized. The costs incurred by these actions are, based on the case, to be paid by the individual or operator the pet is travelling with or by the recipient in the country of destination. The same principles are adhered to for the import of pets to Finland or another EU member state.
In order to avoid any surprises, it is advisable that you familiarise yourself well with the conditions, and to do so early enough to ensure that all the required vaccinations including withholding periods are in order before the trip.