Animals travelling without their owner or over 5 animals travelling with their owner

These requirements also concern the trade of dogs, cats and ferrets from Andorra, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican to Finland.

The transportation (import/export) of dogs, cats and ferrets is considered commercial if:

  • the animal is meant to be sold or transferred to a new owner
  • or the maximum number of transported animals is 6 or more
  • or the animal is meant to be a source of one’s livelihood.

1. For the import/export of animals, the same requirements as for pet animals which accompany their owner are to be followed

This section concerns the movements of pet animals which are not meant to be sold or their ownership is not meant to be transferred. If the pet travels without its owner, one must adhere to the same requirements as for pet animals which accompany their owner ie. non-commercial pet movement. The requirements for non-commercial pet movement can be found here.

1.1 Authorised person

An authorised person can move the pet animal on behalf of the owner. An authorised person means any natural person who has authorisation in writing from the owner to carry out the non-commercial movement of the pet animal on behalf of the owner.

1.2 Animals travelling without their owner and the five day rule

This section concerns the movements of pet animals, which are not meant to be sold or their ownership is not meant to be transferred. It is not always possible for an animal to be constantly in the near vicinity of its owner or an authorised person during movement. The movement of the animal is not considered commercial if it happens a maximum of five days before or after the movement of the owner or if it happens physically in a different place than where the owner is. This has to be proved with documents for example flight ticket stubs or a consignment note and the reasons have to be justified.

1.3 Maximum number of animals

The owner or an authorised person, are allowed to travel with a maximum of five dogs, cats or ferrets. Otherwise the transport is considered as commercial movement. The maximum number can be greater than five if certain prerequisites are fulfilled. In this case the meaning of the trip has to be to attend a competition, show, sporting event or training related to these types of events. The owner has to provide evidence of the event and the animals have to be over six months old. An official veterinarian no longer has to issue a health certificate in the TRACES system for animal movements like this. Instead a health certificate in the TRACES system has to be issued for commercial movements.

2. For the import/export or animals, the same requirements as for commercially imported pet animals are to be followed

This section concerns the movements of pet animals, which are meant to be sold or whose ownership is meant to be transferred. The pet animal must follow the same requirements as for commercially imported pet animals. 

2.1 Health certificate authenticated in the TRACES system

If the animal is travelling alone or is being sold ie. the animal’s ownership is transferred, the animal must be accompanied by a TRACES health certificate. A competent veterinarian of the country of origin performs a clinical examination on the animal no more than 48 hours before the dispatch and authenticates a health certificate for the animal in the TRACES system. The certificate is printed out on paper to accompany the animal. More information on the TRACES system.

2.2 Clinical examination

A competent veterinarian of the country of origin has performed a clinical examination no more than 48 hours before the dispatch of the animal to verify that the animal is in good health and capable of enduring the transport to the destination. An entry of the clinical examination is made in the pet passport. 

Other information

Exception during disaster/war

A Member State can allow the direct transfer of an animal that does not fulfil the requirements for reasons including for example sudden natural disaster, political unrest or other compelling reasons regarding the owner. This requires the owner to have applied for permission in advance and the Member State to have granted it. After arrival the animal is placed under official controlled isolation until the animal fulfils all the requirements, six months at the most. An animal travelling through another Member State requires that the Member State in question has given permission to the country of destination.

Spot checks at the border

The competent authority of the Member State has to perform document and identification checks on borders between Member States. The owner has to present the required documents and animal upon request.

Page last updated 4/30/2020