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.

1. For the import of animals, the same requirements as for pets which accompany their owner or an authorised person are to be followed

If the pet travels without an owner or an authorised person, the same requirements as for non-commercial trade concerning pets which accompany their owner or an authorised person are to be followed.

2. 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.

3. Animals travelling without their owner and the five day rule

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.

4. 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. 

5. 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.


If the animal is travelling alone or is being sold, you should find out from the country of destination if a TRACES-certificate is required. More information about TRACES on our website.

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.