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.
These requirements concern only pets who accompany their owner or person responsible for them on behalf of the owner and who are not intended to be sold or transferred to another owner.
If the animal travels alone or an owner is travelling with more than five animals, please also see page More information about travelling, animals travelling without their owner, maximum number of animals.
The animal must be identified by a microchip or clearly readable tattoo. The microchip has to comply with the ISO 11784 standard and it has to utilize HDX or FDX-B technology. The microchip can be read with a microchip reader complying with the ISO 11785 standard. If the microchip does not comply with the standard requirements, the owner has to provide a microchip reader capable of reading the microchip. As of 3 July 2011 only a microchip will be approved as identification. Tattooing is accepted as a method of identification if it is done before 3 July 2011. As of 3 July 2011 the animal, which bears a clearly readable tattoo, has to be accompanied by proof that the tattooing was done before 3 July 2011. The animal must be identified before the rabies vaccination.
2. Vaccination against rabies
Starting from 29th December 2014, puppies and kittens under the age of 12 weeks are not to be vaccinated. This only applies to puppies and kittens of the following species: dogs, cats and ferrets. The puppy or kitten must be at least 12 weeks old on the day of the primary vaccination against rabies. If for one reason or another the animal has been vaccinated against rabies once as a puppy or kitten under the age of 12 weeks, the animal must be vaccinated again before travelling. In that case after the vaccination a statutory 21 day waiting period must also be fulfilled before travelling. This rule applies regardless of if the animal has been born and vaccinated in Finland or in another country.
The animal must be vaccinated against rabies with an inactivated vaccine of at least one antigenic unit per dose (WHO standard). The rabies vaccination and revaccination, if necessary, must be carried out in accordance with the recommendations of the manufacturing laboratory. The animal must be identified before the rabies vaccination. The vaccination must be carried out at least 21 days before transfer. The booster vaccination has no 21-day waiting period, if the vaccination was administered within the period of validity of the previous vaccination. If a vaccine has a divergent beginning of protective immunity the period of validity of the vaccination starts from the establishment of protective immunity, which shall not be less than 21 days from the completion of the vaccination protocol required by the manufacturer for the primary vaccination.
The previous vaccination has to be marked in the pet passport or in a vaccination certificate. The veterinarian marks the vaccination’s last day of validity in the pet passport.
3. Echinococcus treatment
The anti-echinococcus treatment is only required of dogs. Cats or ferrets do not need to be medicated. Also puppies under the age of three months as well as dogs travelling to Finland from e.g. Sweden have to be treated before they enter Finland. A veterinarian in a country outside of Finland has to mark the medication administered in the pet passport.
The treatment is an appropriate dosage of medicine containing praziquantel or epsiprantel against tapeworm causing echinococcosis approved for the species concerned. As a rule, treatment is to be administered abroad 1 – 5 days prior to entering Finland. This means the medication can no longer be administered at the border just before crossing. The previous legislation in which pets did not need to be treated if returning to Finland from abroad within 24 hours has been abolished.
Alternatively, the 28-day rule can be applied, if the dog comes from an EU-country or country comparable to an EU-country in which the pet's passport system is in place. The pet has to be treated at least twice before travelling at a maximum interval of 28 days in an EU-country or country comparable to an EU-country and after that regularly at maximum intervals of 28 days for as long as the pet keeps travelling to and from Finland. The last treatment has to be administered in Finland after the travelling has ended. If the 28-day interval is exceeded, the treatment series has to be started over.
The passport of a pet that follows the 28-day programme shall indicate this on the echinococcus treatment page in Finnish or Swedish as well as in English. The markings of the 28-day programme have been made in the pet passport starting from the beginning of 2012. If the passport pages are filled up, the dog is issued a new passport. Both the old and the new passport should be carried when travelling with the dog.
No anti-echinococcus treatment is required of dogs travelling to Finland directly from the United Kingdom, Norway, Ireland or Malta.
4. Pet passport
The animal must be accompanied by a pet passport carrying the identification information on the animal and an entry by the veterinarian concerning a valid rabies vaccination, clinical examination and echinococcus treatment when necessary (parts I-V, X and VII when necessary).
There are two different types of pet passports depending on if the pet passport has been issued in an EU-country or in a country outside the EU, from which movements of dogs, cats and ferrets into the EU are allowed with a so called third country pet passport.
- The EU pet passport has a uniform appearance in all EU-countries. The EU pet passport can be obtained from a veterinarian. No other vaccination card can replace the new pet passport. The model for the EU pet passport can be found in the Commission implementing regulation (EU) no. 577/2013 annex III, part 1.
- Pets arriving from Andorra, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican require a third country pet passport. The model for the pet passport can be found in the implementing regulation 577/2013 part 3 of annex III. The pet passports of other third countries are not acceptable identification documents.
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 e.g. flight ticket stubs or a consignment note and the reasons have to be justified.