Trade of dogs, cats and ferrets between EU-countries

These requirements concern pet animals, which are transported in commercial purposes for example by cargo or they are meant to be sold or transferred to a new owner after importation.

These requirements also concern the trade of dogs, cats and ferrets from Norway and Switzerland to Finland.

Import requirements for dog and ferret puppies and kittens from EU-countries. (non-commercial movement)
Import requirements for dog and ferret puppies and kittens from Switzerland. (non-commercial movement)
Import requirements for dog and ferret puppies and kittens from Norway. (non-commercial movement)


1. Identification

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

An animal younger than 12 weeks old cannot be vaccinated. The animal must be at least 12 weeks old on the day of the vaccination.

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. 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. A veterinarian in a country outside of Finland has to mark the medication administered in the pet passport.

The anti-echinococcus treatment is required when travelling to Finland, Norway, Malta and Ireland. No anti-echinococcus treatment is required of dogs travelling directly between Finland, Norway, Ireland and Malta.

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. 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).

The pet passport can be obtained from a veterinarian. The pet passport has a uniform appearance in all EU-countries and no other vaccination card can replace the pet passport.

6. Health certificate in the TRACES-system

An official veterinarian in the country of origin examines the animal before dispatch. Based on the examination, the official veterinarian authenticates a health certificate in the electronic TRACES system. The health certificate is also printed out on paper to accompany the animal.

For animals moved from Finland to other countries in commercial purposes, the official veterinarian who examines the animal and authenticates the health certificate in the TRACES system is a municipal veterinarian (kunnaneläinlääkäri). Finland’s municipal veterinarians’ contact information can be found on this website on the right side of the page under “Kunnaneläinlääkäreiden yhteystiedot kunnittain”.

7. The import control of consignments arriving in Finland

The importer must check the animals, their identification markings and import documents immediately after they have arrived in Finland at the place of destination. If the person performing the check notices that the import documents or identification markings are not in compliance with the requirements for the movement or they are insufficient or if it is suspected that the animal might spread a contagious disease, all animals must immediately be isolated at the place of destination and the local municipal veterinarian must be informed instantly.

The importer cannot transfer the animals to another recipient until the animals and their import documents have been confirmed to have fulfilled all necessary requirements.

The official veterinarian can perform spot checks and take samples at the place of destination. The official veterinarian has the right to check the animals and documents also during transportation.

8. Record-keeping obligations

Operators in intra-Union trade must keep records of at least the following pieces of information:

  1. the species, categories, number and identification of kept terrestrial animals on their establishment;
  2. movements of kept terrestrial animals into and out of their establishment, stating as appropriate:
    1. their place of origin or destination;
    2. the date of such movements;
  3. the documents required to accompany kept terrestrial animals arriving at or leaving their establishment
  4. mortality of kept terrestrial animals on their establishment;
  5. biosecurity measures, surveillance, treatments, test results and other relevant information as appropriate for:
    1. the species and categories of kept terrestrial animals in the establishment;
    2. the type of production;
    3. the type and size of the establishment;
  6. the results of any animal health visits required.

The records shall be kept and maintained in paper or electronic form.

Operators of establishments shall keep records at their establishment for at least 3 years after the movement.

Page last updated 11/11/2022