Import of dogs, cats and ferrets

This page deals with IMPORTING dogs, cats or ferrets. Such situations include:

  • The animal travels alone, and the owner does not travel at all (e.g., animals ordered online).
  • The animals are intended for further delivery/sale within the EU.
  • The number of individual animals of different species exceeds 5.
  • There is a gap of more than 5 days between the travel of the animal and its owner.

In these situations, a border veterinarian inspection is required.

If you are traveling with your own pet, please proceed to the MOVEMENT page.

Import conditions

Import is allowed only from specific countries. If the country of origin is not listed in annex VIII in regulation 2021/404, import is not permitted.

Animals can be imported to Finland from outside the EU only through Helsinki Airport or Vaalimaa land border crossing point.

NOTE! Check the box at the bottom of the page if the animal arrives through Helsinki Airport.

1. Identification

The animal must have identification (microchip or a clearly readable tattoo issued before July 3, 2011) before administering the rabies vaccination.

Technical Requirements for Microchips

Microchips must

    • conform to the ISO 11784 standard and use HDX or FDX-B technology; and
    • be readable with a reader applying the ISO 11785 standard

2. Rabies vaccination

Post-vaccination procedures for rabies vary, so check whether a rabies antibody test is required for animals coming from the country of origin!

  • Rabies vaccination can be given earliest at 12 weeks of age
  • After the rabies vaccination


    • A waiting period of 21 days if there is no indication of a rabies antibody titration test for the country of origin on this list
    • The validity of the vaccination starts no earlier than 21 days from the first vaccination
    • All subsequent vaccinations must be given during the validity of the previous vaccination, or else the vaccination program must be restarted
    • In this case, the animal must be at least 15 weeks old when entering the EU


    • Rabies antibody test 30 days after vaccination if there is an indication of "Rabies antibody titration test" in the country of departure on annex VIII in regulation 2021/404
    • The antibody sample must be analyzed in an EU-approved laboratory (EU Commission)
    • The test result must be 0.5 IU/ml or higher
    • After the sample is taken, a waiting period of 3 months in the country of departure (calculated from the sampling date) applies
    • The validity of the rabies antibody test corresponds to the validity of the rabies vaccination
    • In this case, the animal must be at least 7 months old when entering the EU

3. Anti-echinococcus treatment (for dogs only)

Echinococcosis treatment (against Echinococcus multilocularis) is to be administered at least 1 and at most 2 days (48-24 h) before the dog's arrival in Finland (NOTE: The time is calculated from crossing the border, not the departure time). Any veterinarian can administer the medication, and it is recorded on the EU model health certificate (see below).

4. EU model health certificate (including clinical examination)

The pet must have an EU-model health certificate for import (model CANIS-FELIS-FERRETS) issued by an official veterinarian in the country of origin, see the certificate template in the link bar. The certificate includes a clinical examination performed by the official veterinarian within 48 hours before departure. The health certificate can be issued when all associated measures have been completed.

The health certificate is valid for 10 days from the date of issuance. The certificate must be original and accompany the animal throughout the journey.

We strongly recommend scanning the health certificate and other documents to well in advance before the animal departs, to ensure the correct certificate model and compliance with import requirements.

5. Other conditions

  • Requirements for the animal's place of departure:
    • No restrictions due to rabies situation should apply to the place of departure
    • The place of departure must have an address
  • Check the general import conditions
  • Check additional requirements for cats and dogs coming from Australia and Malaysia
  • Documents to be carried with the animal:
    • Original vaccination and identification documents or their certified copies
    • Possible rabies antibody test certificate as an original or certified copy (see above, whether needed for the country of origin)
    • EU-model health certificate issued by an official veterinarian (see above)

Border crossing and veterinary border inspection

The animal must undergo a veterinary border inspection in the first EU member state it arrives in.

Carefully read the instructions on preparing for the border inspection and the process of the inspection on this page. The page also provides information on related fees and gives specific instructions regarding import pets collected from Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.

Veterinary border inspection posts in Europe (EU Commission)

Note this!

Animals imported by air, whose owner does not travel, can only arrive as cargo. The Helsinki-Vantaa border control post is not located in the passenger terminal but further away in the cargo terminal. In practice, it is not possible to inspect the imported animal according to the legislative requirements at the border control post if the animal arrives at the passenger terminal.

In some cases, it has been observed that pet escort services attempt to bypass the veterinary border inspection when the escorts transport animals as their own pets with the intention of subsequently handing them over without the required veterinary border inspection. Such activity is illegal. If the animal is brought with an escort to a new owner, its entry into the EU may be refused (rejection). In this case, the animal can either be returned to the country of departure or euthanized.1)

1)(EU) 2017/625, Article 66

Page last updated 8/30/2023