Non-commercial movement

Movement of a pet (dog, cat, ferret) refers to the situation when an animal's journey is associated with its owner's travel and it is not transferred to another person within the EU territory. The number of individual animals of different species is smaller than five (5).

Examples of such situations include:

  • Owner's relocation/travel from outside the EU to the EU territory with the animal
    • at the same time
    • within five (5) days (same departure and destination country).
  • Acquiring a new pet from outside the EU

In these situations, the pet and its documents are checked by Finnish Customs (TULLI) in Finland, and no inspection by a border veterinarian is required (more information below).

If you are not traveling with your pet or the pet's movement does not fit the situations mentioned above, please proceed to the IMPORT page.

Conditions for non-commercial movement

1. Identification

The animal must have a valid identification (microchip or a clearly readable tattoo given before 3rd July 2011) before receiving the rabies vaccination.

Technical requirements for microchips

    • Microchips must comply with ISO 11784 standard and use HDX or FDX-B technology.
    • They must be readable with a reader according to 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:


    • Waiting period of minimum 21 days if the country of departure is listed in the country list (EU Commission)
    • 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


    • If the country of departure is NOT listed in the country list (EU Commission), a rabies antibody test must be taken 30 days after vaccination
    • The sample must be analyzed in an EU-approved laboratory (EU Commission, eng)
    • The test result must be 0.5 IU/ml or higher
    • After the sample is taken, a waiting period of minimum 3 months in the country of departure (counted 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 5 days (120-24 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 treatment, and it is recorded on the EU model health certificate (see below).

4. EU model health certificate issued by an official veterinarian

The pet must have an EU model health certificate for non-commercial movement issued by an official veterinarian in the country of origin (see the certificate template in the link bar). 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.

In some cases, the health certificate can be replaced with an EU pet passport. See more detailed conditions at the bottom of the page.

5. Owner's declaration and possible authorization

The owner must provide a declaration of non-commercial movement (declaration), see the document template in the link bar.

If the pet travels within 5 days of the owner's travel (same departure country and destination country as the pet's), the owner can authorize another person to accompany the pet on their behalf. The authorization must be given in writing (informal or using the document template in the link bar). In such a case, the owner must prove their own travel at the border crossing check, for example, by presenting flight tickets or boarding passes.

Other requirements

  • Check additional requirements for cats and dogs coming from Australia and Malaysia
  • Check the current information page
  • Documents to be carried with the animal:
    • Original vaccination and identification documents or their certified copies (for example vaccination booklet)
    • Possible rabies antibody test certificate, original or certified copy (see above, whether needed for the country of origin)
    • EU-model health certificate issued by an official veterinarian (see above)
    • Owner's declaration and possible authorization (see above)

Border crossing and Customs inspection

When entering the EU territory, the pet and its documents must be presented for inspection to the competent authority of this EU country, and in Finland, Customs conducts the inspections. Go to the red line at Customs and present the animal and its entry documents to the officer. No appointment is needed.

Pets must be brought through a permitted border crossing point. Permitted border crossing points in other EU countries can be found here (EU Commission, eng).

Permitted border crossing points in Finland:

  • Travel by air: Helsinki-Vantaa Airport
  • Travel by land or rail: Imatra, Kuusamo, Niirala, Nuijamaa, Raja-Jooseppi, Salla, Vaalimaa, Vainikkala, Vartius
  • Travel by sea: Hamina, Hanko, Helsinki, Inkoo, Kotka, Loviisa, Maarianhamina, Turku

EU pet passport

If you travel with your pet from Finland to a country outside the EU and back, an EU pet passport has to be obtained for the animal before the trip. The EU pet passport will replace a health certificate on your return. Make sure that all measures to be taken concerning rabies for the return (vaccination, potentially rabies antibody titration test) have been carried out before going on the trip! Remember to have dogs medicated against echinococcosis before the return. This can be done and entered in the passport by any veterinarian. NOTE! This does not apply to what is known as 28 day rule!

More information on the EU pet passport

Page last updated 8/1/2023