Veterinary border inspection of live animals

Importer of animals - please read the instructions on this page carefully! Please note that this content does not apply to pets travelling together with their owner.

A veterinary border inspection needs to be carried out for live animals in the first EU country that the animal enters. Animals can be imported only via permitted points of entry in the EU, that is, locations that have a veterinary border control post. In Finland there are two - Helsinki-Vantaa airport and Vaalimaa border crossing point.

The importer has to confirm the practical details of border inspection and import requirements from the border control post in question. The import requirements are mainly identical in the EU countries, but each of the member countries have their own practices.

Please note that there is no on-call/out of hours service on the border control posts in Finland. The border inspection needs to be booked in advance.

Contact details of border control posts in Finland

Veterinary border inspection in practice

By clicking the arrow on the right you will be able to see, what you need to find out and arrange before the border inspection, and how the inspection itself is carried out. Below on this page you can read more detailed information.

  1. Confirm the import requirements (general + species specific) that apply the animal in question well in advance before importing.
  2. Arrange the border inspection (Helsinki-Vantaa airport or Vaalimaa border crossing point) by contacting the border veterinarian by email. Contact details for the border inspection posts/border veterinarians
  3. If the animal arrives through Helsinki-Vantaa airport, arrange the transfer of the animal to the border control post (more information below).
  4. Scan the documents of the animal (incl. health certificate) and send them to the border veterinarian by email so that they can be pre-checked before the animal's departure.
  5. Make a pre-notification for the border inspection in the TRACES system (see more information below) on the previous working day the latest.
  6. The border veterinarian checks the animal and its documents and makes the decision in the TRACES system.
  7. The border veterinarian archives the original health certificate in the border control post and declares a CHED-A decision (Common Health Entry Document for Animals) on accepting the animal to the EU.
  8. After the inspection, you must declare the animal at Customs. Present the CHED-A document at the Customs and pay.
  9. The animal can be picked up after the Customs clearance.
  10. The fee (see the price list, only in Finnish/Swedish) for the border inspection will be billed afterwards.

If the animal does not fulfill the requirements for import into the EU, the border veterinarian rejects it. In this case the Customs will not clear the animal and the animal has to be returned to the country of origin or put down.

The border veterinarian checks the following:

  1. Document and identity check
    • The border veterinarian checks that the animals matches the documents
  2. Condition of the animal
  3. The border veterinarian can obtain samples for authority control laboratory tests without pre-notification

Pre-notification (TRACES)

Pre-notification for the border inspection needs to be done in the TRACES system at least one working day before the import.

As a private person you can make an inquiry for the border veterinarian to make the notification on your behalf (cost 50 euros). The inquiry has to be made on the previous working day before the import the latest (minimum of 24 hours before). A scan of the issued EU model health certificate is needed to fill out the pre-notification.

If the pre-notification is not done before the border inspection, the cost of the border inspection will be doubled. This is billed afterwards.

Pre-checking of the documents

It is highly recommended that you scan the health certificate (+ other required documents) and send them to the border veterinarian ( already before the departure of the animal, on the previous working day the latest (in minimum 24 hours before). The importer is responsible for ensuring that any required corrections are made by an authority veterinarian in the country of departure before sending out the animal. The importer is also responsible for all possible expenses if the animal does not fulfill the requirements.

Fees and inspection times

The fee for the border inspection of dogs, cats and ferrets is 153 euros per animal (Mon–Fri 08–16:15). For other animals please inquire the fee from the border veterinarian.

The fee will be increased by 50% outside during evening hours (16:15–22) and by 100% during night-time (22–08), weekends and on national holidays.

Advice for practicalities

By clicking the arrow on the right you will be able see advice for practicatilies on each border inspection post.

Before importing the animal

  • Notify the border veterinarian well in advance about the upcoming border inspection. It is advisable to do this when booking the air transport. Try to book a transport that arrives on a weekday before 3 PM so that the inspection can be conducted during office hours. Agree on the timing of the border inspection with the border veterinarian.
  • Find out from the airline which cargo terminal the plane will be unloaded at (Finnair, Swissport, or ASR). Request in advance from the airline the transfer of the animal to the border inspection station at the agreed time with the border veterinarian. The border inspection station is located at Finnair's cargo terminal.

Finnair Cargo Terminal (COOL Cargo)
Turbiinikuja 4, 01530 Vantaa

Swissport Cargo Terminal
Rahtikuja 1, 01530 Vantaa

ASR Cargo Terminal
Rahtitie 1, 01530 Vantaa

On the day of import

  • Arrive on time. If the animal is brought through Swissport or ASR, retrieve the animal's documents from the customer service of the cargo terminal. The documents of animals arriving at Finnair's cargo terminal are automatically brought to the border inspection station.
  • When you arrive, obtain a visitor card from the guard at TP2 (checkpoint 2) of Finnair's cargo terminal gate. NOTE: You will need your own passport for this.
  • The border veterinarian will pick you up at the agreed time from the customer service of Finnair's cargo terminal.
  • The border veterinarian will conduct a veterinary border inspection for the animal and its documents.

After the border inspection

  • The animal must be customs cleared after the border inspection. Customs clearances for cash customers are handled on weekdays during office hours at the Customs Cargo Customer Service Point located at Rahtitie 1 A. Outside of office hours, customs clearance is handled at the passenger terminal service point (open 24/7), so it is advisable to notify your arrival in advance. See the contact information on the Customs website.
  • After customs clearance, the animal will be handed over through the customer service of the cargo terminal.
  • The Border Guard is responsible for people crossing the border, so please ensure that the driver has clearance from the Border Guard.
  • Please check with Customs for current requirements regarding, for example, transportation vehicles.
Page last updated 8/7/2023