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Steps to Exporting a Pet to the European Union

STEP 1: Identification with microchip
  • Dogs, cats, and ferrets must be individually identified by microchip.
  • Your pet should be implanted with an ISO compliant (11784 and 11785) microchip. ISO compliant microchips are 15 digits long.

If your pet does not have an ISO compliant microchip, you will need to:

    • Travel with a microchip reader that can read your pet’s microchip OR contact the EU Veterinary Officials at the intended port of arrival to verify that they have a reader capable of reading your pet’s microchip.
      OR
    • If a non-ISO compatible microchip was previously implanted and can still be read, then the USDA Accredited Veterinarian can implant an ISO-compatible microchip in addition to the non-ISO one your pet currently has. The number and implant dates of both microchips must be documented on the EU Health Certificate

 STEP 2: Rabies vaccination

  • Must occur AFTER microchip implantation. The rabies vaccination may be administered the same day as the microchip implantation but any rabies vaccination before a microchip is implanted is invalid.
    • If your pet had a non-ISO compatible chip implanted at the same time as or before your pet’s most recent vaccination, your pet will not have to be re-vaccinated even if it had to be re-microchipped with an ISO compliant chip to travel to the EU.
    • Remember, the number and implantation dates of both microchips must be documented on the EU Health Certificate and at least one of these microchips must have been implanted before your pet’s most recent rabies vaccine.
  • Vaccinations valid for 1, 2 or 3 years are acceptable as long as the vaccination is current and has been administered according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
    • Vaccination must not expire before entering the European Union.
  • Pets less than 12 weeks old that have not been vaccinated for rabies as well as pets 12-16 weeks old who will have been rabies vaccinated for less than 21 days at the time they arrive in the EU are allowed entry into some EU Member States.
    • Learn more about sending pets under 16 weeks of age to the EU.

STEP 3: 21-day waiting period (after primary vaccination)

  • After a primary rabies vaccination, the pet must wait 21 days before it is eligible to enter the EU.
    • Applies only to pets over 16 weeks of age that have just received a primary rabies vaccination
  • Primary vaccination – A rabies vaccination is considered a primary vaccination when:
    • It is the first vaccination given at the same time or after microchip implantation.
      OR
    • It  is given after the previous rabies vaccination expired

STEP 4: Have an Accredited Veterinarian issue (complete and sign) the EU Health Certificate

5 or less dogs, cats, and ferrets traveling

  • Owner traveling on the same plane as the pet OR owner travels within 5 days before or after the pet
    • Certificate must be issued within 10 days of entering the EU
  • Designated person* traveling on the same plane as the pet OR designated person* travels within 5 days before or after the pet
    • Certificate must be issued within 10 days of entering the EU
  • Neither the owner nor a designated person* is traveling within 5 days of the pet
    • Certificate must be issued within 48 hours of departing the U.S.

*Designated person: a family member, friend, or other person authorized by the owner to travel with pet

6 or more dogs, cats and ferrets traveling

  • Privately owned pets
    • Certificate must be issued within 48 hours of departing the U.S.
  • Pets traveling in a group to the EU to participate in competitions, exhibitions, sporting events, or in training for those events
    • Certificate must be issued within 10 days of entering the EU

STEP 5: Have APHIS endorse (sign and seal) the EU Health Certificate

  • After your veterinarian has issued the EU Health Certificate, have your completed paperwork endorsed by your local APHIS Veterinary Services office.
  • Your local APHIS Veterinary Services office will be able to provide specific information about the process and fees associated with endorsement of the EU Health Certificate.
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