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Pet travel from the U.S. to Germany

Pet travel from the U.S. to Germany

HEALTH CERTIFICATE ISSUANCE AND SUBMISSION

USDA Accredited Veterinarian Signature Original Ink
APHIS Veterinary Medical Officer Signature Original Ink

Details: Health certificates require original ink signatures from the issuing USDA Accredited Veterinarian and the endorsing APHIS Veterinary Medical Officer with the application of the APHIS embossed seal. Submissions through the online Veterinary Export Health Certification System (VEHCS) cannot be accepted at this time.

View a list of European Union countries. 

Do you have an EU Pet Passport?

  • YES —  I have and EU Pet Passport   You do not need to meet the following requirements because of your EU Pet Passport.   View more information about EU Pet Passports,   
  • NO  I do NOT have an EU Pet Passport  Follow the requirements listed in steps 1-5 below.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

The "non-commercial" health certificate is:

  • For 5 or less pets traveling to the EU within 5 days of the owner. It is also for 6 or more privately owned pets that are more than 6 months old and traveling in a group to the EU to participate in competitions, exhibitions, sporting events, or in training for events.
  • Valid for 10 days after the USDA Accredited Veterinarian issues (completes and signs) it. The health certificate must be issued by the USDA Accredited Veterinarian and endorsed (counter-signed and embossed/stamped) by APHIS within 10 days prior to entering the EU.
    • APHIS endorsement is not required if the health certificate is issued by a military veterinarian*.
  • The final page of the EU Health Certificate contains a Declaration which must be completed and signed by the owner or designated person** before submitting the EU Health Certificate for APHIS endorsement.
  • ALERT: This health certificate is NOT for pets traveling to the EU more than 5 days before or after the owner, or changing ownership or are intended for resale in the EU. This type of movement falls under the “commercial” health certificate below.

The "commercial" health certificate is:

  • For 6 or more privately owned pets traveling at the same time (even if their owner is traveling to the EU at the same time or within 5 days before or after the pet), or for pets (any number) who are traveling more than 5 days before or after the owner.
  • For pet animals changing ownership or intended for resale when arriving in the EU.
  • Valid for 48 hours after the USDA Accredited Veterinarian issues (completes and signs) it. The health certificate must be issued by the USDA Accredited Veterinarian and endorsed (counter-signed and embossed/stamped) by APHIS within 48 hours of departing the U.S.
    • APHIS endorsement is not required if the health certificate is issued by a military veterinarian*.

*A Military Veterinarian is defined as a Veterinary Corps Officer or civilian GS-0701 series government veterinarian employed by the U.S. Army Veterinary Service working at military treatment facilities. It does not apply to Army Veterinary Service non-appropriated fund or Department of Defense civilian contract veterinarians.

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

  • 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.
  • Endorsement Fees

Please note: The EU health certificate is valid for travel within the EU for up to 4 months from the date it is issued by the USDA Accredited Veterinarian as long as the rabies vaccine documented on it does not expire. After entering the EU, dogs subsequently traveling to the United Kingdom, Ireland, Finland, Malta, or Norway will need to be treated for tapeworms by an EU veterinarian within 1-5 days before entering those countries. The EU veterinarian will add the tapeworm treatment information to the EU health certificate issued in the United States. It is your responsibility to ensure your pet meets the import requirements of each country you visit.

Some European Union (EU) member states (countries) require bilingual health certificates for pet birds. Please check with EU Officials at the port of entry to obtain a bilingual version of the below posted health certificate, if required.

Please make sure you read all requirements for taking your bird(s) to the European Union (EU). 

  • Pet bird(s) must have an identification number such as a clip, leg band, microchip (transponder), or tag.
  • Your pet bird may have to undergo isolation and/or testing for Avian Influenza before it can travel to the European Union (EU).
  • Please note that statements #3 and #4.3 in the health certificate contain an “either/ or” component. The option you choose in statement #3 should match the option you pick in statement #4.3. Only one (1) option under each statement section should be chosen. . (The Accredited Veterinarian issuing the health certificate must line-out and initial the statements that do not apply).

This means the USDA Accredited Veterinarian you are working with has agreed to supervise your bird’s 30 day quarantine in your home.

This means your pet bird must be isolated (kept away) from other birds for at least 10 days prior to leaving the U.S. and tested for Avian Influenza H5 and H7 with either a RT-PCR or virus isolation test on both a cloacal and an oropharyngeal swab at least 3 days after the 10 day isolation starts.

This means that you have made arrangements for your pet bird to be quarantined in an approved facility in the EU once your pet bird arrives in the EU. This option is not available in all EU countries.

Once the conditions of the EU Health Certificate have been met, your pet bird must be examined and an EU Health Certificate must be issued by an Accredited Veterinarian within (48) hours of travel or the last working day prior to the date of departure to the EU.

Call ahead to your local USDA APHIS Service Center to make arrangements for the APHIS veterinarian to sign (endorse) the certificate after it is issued.

International Health Certificate

Do you plan to bring your birds back to the US after your visit to the EU? 

View requirements for pet birds returning to the U.S.

For pet travel requirements not listed, APHIS has not been officially informed by the foreign country about the requirements for your pet’s travel. We recommended that you contact a government official of the country you are traveling to for more information.

Country of destination contact information:  


Considerations for airline travel:

Airlines may have separate and additional requirements. Check with your airline to determine what requirements they may have, if any. 

Additional information about APHIS’ role in international health certificate endorsement.

View requirements for returning to the US with your pet



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