Travelling with pets within the EU

Do you want to enjoy the holidays and take advantage of the fact, that the borders are opening up? Or maybe you want to move to Poland with your family? Don’t forget about your pets –  remember that they need special documents when travelling with you. Check how to prepare before travelling with your pet within the EU countries.

EU rules make it easy to travel to another EU country (in this case the 27 EU countries + Norway and Northern Ireland) with your dog, cat or ferret. These rules also cover travel to the EU from a country or territory outside the EU.

The general rules that you need to obey when travelling with your pet are as follows:

  • you can travel with a dog, cat or a ferret
  • the pet is older than 12 weeks
  • you can travel with up to 5 pets at once
  • the owner needs to travel with the pet
  • the pet has been microchipped (in line with the technical requirements of Annex II of the EU Regulation on the movement of pets) or has a clearly readable tattoo if applied before 3 July 2011
  • the pet has been vaccinated against rabies
  • the pet had treatment against the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis when travelling to a destination free from it (Finland, Ireland, Malta, Norway and Northern Ireland)
  • the pet has a valid European pet passport when travelling from an EU country or Northern Ireland to another EU country or Northern Ireland or an EU animal health certificate when travelling from a non-EU country

What is a European pet passport?

A European pet passport is a document, which follows an EU standard model and is essential for travel between EU countries. It contains a description and details of your pet, including its microchip or tattoo code as well as its rabies vaccination record and contact details of the owner and the vet who issued the passport. You can get a European pet passport for your dog, cat or ferret from any authorised vet (permitted by the relevant authorities to issue pet passports).

A pet passport is valid for life as long as your pets rabies vaccination is in date.

If you are travelling to an EU country or Northern Ireland from Andorra, Switzerland, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Vatican City State, your pet can also enter the EU with a pet passport issued in one of these countries or territories.

EU animal health certificate

An EU animal health certificate is another type of document, which contains specific information about your pet (identity, health, rabies vaccinations) and is based on an EU standard model.

If you are travelling from a non-EU country or territory, your pet must have an EU animal health certificate issued by an official State vet in the country of departure not more than 10 days before your pet arrives in the EU.

The certificate is valid for travel between EU countries for 4 months from this date or until the anti-rabies vaccination expires, whichever lapses first.

In addition, you should also complete and attach a written declaration to your pet’s EU animal health certificate stating that its relocation is for non-commercial reasons. This declaration is also required if your pet is travelling under the responsibility of a person authorised by you. In this case, your pet must be reunited with you within 5 days of your relocation.

Please note that From 1 January 2021, EU pet passports issued to a pet owner resident in Great Britain are no longer valid for travel with pets from Great Britain to an EU country or Northern Ireland.

Pets travelling without their owner

As a rule, pets must travel with their owners. However, you may give written permission to another person to accompany your pet for you and attach a declaration stating that its relocation is for non-commercial reasons. You must however be reunited with your pet within 5 days of its relocation.

If your pet is travelling unaccompanied, it will have to comply with animal health rules which apply to the import into the EU or trade within the EU of dogs, cats or ferrets.

Travelling with more than five pets

You can travel with up to five pets, but if there are more than five pets (dogs, cats or ferrets) you must provide proof that:

  • they are participating in a competition, exhibition or sporting event (by providing for example a registration document), and
  • they are more than 6 months old;

If you are travelling with more than 5 pets (dog, cats, or ferrets) and you do not meet any of the exceptions mentioned above, your pets have to comply with animal health rules which apply to the import into the EU or trade within the EU of dogs, cats or ferrets.

Travelling with other pets

European pet passports are issued for dogs, cats and ferrets only. If you are travelling to another EU country with any other pets, such as birds, ornamental aquatic animals, reptiles, rodents or rabbits, check the national rules of the country you are planning to visit for information on the entry conditions.

If you’re travelling with these kinds of animals to Poland:

  • the pet needs to be marked or/and have a document issued by a veterinarian containing the following:
  • the characteristics of the mark or description of the pet animal;
  • the species and, when applicable, the breed, date of birth as stated by the owner, sex and colour of the pet animal;
  • name and surname, contact details, a signature of the owner;
  • name and surname, contact details and a signature of the authorized veterinarian who issues or completes the identification document;
  • information on the application of any preventive health measures for diseases or infections other than rabies;
  • other pertinent information regarding the pet’s health status.
Posted in