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Country: European Union

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Importing country requirements

It is the exporter's responsibility to ensure that the animal meets the European Union (EU) import requirements.

Information about the process required to import animals into European Union can be found on the EU website.

The importation of dogs, cats and ferrets into the EU is strictly regulated under EU legislation and enforced by the Department through Departmental officers in the regional office from where the animals are to be exported.

The EU allows the importation of dogs, cats and ferrets under two separate classifications being non-commercial movements and imports (also known as commercial movements).

As set out in detail below the list of template certificates, both classifications have separate:

  • import health conditions
  • health certification
  • declarations
  • transit/ transhipment permissions en route to the EU.

It is the responsibility of the exporter to use the appropriate EU health certificate, and ensure that this and any accompanying declarations are in English and the appropriate language of the EU member state of the border inspection post (BIP) / border control post (BCP) where the animals will enter the EU.

Health requirements

All dogs, cats and ferrets exported to the EU as a Non-commercial movement can only travel under the health certificates found below in a bilingual format, language by language.

Certificates for Non-commercial movements to the EU – effective 31 October 2019

All dogs, cats and ferrets exported to the EU as a commercial movement can only travel under the certificates found below in a bilingual format, language by language.

Given the complexity of the new commercial certificates, a guidance document (PDF 206 KB) is available.

Australian departmental officers will only endorse health certification for dogs, cats and ferrets destined to the EU if it is written in English and, where required, an official language of the EU Member State of the BIP where the animals will enter the EU.

Australian departmental officers will not endorse health certification for dogs, cats and ferrets destined to the EU if only presented in a language other than English.

Member States of the EU and their ISO codes
Member StateISO CodeMember StateISO Code

Austria

AT

Italy

IT

Belgium

BE

Latvia

LV

Bulgaria

BG

Lithuania

LT

Croatia

HR

Luxembourg

LU

Cyprus

CY

Malta

MT

Czech Republic

CZ

Netherlands

NL

Denmark

DK

Poland

PL

Estonia

EE

Portugal

PT

Finland

FI

Romania

RO

France

FR

Slovakia

SK

Germany

DE

Slovenia

SI

Greece

GR

Spain

ES

Hungary

HU

Sweden

SE

Ireland

IE

To complete point I.7 of the appropriate EU health certificates you will need to name the exporting country and its ISO code.

Exporting country and their ISO code
Exporting countryISO code
AustraliaAU

The following countries or territories are not members of the EU but may use EU import health conditions and EU health certificates.

Countries and Territories in the region that are not EU Member States
Other countryISO codeOther country
ISO code
*Norway, Northern Ireland and Switzerland have advised that their requirements will be the same as those for the EU, although animals destined to Norway and Northern Ireland may require additional treatments. 

Exporters of dogs, cats and ferrets to Norway, Northern Ireland and Switzerland should refer to the websites of their competent authorities to ensure that they comply with the importing requirements of those countries: 

Norway: Norwegian Food Safety Authority.

Note
In addition to the standard EU requirements, Norway may also require treatment for Echinococcus multiocularis.

Northern Ireland: Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

Note
In addition to the standard EU requirements, Northern Ireland may also require treatment for Echinococcus multiocularis.

Switzerland: Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office.

Andorra

AD

Norway*

NO

Greenland

GL

Northern Ireland

XI

Iceland

IS

San Marino

SM

Liechtenstein

LI

Switzerland*

CH

Monaco

MC

Vatican

VA

Non-commercial movements

Regulation (EU) No 576/2013 of 12 June 2013

Definition

A non-commercial movement is an export to the EU in which the animal is neither intended for sale nor the transfer of ownership of the animal (dog, cat or ferret) AND the animal must accompany* its owner (or authorised person**) for the duration of the export to the EU.

The maximum number of animals that may be exported at one time by the owner (or authorised person**) as a non-commercial movement is five unless the export is for competition, an exhibition or a sporting event and the animals are registered for the event and the animals are more than six months old.

*An animal is considered to be accompanied if the non-commercial movement of the animal takes place up to five days later or earlier than the movement of the owner (or authorised person**).
**An authorised person has written authorisation from the owner to carry out the export on behalf of the owner.

Any animal (dog, cat or ferret) which does not comply with the above definition is considered to be an import (also known as a commercial movement).

Exporters of such animals must read information for Imports (also known as commercial movements).

Health certification and import health conditions

Non-commercial movements of animals (dogs, cats and ferrets) to the EU from Australia must be undertaken under the 'Model animal health certificate for the non-commercial movement into a Member State from a territory or third country in accordance with Article 5(1) and (2) of Regulation (EU) No 576/2013'.

The non-commercial health certificate includes the import health conditions which the exporter must comply with for the animal (dog, cat or ferret) to enter the EU as a non-commercial movement.

The import health conditions for dogs destined for Finland, Ireland and Malta also require the animals to be treated against Echinococcus multiocularis as outlined in the health certificate (Regulation (EU) 2018/878). The treatment must be administered by a veterinarian no more than 120 hours and no less than 24 hours before the time of the schedule entry into the EU.

The import health conditions for cats destined for all EU Member States require that during the 60 days prior to export the cat has not been resident on properties where Hendra disease has been confirmed (2006/146/EC). This clause does not appear in the EU health certificate and the Department will provide the additional certification upon the exporter providing a declaration confirming the cat's last 60 days of residency prior to export. If an exporter is concerned that their cat(s) may not be eligible for export due to this requirement then they should contact the Department.

The non-commercial certificate must be accompanied by appropriate original supporting documentation, or a certified copy of that documentation, including vaccination details and the result of any tests (where necessary). This documentation must bear the identification details of the animal(s) concerned.

Identification of the dog, cat or ferret

The animal(s) shall be identified by an electronic identification system (electronic microchip or transponder) or by a clearly readable tattoo applied before 3 July 2011, of which the alpha-numeric code corresponds to the one documented in the health certificate and any testing, treatment or other declarations associated with the export.

Note
Tattoos may not be accepted by certain EU member states such as Ireland or Malta – these countries may only admit animals with an electronic microchip.

If an exporter seeks to utilise an identification method other than an electronic microchip they should seek written confirmation from the authority of the importing EU member state that the proposed method is acceptable prior to preparing the animal for export.

Technical requirements for electronic microchips or transponders are set out in Annex II of EU 576/2013.

Transponders must:

  1. comply with ISO Standard 11784 and apply HDX or FDX-B technology; and
  2. be capable of being read by a reading device compatible with ISO standard 11785.

Rabies vaccination

The import health conditions require the animal(s) to be vaccinated against rabies with an 'anti-rabies vaccination' in accordance with Annex III of EU 576/2013.

The anti-rabies vaccination must meet the following conditions:

  1. be administered to the animal(s) by an authorised veterinarian after the animal(s) has been identified by a microchip/tattoo
  2. the animal(s) must be at least 12 weeks of age at the date on which the vaccine was administered. (NB: rabies vaccines available in Australia may not be registered for use in animals less than 3 months of age. Registered veterinarians administering vaccines should do so in accordance with the product's registration. See Notes for registered veterinarians below.)
  3. the period of vaccine validity does not start until 21 days from date of vaccine administration and continues until the end of the period of protective immunity prescribed by the vaccine manufacturer
  4. any subsequent revaccination is considered to be a primary vaccination unless it is carried out within the period of validity referenced above
  5. all details of the vaccination must be included where required on the non-commercial certificate.

Rabies antibody titration test

Depending on the proposed export route after departure from Australia, animals may be required to undergo a rabies antibody titration test as outlined in the non-commercial certificate.

If a rabies antibody titration test is required, it must meet the requirements of Annex IV of EU 576/2013:

  1. be undertaken on a sample collected at least 30 days after the date of 'anti-rabies vaccination' and documented by an authorised veterinarian where required on the non-commercial certificate and
  2. be undertaken not less than three months before the date of export or period of transit for which the test is required
  3. must measure a level of neutralising anti-body equal to or greater than 0.5 IU/ml using the method prescribed in Annex IV of EU 576/2013
  4. does not have to be renewed if the result is equal to or greater than 0.5 IU/ml as long as the animal is revaccinated within the period of rabies vaccine validity referenced above
  5. be performed in a laboratory authorised by the EU to do so.
Note
The Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness (formerly the Australian Animal Health Laboratory) is included on the list of rabies testing authorised laboratories.

Declarations

Any declaration (required or optional) provided alongside the required health certification must be written in English and where appropriate, an official language of the EU member State of the BIP where the animals will enter the EU.

Required declarations

The EU non-commercial certification must be accompanied by a declaration from the owner of the animals (or authorised person**) included in Part 3 of Annex IV of Commission Implementing Regulation 577/2013.

This declaration confirms that the animal is not being exported for sale or to change owners and will be accompanied* by the owner (or authorised person**).

The required declaration immediately follows the non-commercial health certificate in the template provided by the Department.

Optional declarations

Depending on the circumstances of the export and proposed route from Australia to the EU two further declarations may be required to be completed by the exporter:

Immature animal declaration for rabies

Individual EU Member States may authorise the non-commercial movement of animals (dogs, cats and ferrets) if the animals are:

  • less than 12 weeks old and have not received an anti-rabies vaccination; or
  • between 12 and 16 weeks old and have received an anti-rabies vaccination but do not yet meet the EU validity requirements for rabies vaccination;
    and the owner (or authorised person**) provides a declaration (Immature animal declaration for rabies) confirming that from birth to the time of export that the animals have had no contact with wild animal species susceptible to rabies; or
  • the animals are accompanied by their mother on whom they still depend and the mother was vaccinated against rabies before the animals birth and the vaccination complied with EU validity requirements.

It is not clear which EU member states will authorise immature animals to be imported under these arrangements.

Exporters seeking to export immature animals under these arrangements must provide the Department at the time of export certification with written advice from the competent authority of the destination EU member state confirming that the immature animal(s) may be exported under these arrangements.

Contact details for the competent authority of each EU Member State may be found on the EU website.

Transit permissions en route to the EU and the transit declaration

Non-commercial consignments of dogs, cats and ferrets destined to the EU from Australia may travel:

  1. direct with no periods of transit or transhipment at another airport on route if vaccinated against rabies in accordance with the import health conditions;
  2. with transit or transhipment via an airport in a country listed in Annex II to EU Regulation No 577/2013 (Annex II list is below; note it does not include Thailand or Indonesia) if vaccinated against rabies in accordance with the import health conditions; or
  3. with transit or transhipment via an airport in a country not listed in Annex II to EU Regulation No 577/2013 if vaccinated in accordance with the import health conditions and the owner (or authorised person**) provides a signed declaration*** that during the period of transit/transhipment the animals had no contact with animal species susceptible to rabies and the animal remained secured within the aircraft or within the perimeter of an international airport; or
  4. with transit or transhipment via an airport in a country not listed in Annex II to EU Regulation No 577/2013 if vaccinated against rabies and has undergone a rabies antibody titration test in accordance with the import health conditions.
***Exporters utilising the transit declaration option must on arrival in the EU provide the BIP of the EU Member State where the animals will enter the EU with a completed transit declaration confirming that during the period of transit/transhipment the animals had no contact with animal species susceptible to rabies and the animal remained secured within the aircraft or within the perimeter of an international airport.
List of countries in Annex II of EU Regulation 577/2013
CountryCountryCountry

America Samoa

Fiji

Norway

Andorra

French Polynesia

Puerto Rico

Antigua and Barbuda

Gibraltar

Russia

Argentina

Greenland

Saint Helena

Aruba

Guam

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Ascension Island

Guernsey

Saint Lucia

Australia

Hong Kong

Saint Pierre and Miquelon

Bahrain

Iceland

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Barbados

Isle of Man

San Marino

Belarus

Jamaica

Singapore

Bermuda

Japan

Sint Maarten

Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (the BES Islands)

Jersey

Switzerland

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Liechtenstein

Taiwan

British Virgin Islands

Malaysia

Trinidad and Tobago

Canada

Mauritius

United Arab Emirates (includes Dubai and Abu Dhabi)

Cayman Island

Mexico

United Kingdom

Chile

Monaco

United States of America

Croatia

Montserrat

US Virgin Islands

Curacao

New Caledonia

Vanuatu

Falkland Islands

New Zealand

Vatican City State

Faroe Islands

Northern Mariana Islands

Wallis and Futuna

Imports (also known as commercial movements)

Definition

An Import (also known as a commercial movement) is an export to the EU which does not comply with the definition of a non-commercial movement (See above).

Health certification and import health conditions

For commercial consignments exported from Australia on or after 16 January 2022

From 16 January 2022, commercial movements of dogs, cats and ferrets must be undertaken under the Model animal health certificate for entry into the Union of dogs, cats and ferrets (Model ‘Canis-Felis-Ferrets’) also known as the commercial certificate.

This certificate is found in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/403 of 24 March 2021.

The commercial certificate includes the import health conditions which the exporter must comply with for the animal (dog, cat or ferret) to enter the EU as a commercial consignment.

The import health conditions for dogs destined for Finland, Ireland and Malta also require the animals to be treated against Echinococcus multiocularis as outlined in the health certificate (Regulation (EU) 2018/878). The Echinococcus multiocularis treatment must be administered by a veterinarian no more than 48 hours and no less than 24 hours before the time of the scheduled entry into the EU treatment.

The import health conditions for cats destined to all EU Member States require that during the 60 days prior to export the cat has not been resident on properties where Hendra disease has been confirmed (2006/146/EC). This clause does not appear in the EU health certificate and the Department will provide the additional certification upon the exporter providing a declaration confirming the cat's last 60 days of residency prior to export. If an exporter is concerned that their cat(s) may not be eligible for export due to this requirement then they should contact the Department.

The commercial certificate must be accompanied by appropriate original supporting documentation, or a certified copy of that documentation, including vaccination details and the result of any tests (where necessary). This documentation must bear the identification details of the animal(s) concerned.

Registration of the establishment where the animals are held prior to export

Consignments of some non-commercial dogs, cats and ferrets destined to EU under the commercial certificate may require the premises where the animals are assembled/held prior to export to be registered (approved) under the Export Control (Animals) Rules 2021.

If the non-commercial animal(s) are being dispatched directly from their establishment of origin to the airport for export to the EU without passing through any other establishment then premises registration is not required.

If the non-commercial animal(s) are being assembled, as a consignment for export, at a premises other than their establishment of origin and then dispatched to the airport for export to the EU then premises registration of the final premises the animals are held is required.

Process for premises registration (where required)

The Export Control (Animals) Rules 2021 allows the Department to approve premises where animals are held prior to export, on a consignment-by-consignment basis, if required by the importing country.

  1. The Department will accept the Notice of Intention (NOI) to export a dog, cat or ferret to the EU, under a commercial certificate, where registration of the premises is required as being an application for premises approval for the individual consignment.

    The NOI must be accompanied by a completed ‘Application for approval of a premises for pre-export isolation of dogs, cats and ferrets for export as a commercial consignment destined to the European Union (DOCX 31 KB)’. The contents of this document reflect the EU’s premises requirements.

  2. Upon receipt of the completed application, the department will assess the application and provide, where applicable, confirmation of premises approval for the consignment, at the same time as providing advice about the approval of the NOI.

    Upon any approval, the premises will be assigned an ‘approval number’ which will be identical to the health certificate number for the consignment.

  3. At the time of certification for export the Departmental Veterinary Officer will enter the 'approval number' into box I.11. The number entered will be consistent with the health certificate number that is entered at Box I.2 and II.a on each page of the same certificate.
Note
A premises may be an entire property or a part of a property where the animals in that consignment will be held during the assembly period immediately before export.
There is no requirement for a departmental officer to inspect the proposed premises prior to approval but a departmental officer may decide to do so to verify compliance with the requirements.
Each time a premises is approved it will be assigned a different unique ‘approval number’ for that specific consignment.
The approval of a premises lapses as soon as the consignment of animals to which it relates is exported.
Approval of a premises for one consignment does not indicate that the same premises will be approved for future consignments.
Identification of the dog, cat or ferret

The animal(s) shall be identified by an electronic identification system (electronic microchip or transponder) or by a clearly readable tattoo applied before 3 July 2011, of which the alpha-numeric code corresponds to the one documented in the health certificate and any testing, treatment or other declarations associated with the export.

Note
Tattoos may not be accepted by certain EU Member States such as Ireland or Malta – these countries may only admit animals with an electronic microchip.

If an exporter seeks to utilise an identification method other than an electronic microchip they should seek written confirmation from the authority of the importing EU Member State that the proposed method is acceptable prior to preparing the animal for export.

Technical requirements for electronic microchips of transponders are set out in Annex II of EU 576/2013.

'Transponders must:

  1. comply with ISO Standard 11784 and apply HDX or FDX-B technology; and
  2. be capable of being read by a reading device compatible with ISO standard 11785.'
Rabies vaccination

The import health conditions require the animal(s) to be vaccinated against rabies with an 'anti-rabies vaccination' in accordance with Annex III of EU 576/2013.

The anti-rabies vaccination must meet the following conditions:

  1. be administered to the animal(s) by an authorised veterinarian after the animal(s) has been identified by microchip/tattoo
  2. the animal(s) must be at least 12 weeks of age at the date on which the vaccine was administered (NB: rabies vaccines available in Australia may not be registered for use in animals less than 3 months of age. Registered veterinarians administering vaccines should do so in accordance with the product's registration. See Notes for registered veterinarians below.)
  3. the period of vaccine validity does not start until 21 days from date of vaccine administration and continues until the end of the period of protective immunity prescribed by the vaccine manufacturer
  4. any subsequent revaccination is considered to be a primary vaccination unless it is carried out within the period of validity referenced above.
  5. all details of the vaccination must be included where required on the imports certificate.
Rabies antibody titration test

Depending on the proposed export route after departure from Australia, animals may be required to undergo a rabies antibody titration test as outlined in the non-commercial certificate.

If a rabies antibody titration test is required, it must meet the requirements of Annex IV of EU 576/2013:

  1. be undertaken on a sample collected at least 30 days after the date of 'anti-rabies vaccination' and documented by an authorised veterinarian where required on the imports certificate and;
  2. be undertaken not less than three months before the date of export or period of transit for which the test is required
  3. must measure a level of neutralising anti-body equal to or greater than 0.5 IU/ml using the method prescribed in Annex IV of EU 576/2013
  4. does not have to be renewed if the result is equal to or greater than 0.5 IU/ml as long as the animal is revaccinated within the period of rabies vaccine validity referenced above
  5. be performed in a laboratory authorised by the EU to do so.
Note
The Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness (formerly the Australian Animal Health Laboratory) is included on the list of rabies testing authorised laboratories.
Declarations

The health certificate for commercial movements of dogs, cats and ferrets to the EU has no additional associated declarations.

Transit permissions en route to the EU
  1. direct* if vaccinated against rabies in accordance with the import health conditions;

    * For commercial consignments of dogs, cats and ferrets destined to the EU from Australia, the EU authority considers a direct flight to be one where either:
    1. i. the aircraft does not land, transit or transship en route to the EU.
      or
    2. ii. the animals remain either onboard an aircraft or within the confines of the airport for the duration of the export to the EU as long as the country where the animal transits or transships is listed in Annex II of EU Regulation 577/2013 (See table above in non-commercial movements: List of countries in Annex II of EU Regulation 577/2013 - This list does not include Thailand)
  2. with transit through a territory or third country not listed in Annex II to Commission Regulation (EU) 577/2013 if vaccinated against rabies and the animal has undergone a rabies antibody titration test in accordance with the import health conditions.

Notes for registered veterinarians

Registered veterinarians preparing dogs, cats and ferrets for export to the EU must ensure that animals are identified in accordance with EU requirements prior to the administration of the anti-rabies vaccination.

Registered veterinarians preparing dogs, cats and ferrets for export to the EU should be aware that while the EU legislation may require animals to be a minimum of 12 weeks old at the time of anti-rabies vaccination, anti-rabies vaccinations registered for use in Australia generally require animals to be a minimum of 3 months old (which is slightly older than 12 weeks). Registered veterinarians should ensure they understand their professional responsibilities in accordance with their veterinary registration with respect to administration of any veterinary drug.

Registered veterinarians must ensure that all other parts of the health certificate are completed (including strike-throughs where applicable) prior to that endorsement.

Before completing the commercial certificate, ensure that you have reviewed the guidance document (PDF 206 KB).

Handwritten parts of the certificate and ink stamps must be in an ink colour other than that in which the health certificate is printed.

Note
The ‘certificate reference’ box on each page should remain blank as the Department Veterinary Officer will enter the certificate reference number at the time a Department health certificate and export permit is issued.
The date of microchip implantation and/or reading must be the same as or before the date of Rabies vaccination.
Registered veterinarians preparing dogs, cats and ferrets for export to the EU are required to complete the box on the last page of the health certificate labelled ‘Official veterinarian’.
If compliant the Department Veterinary Officer will also endorse all pages of the health certificate.

Basis for Micor entry

Based on importing requirements sourced from European Commission website.

Entry last reviewed 25 October 2022.

Latest updates

07/11/2022 - Additional guidance for exporters of commercial consignments to Sweden.
12/01/2022 - Updated commercial certificates and guidance document.
16/08/2021 - Revised dates for the use of commercial certificates and guidance document.
06/08/2021 - Updated Imports section to include revised country certificates and advice.
15/03/2021 - Updated Importing country requirements following changes due to Brexit.
20992|03/07/2022|20221107|21504
Last updated: 8/11/2022 8:45 AMCreated: 22/05/2015 5:07 PM