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EU regulations (EU countries, Norway and Switzerland)

When traveling with a pet, non-commercial animal transfer requirements apply. The requirements discussed on this page apply to all movement with dogs, cats, and ferrets within EU countries, Norway, and Switzerland, and they are mandatory for crossing the borders of these countries. The United Kingdom and other non-EU European countries are considered third countries and have different restrictions on pet travel. However, some non-EU countries that are equivalent to EU countries allow travel under the same principles as within the European Union.


The regulations discussed on this page apply when the pet (up to 5 pets/owner) travels with the owner and there is no transfer of ownership involved in the pet's travel. The pet travels with the owner in the same means of transport or up to five days before or after the owner's journey. An exception to the limit of five pets is allowed if the animals are intended to participate in competitions, exhibitions, sports events, or their training. In such cases, the animals must be at least 6 months old, and their participation in the specific event must be verifiable.

The mandatory requirements

1. Identification

Your pet must have an identification microchip that complies with the ISO 11784 standard (using HDX or FDX-B technology) and can be read with a device that complies with the ISO 11785 standard.


Alternatively, a clearly readable tattoo is acceptable if it was applied before July 3, 2011. If the microchip of your pet cannot be read with the mentioned requirements, you, as the owner, should have a device specifically designed to read that particular microchip.

2. Rabies vaccination

The animal must be vaccinated against rabies before the trip - NOTE! and must be identified BEFORE administering the rabies vaccination!


The animal can be vaccinated against rabies for the first time at the earliest at 12 weeks of age.


The second rabies vaccination, also known as the first booster dose, is administered at 1 year of age.

The third rabies vaccination and subsequent vaccinations are administered according to the summary of product characteristics of the vaccine, typically at intervals of 3 years (some countries require interval of 1 year, Finland accepts 3 year interval).


The rabies vaccine becomes valid 21 days after the first dose (in some preparations, it may take up to 30 days). If the expiration date of the present booster dose passes before the next vaccination, the same 21-day waiting period applies. However, if the vaccines are renewed no later than on the expiration date of the existing vaccination (as indicated on the vaccination card/pet passport), the 21-day waiting period is not required. Therefore, it is important to check the expiration date of the rabies vaccination well in advance before traveling.


Regarding puppies, some EU-countries allow the importation of unvaccinated puppies against rabies under 12 weeks of age. In such cases, the puppy must be accompanied by a signed declaration from the owner or an authorized person stating that the animal has not come into contact with rabies-susceptible wild animals. Alternatively, if a puppy under 12 weeks of age is traveling with its mother, the mother's identification document must clearly indicate a valid and up-to-date rabies vaccination. Please note that upon arrival in another country, the puppy must still be under 12 weeks of age if unvaccinated against rabies, importing an unvaccinated puppy over 12 weeks of age is illegal.


Because the puppies can be vaccinated against rabies the earliest at the age of 12 weeks, in some EU countries, puppies can be brought into the country without a 21-day waiting period if they are between 12-16 weeks old and have already been vaccinated against rabies. In such cases, a signed declaration by the owner or an authorized person, or a properly vaccinated mother, is required, similar to the case of puppies under 12 weeks old who have not been vaccinated against rabies. It is important to note that if a puppy is vaccinated at 12 weeks of age or older, it must still be under 16 weeks old at the time of travel in order for the vaccination to be valid without a waiting period. If your pet is over 16 weeks old at the time of travel, a 21-day waiting period after the rabies vaccination is required. For example, if a puppy is vaccinated at 15 weeks of age, it will have the standard 21-day waiting period and can travel at the earliest at 18 weeks of age (always verify this information with the specific vaccine manufacturer).


Click here to the bigger table for exceptions regarding young animals in the destination countries!

Pentujen rabies

3. Pet Passport

Pets must have an EU pet passport, in which their identification details and rabies vaccinations are recorded, and if necessary, also echinococcosis treatment and a clinical general examination. Other administered vaccinations and parasite treatments can also be recorded in the pet passport, so it serves as a vaccination card at the same time.


In the EU, there is a unified pet passport that you can purchase from a veterinary clinic. When issuing a pet passport, the animal must be microchipped and vaccinated against rabies. The microchip is checked during the passport application process. It is not possible to transfer old rabies vaccination records from another document unless their authenticity can be 100% confirmed. In practice, when obtaining a passport, the animal may need to be revaccinated even if there is still validity remaining on the old vaccination card.


Norwegian and Swiss pet passports are accepted as official identification documents when traveling to Finland. However, when traveling from Finland to a country outside the EU, it depends on the specific country whether they accept the EU pet passport as an official identification document.


Countries equivalent to EU countries accept the EU-style pet passport as an official identification document for pets.

4. Echinococcus medication for dogs

Echinococcus tapeworm is a dangerous parasite that occurs in most European countries and can also infect humans. Dogs should be treated with efficient medication before entering a country where echinococcus is not present. Cats, ferrets, and other animals do not require treatment.


In Europe, countries that are free from echinococcosis include Finland, Ireland, Malta, and Norway. When traveling directly between these countries, medication is not required. However, if there is a transit or stopover in another country, the dog must be treated for echinococcosis before crossing the border into the echinococcosis-free countries.


NOTE! If you are traveling from Finland through Sweden to Norway, medication is required before crossing the border into Norway (medication administered either in Finland or Sweden), and before crossing the border from Sweden back to Finland (medication is administered in Sweden or Norway)! When traveling from Finland or Norway to Sweden, medication is not required, nor when traveling directly from Finland to Norway or vice versa.


The medication should be administered 24-120 hours (1-5 days) before the planned border crossing, NOT just before the border crossing.


The medication must be administered at a veterinary clinic, and the veterinarian must make an official note of the treatment in the pet passport.

If the duration of the trip is less than 28 days or if you travel continuously between Finland and other EU countries, Norway, Switzerland, or Iceland, the so-called 28-day rule can be applied. You can find more information about it by clicking here!

When departing from Finland to other EU countries, Norway or Switzerland, Echinococcosis medication is not required!


If the trip lasts less than 28 days and you want to avoid visiting a veterinarian abroad, please refer to the instructions regarding the 28-day rule.

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