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Return/travel to Finland from outside the EU

On this page we discuss the regulations to return/travel to Finland from outside of the EU. These regulations (non-commercial movement) apply when the pet has an EU Pet Passport and travels with its owner (or up to 5 days before or after the owner's trip). When returning from outside of the EU, the owner must present the pet and its documents to Customs upon returning to Finland (or the first EU country they arrive to), but there is no need for veterinary border inspection. Remember the echinococcosis treatment before returning to Finland!

Mandatory requirements

When returning to Finland from outside of the EU together with the owner (or within 5 days before or after the owner's trip), the pet practically needs the same things as when leaving Finland - a microchip, an EU-style pet passport, a valid rabies vaccination and, unlike when leaving, echinococcosis treatment 1-5 days before crossing the border into Finland. You can read more about it here!

 

When returning from certain non-EU countries, in addition to the rabies vaccination, a rabies antibody test is also required. The requirements for microchipping and pet passports are the same as when traveling within the EU - you can read more about them here. More information about rabies vaccination and antibody testing is provided below. 

Rabies vaccination and antibody titre test

Current valid rabies vaccination is always required for traveling, no matter if you travel from an EU country or a non-EU country. When returning from outside of the EU, the requirements for rabies vaccination and antibody testing can be divided into three different categories based on Regulation (EU) No 577/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

GROUP 1 COUNTRIES: Countries equivalent to EU countries (EU) No 577/2013, Annex 2, Part 1)

- Andorra, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City.

GROUP 2 COUNTRIES: Listed non-EU countries ((EU) No 577/2013, Annex 2, Part 2)

- For example, Australia, USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Russia, New Zealand, Mexico, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong. You can find the up-to-date list in its entirety on the website of the Finnish Food Authority or the EU's official website.

GROUP 3 COUNTRIES: All other non-EU countries not included in groups 1 or 2

- For example, Albania, Montenegro, Thailand, Philippines, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru. This includes all countries that do not belong to groups 1 or 2.

If your pet has been properly vaccinated before leaving the EU area (vaccination administered in an EU country at least at 12 weeks of age, with at least 21 days waiting period since the primary vaccination, and the vaccination is recorded in an EU-pet passport), and the vaccination is still valid during your return, you can return from countries in groups 1 and 2 without a rabies antibody titre test. These countries are listed in the Regulation (EU) No 577/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council. Rabies antibody testing is required when returning from all other countries (group 3), which are NOT listed in the aforementioned EU Commission Regulation lists (Annex 2, Parts 1 and 2). If you plan a trip outside of the EU, it is advisable to perform the antibody test in EU BEFORE leaving the EU area, so that the test result can be recorded in the EU-pet passport. Once a sufficient antibody level (at least 0.5 IU/ml) has been determined, the result is valid as long as the rabies vaccination remains valid.

If you have been traveling for an extended period outside of the EU, please check the validity of your rabies vaccination before planning you returning to Finland or other EU countries! Rabies vaccination is usually valid for 3 years, but this may vary depending on the vaccine used. If your pet's rabies vaccination has expired during your trip, it needs to be renewed before returning to Finland. You can renew the rabies vaccination abroad, but only vaccinations administered in EU countries can be recorded in the pet passport. NOTE: If you need to vaccinate your pet outside of the EU, do NOT have it recorded in the EU-pet passport! If the rabies vaccination expires while you are outside of the EU, your pet will need an additional EU-health certificate to travel back to Finland/other EU countries. After receiving a rabies vaccination in countries of groups 1 and 2, there is a 21-day waiting period if the previous rabies vaccination has expired before the revaccination. Antibody titre testing is not required when returning from countries in groups 1 and 2. After receiving a rabies vaccination in countries of group 3, an antibody titer test is required, and it must be conducted in an EU-approved laboratory at least 30 days after the vaccination date. After a rabies vaccination in countries of group 3, the animal must wait at least 3 months before traveling back to the EU area.

Return from certain countries equivalent to EU countries

Countries equivalent to EU countries are Andorra, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican State. 

From these third countries / regions comparable to EU countries, you can return to EU countries (also directly to Finland) without a separate health certificate, if the pet's return conditions have been met when leaving the EU area. For a Finnish (or other EU-citizen) pet, this means in addition to the identification mark a properly issued pet passport and a valid rabies vaccination, which is still valid at the time of return. If the rabies vaccine expires during your stay abroad, it must be renewed in an other EU country so that it can be marked on the EU-style pet passport. If the rabies vaccination expires outside of the EU countries and the pet is vaccinated there, the pet needs a separate EU model health certificate to return home.

Read more about returning to Finland from here!

Is your pet traveling without you?

When you arrive back to the EU area from outside the EU, you must present your pet and its documents to the customs authorities in the first EU country where you arrive from outside the EU.

Is your pet traveling without you?

If a pet travels from outside the EU back to the EU separately from its owner (more than 5 days before or after the owner's trip), commercial import requirements are followed. In this case, the pet is brought into the EU through specific border inspection stations and undergoes veterinary border inspection. You can find more detailed information about the conditions for commercial import on the Finnish Food Authority's website.

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