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Moving Pets Within the European Union

Information on the EU Pet Passport Scheme...

European Pet Passport

The EU Pet Passport is a booklet, identical for all European countries, which contains obligatory information concerning an individual animal: identification number, proof of valid vaccine against the rabies virus. It may contain other non-obligatory information. It is valid for the lifetime of the pet. Each passport is numbered for identification purposes.

Animals travelling within any European Union country need to be accompanied by a Pet Passport. For Ireland, Sweden, Malta and United Kingdom, further rules apply. When crossing the Finnish border animals must, in addition to the passport, also have proof of tapeworm (echinococcosis) treatment. All vets should have the relevant information and be able to prepare a pet for travel.

The EU Pet Passport can also be used when travelling between Europe and the following non-mainland European areas: Canary Islands, Azores and Madeira.

It may also be used when travelling between EU and other countries with the same rabies status. Included are: Andorra, Gibraltar, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican City State.

Getting an EU Pet Passport

Only a licensed vet may issue the passport, and vaccinations should be kept current by the vet.

Before issuing it, the vet will confirm that the animal:

  • is identified by a micro chip in the neck (tattoos are only accepted in the EU until 3 July 2011 and are no longer valid for travel to the UK, Ireland or Malta)
  • has valid vaccines against rabies
  • has had a blood test to confirm the vaccine is in the system

Following these steps the vet can issue a certificate of health - the Pet Passport.

Arriving in Italy

A non-commercial importer may bring up to five pets into Italy, any more than five is treated as a commercial import.

Pet owners must carry a valid EU Pet Passport for each pet when entering Italy.

If the rabies vaccination was the animal's first vaccine then it must wait for 21 days before entering the country. There is no time delay with booster injections; providing there is proof that the booster was administered before the last vaccine had expired.

An animal must be over three months old to enter Italian territory.

Rabbits and rodents may travel without a pet passport but should be declared at the border.

All dogs travelling on public transport in Italy must be muzzled, on a lead and have their own ticket.

  • The British Embassy in Rome has a page on the subject: Click here

Moving Pets Between Italy and the UK and Ireland

Dogs, cats and ferrets may travel between UK and Ireland, and Europe without quarantine, provided some (stringent) requirements are met. The system allowing travel is called the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS).

DEFRA, the UK Department for Environment Food and Rural affairs, has comprehensive and up-to-date information on the website. It can also provide an information pack on request.

  • DEFRA website: Pet Travel Scheme (PETS)
  • Pet Travel Scheme
    : +44 870 241 1710
    Open: Mondays to Fridays 08:00-18:00 UK time

Entering the UK, Ireland, Malta or Sweden

As of 1 January 2012, the rules regarding moving pet animals to the United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden and Malta have been harmonised with the rest of the EU. A blood test after the rabies vaccination is no longer necessary and the waiting time before entry is shortened from six months to 21 days. Tick treatment is not obligatory.

Dogs must be treated against tapeworm no less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours (five days) before arriving in the UK. This treatment must be recorded in the pet passport by a veterinary surgeon. Dogs arriving from Malta, Ireland or Finland do not need to be treated against tapeworm.

  • For more information about tapeworm treatment: Click here

The UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has comprehensive information on the new policy:

  • For more information from DEFRA regarding the new rules: Click here
  • For the leaflet Bringing pets into the UK after 1 January 2012: Click here (PDF)

For information from Sweden and Ireland’s governments:

  • For information on the rules that apply for Ireland: Click here
  • For information on the rules that apply for Sweden: Click here
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