Taking Your Dogs and Cats to the European Union
Dogs and cats from New Zealand may enter the European Union (EU) with an official export certificate. The European Community (EC) regulations require that dogs and cats are categorised as either non-commercial or commercial. Switzerland, while not part of the European Union, also has the same requirements. Import conditions must be met for the country you are importing to as well as the country where customs are cleared. The export certificate for the country where customs is cleared must be the one used. For information relating to travelling around the EU with your pet go to: http://europa.eu/travel/pets/index_en.htm .
European Union countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.
The movement of dogs and cats is commercial if:
- the animal is intended to be sold or conveyed to a new owner, or
- the number of animals imported from non-EU countries is six or more, or
- the animal is not accompanied by the owner or a comparable natural person responsible for the animal during movement, or
- the animal is intended for economic activity.
Search for the export requirements for the pet you wish to take or send overseas.
Managing the export process
- Check your pet meets the country’s export requirements by searching for the latest requirements. You may need to obtain an import permit from the actual country.
- Contact your local veterinarian to have any required treatments done. Your veterinarian will compile any records such as vaccination details.
- Organise a pet exporter. Check with your airline if they require you to use one. We highly recommend that you use the services of a registered pet export company as they are familiar with the protocols and procedures necessary to export pets overseas.
- Contact an Official Veterinarian (located near airports) about an Animal Welfare Certificate (AWEC), and any arrangements that are required.
- An approved cage will be required. A pet exporter can arrange this as well as provide you with the costs involved.
- Your local veterinarian will organise any other treatments prior to departure, if required.
For assistance please contact the Animal Exports Team on:
Page last updated: 1 January 2012