Relocating your family to Europe

You’ll know that relocating to another country has its challenges and can be grey-hair inducing. Add an animal or two into the mix, and your anxiety levels could be through the roof. At PetAir, they understand that these furry animals are very much part of your family, and will help guide you through the process with ease. Remember it’s something that they do all day, every day. PetAir has fine-tuned their services to accommodate both you and your animals and take the stress out of travelling. 

What is the process?

We firstly recommend that you give yourself ample time to ensure the smooth running of your relocation. Please start the process as soon as you have your relocation confirmed because it can take a few months. There can be unplanned setbacks or delays with vaccination requirements, animal illness or administration errors.

Recruit PetAir

The rules and regulations surrounding pet importation are often changing. You can breathe easily with PetAir. They have fully trained experts that understand the importance of your pets and the ever-changing landscape. They will make sure that your pets meet the import requirements. Each pet must be fully vaccinated and be at least three months old. 

Banned breeds

Whilst the European Union doesn’t ban specific breeds, several countries within the union have certain banned breeds. Therefore, you must check the requirements of the importing country. 


Import Countries 

Your pets must enter the European Union from one of the approved countries: 

Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Ascention Island, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bonaire, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Falkland Island, , Faroe Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Gibraltar, Greenland, Guatemala, Herzegovina, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Iceland, India, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Korea Republic, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Macau, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Melarus, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Montserrat, Morocco, Namibia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Northern Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Russia, Saba, San , arino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Sint Maarten, South Africa, St Eustatius, St Helena, St Kitts, St Lucia, St Pierre and Miquelon, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Swaziland, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vatican City State, Wallis and Futuna and Zimbabwe.



It’s essential to ensure that your pets have all of the relevant vaccinations within the stipulated times. 


  • Leptospirosis
  • Parvovirus (DHLPP)
  • Hepatitis
  • Parainfluenza
  • Distemper 
  • Bordetella Bronchiseptica 
  • Canine Influenza 
  • Tapeworm 
  • Parasite Echinococcus multilocularis



  • Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis
  • Calicivirus
  • Panleukopenia (FVRCP)


All of these vaccinations should be administered no less than two weeks before your export date and must be valid post quarantine.


Your pets must also have treatment for internal and external parasites.

Rabies Vaccine and Certificate

Cats and dogs must be vaccinated against rabies. Your vetinerary surgeon will provide you with a certificate that states the microchip number, the validity of the vaccination, and the date of inoculation. Rabies vaccines are valid for one, two or three years. The vaccine must be the inactivated or recombinant variety. The vaccine must be administered between 30 days and 12 months before your pet’s flight into Europe.

Rabies Neutralising Antibody Titer Test (RNAT) for Cats and Dogs

Once your pet has had their rabies vaccination, you will need to wait approximately four weeks before collecting a blood sample for the RNAT test. The test must meet the following requirements:

  • The blood test must be taken at least 30-days after the vaccination 
  • Your vet must scan the cat’s microchip and collect the blood sample for the RNAT testing 
  • The test is to be carried out by the competent EU approved blood testing laboratory 
  • A result of 0.5 IU/ml or more is acceptable. A result of less than 0.5 IU/ml is not acceptable and you must re-vaccinate and repeat the testing process.
  • You must wait for three months from the date that the blood sample was taken before you travel
  • Your vet must record the test results and the date that the blood sample was taken in the health certificate

As long as your pet’s rabies vaccinations are up-to-date, then the blood test will continue to be valid. 


The authorities will only identify your pets with a microchip, and the corresponding vet stamped pet passport. A microchip is an integrated identification circuit placed under the skin of your pet. The rice grain size chip uses passive radio-frequency identification technology. It must be implanted before the rabies vaccination is administered. European government accepts microchips that comply with ISO Standard 11784 or 11785.

Import Permit

You do not need an import permit for Europe.

Veterinary Certification

You will need to send an official health certificate that states the name, age, description and microchip identification number of each pet within seven days of your flight. The microchip identification number is 15-digits long. Without this, the government will deny your pet entry into the country. 

The Europe Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that the certificate must also include the following information before export:

  • The animal has been examined and found to be healthy and free from any clinical sign of rabies and infectious or contagious diseases 
  • The animal has been vaccinated against rabies using an approved anti-rabies vaccine
  • The vaccination history and health status of your pet
  • That your pet is healthy enough for air travel 

Make at least four copies of the certification and vaccination records for the following:

  • Airline
  • Pet travel crate
  • Transit permit (if necessary)
  • One for you


Quarantine only applies if your pet does not meet the government requirements. 

Additional Information

There are no restrictions on the number of pets imported, but the local European authorities might have local regulations about the number of pets that can be kept in residential premises.

You are required to obtain all of the necessary permits that will allow you to import your pets into Europe. PetAir can also help you arrange the import permit on your behalf. Quarantine officers may not allow pets to enter the country if there are no import permits. 

You cannot import more than five pets into Europe unless you can provide written evidence of registration that you are attending a competition, show or sporting event.


We hope that this reassures you, but should you need more specific advice, please let the helpful team at PetAir help, they are all delighted to help you.

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