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entry requirements

EU Regulation 576/2013 and

EU Implementing Regulation 577/2013

As of December 29, 2014, the new Regulation (EU) No. 576/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of June 12, 2013 on the non-commercial movement of pet animals and repealing Regulation (EC) No. 998/ 2003 its validity. The corresponding implementing regulation (EU) No. 577/2013 of the Commission of June 28, 2013 is also valid from December 29, 2014.

The import and export of pets (dogs, cats, ferrets) between EU member states and from third countries into EU member states is regulated. This is intended to ensure improved protection against the introduction and spread of rabies – a disease that is fatal to humans and animals.

Entry into EU countries: These three things are mandatory for dogs

The good news: Traveling with your dog within the EU countries has never been easier. The EU Regulation No. 576/2013 has regulated the entry requirements for dogs since 2013 and applies to all EU countries.

  • Your dog needs to enter all EU countries:

  • EU pet passport (“blue passport”)

  • Valid rabies vaccination (at least 21 days old)

  • microchip

  • an age of at least 15 weeks in certain countries (more on this below)

The EU pet passport: mandatory

The EU pet passport may only be issued by authorized veterinarians. Before the veterinarian enters the necessary information and vaccinations in the EU passport for dogs (reworded), the animal must be properly chipped and clearly assigned to its animal passport. This EU ID card for dogs is proof of identity and vaccination certificate in one. At the latest since the EU regulation of 2013, special care must be taken when filling out the animal passport.

Components of the EU pet passport:

  • Information about the animal owner, which is entered by the veterinarian and signed by the animal owner

  • Photo of the pet

  • Vaccinations and booster vaccinations with official identification (sticker) and period of validity

  • Type of microchip, microchip number and barcode

  • Details of tattoo location (if tattooed before July 2011)

  • Information on the identification of the dog by the vet (must be laminated)

  • Handwritten entries signed and stamped by the veterinarian

  • Names and contact information of issuing veterinarian (page IV of pet passport)

Old animal passports remain valid. In order to prevent fraudulent activities, the stickers used there for vaccinations and the microchip number must be secured accordingly - for example by laminating or adhesive strips.  A pet passport cannot “expire” or lose its validity – it is valid until the animal’s death.

The microchip: An important condition for entry with a dog

EU Regulation 576/2013 stipulates that dogs must be electronically marked for clear identification. For this purpose, a chip is implanted under the skin on the left side of the neck of the four-legged friend. If possible, this should correspond to the ISO standard 11784 or 11785. Because with microchips of a different ISO standard, the dog owner must provide a corresponding reader himself.

Attention: If the microchip cannot be read, you will be refused entry with the dog.

The rabies vaccination: Validity begins three weeks after the first injection

A rabies vaccination is also required for entry into EU countries. This must be entered in the pet passport and, above all, be valid. Some manufacturers' rabies vaccines are effective for three years. Make sure that your dog only gets these vaccinations and that the period of validity is correctly entered in your dog's pet passport. Important to know: The first vaccination is only valid 21 days after the spate.

Annual rabies vaccinations have not been required by law in the EU since 2004. According to the latest veterinary findings from renowned international veterinary organizations, they not only have no added value for your dog's immune system, but can even damage their health.

Do you want to travel to other European countries with a still very young dog?

Puppies can only be vaccinated against rabies from the 12th week of life, so that immunological protection and thus entry into most EU countries is only possible from the 15th week of life. Exceptions to this rule apply in a few countries, which are listed below. The competent veterinary office or the embassy of the respective country can also provide information on whether there are exceptions for the entry of a puppy that has not yet been validly vaccinated against rabies.

Where in Europe is tapeworm treatment required for entry?

Your dog must receive a tapeworm treatment from a veterinarian no earlier than five days and no later than 24 hours before departure to Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Malta, Finland and Norway. An entry stating the time in the EU pet passport serves as proof.

Which dog breeds can you travel with within the EU?

Not all dog breeds are welcome in all European countries. In France, for example, “category 2” dogs are not allowed to enter. These include American Staffordshire, Tosa,  and Rottweilers The entry requirements for these breeds have been tightened considerably. Your dog belongs to the breeds Doberman, Great Dane or Staffordshire Bull Terrier - entry is allowed

Denmark is also particularly strict with regard to the entry of certain dog breeds: there  13 dog breeds are classified as dangerous, which is why keeping, breeding and entering the country is prohibited. This applies to all animals purchased after March 17, 2010. And also for vacationers who travel with dogs of these breeds. They include, for example, the Pit Bull Terrier, the Argentinean Mastiff or the Kangal.

Incidentally, owners of a dog that is already registered in Germany and belongs to a breed that, according to the "Dog Movement and Import Restriction Act" of April 12, 2001, may not be imported into Germany may nevertheless re-enter Germany with their animal after their holiday. These include dogs of the Pitbull Terrier breed, American Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and their crossbreeds.

Attention: Be sure to bring the relevant documents with you!

Entry requirements for EU countries

For all EU countries, the entry requirements for dogs are binding according to EU Regulation 576/2013. However, some countries allow exceptions to this rule due to their particular safety laws. This applies in particular to entry regulations for certain dog breeds and the import of puppies. In addition, the federal states are free to individually regulate the interaction between humans and dogs in public places and on public transport. So that you do not experience any nasty surprises on site or at the border, it is best to inform yourself in advance with our comprehensive overview.

Here is the overview to unfold!

This list of entry regulations can also change at short notice due to changes in the entry regulations of the respective countries. TheHamburg Chamber of Veterinarians provides up-to-date information on the entry requirements for dogs within the EU.

Entry requirements for:

Bulgaria, Estonia, Italy, Lithuania, Austria, Poland, Portugal,

Romania, Sweden, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Cyprus

  • EU Regulation No. 576/2013.

  • Leash obligation in public places in some countries regulation, muzzle obligation is regulated regionally.

  • No restrictions on specific dog breeds.

  • In Belgium there is a general leash obligation. Muzzle obligation only for so-called "dangerous dog breeds", which local authorities regulate individually.

  • In Portugal, dogs are forbidden on all beaches, promenades, restaurants and on all public transport.

  • In Italy, a leash and muzzle should be carried.

  • In Hungary, dogs must be kept on a leash in all public places and must wear a muzzle on public transport. Bathing with dogs is prohibited in Lake Balaton and Lake Velence.

    • EU Regulation No. 576/2013.

    • Unvaccinated puppies younger than 12 weeks may be imported with a valid declaration (see

    • Entry ban for dog breeds and their types (similar appearance) considered dangerous: Pitbull Terrier, TosaInu, American Staffordshire Terrier, Fila Brasileiro, Dogo Argentino, American Bulldog, Boerboel, Kangal, Central Asian/Caucasian/South Russian Ovtcharka, Tornjak, Sarplaninac.

    • Strong recommendation: do not bring dogs into Denmark that in any way resemble the breeds mentioned above. Otherwise, your dog's breed or type and the time of its acquisition should be officially documented. The local police are strict and have the power to kill dogs if necessary.

    • Transitional regulations for dog owners who bought dogs of the above breeds before March 17, 2010 (proof required) allow dogs to be taken along under strict conditions.

    • For more information read theDanish dog legislation (in German).

    • EU Regulation No. 576/2013.

    • Entry ban for the following dog breeds and their crossbreeds: Pitbull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier.

    • Exceptions: If you own a dog that has been classified as dangerous and have the necessary papers with you (e.g. owner’s license, character test certificate), you may re-enter the country with it from abroad – for example after your vacation. Working dogs (e.g. service dogs, dogs for the disabled and dogs for disaster and rescue services) may also be imported.

    • The state dog law with rules and regulations for keeping and leading dogs differs from state to state. As a rule, there is a leash requirement in public places, e.g. B. in pedestrian zones and parks.

    • EU Regulation No. 576/2013.

    • For pets that are to be imported into Malta, the "Pet Travel Scheme" applies, which allows pet owners from certain countries (including Germany) to bring their pets to Malta without prior quarantine, provided that all requirements are met. If you intend to bring your pet to Malta, contact the Maltese Veterinary Regulation Directorate well in advance.

    • EU Regulation No. 576/2013.

    • Entry ban for Category 1 “Dangerous Dog Breeds” and their types: Pitbulls (Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier), Boerbulls (Mastiff) and Tosa.

    • The entry of category 2 dog breeds (e.g. Rottweiler) is subject to numerous conditions, character tests and suitability tests of the dog owner, so that a short holiday with these dog breeds is de facto not possible. For longer stays, find out more from the responsible town hall in your French place of residence.

    • Dogs of the breeds Doberman, Great Dane and Staffordshire Bull Terrier are allowed to enter the country. The obligation to paint and leash these dogs is regulated individually.

    • Entry of puppies under 12 weeks or between 12 and 16 weeks from an EU member state is permitted under certain conditions.

    • All dogs staying in the country for more than three months or permanently must be identified, registered on a national registry and vaccinated against rabies.

    • EU Regulation No. 576/2013.

    • Treatment against tapeworms (Echinococcus multilocularis) mandatory. See under "Entry requirements for Finland".

    • Entry ban for the following dog breeds and their types (similar appearance): Dogo Argentinos, FilaBrazilianos, Japanese Tosas and Pitbull Terriers. Dogs of these breeds and dogs of a similar appearance will be confiscated by the police pending a judge's determination of their dangerousness. The dogs are threatened with possible euthanasia. If you are unsure, contact the Irish or British Department of Agriculture directly. Or look here.

    • EU Regulation No. 576/2013.

    • Puppies under 12 weeks of age may enter the country with a rabies clearance certificate from the veterinarian.

    • Leashes and muzzles are compulsory for certain breeds and their types: Doberman Pinscher, American Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Terrier, Rottweiler, Great Dane, German and Belgian Shepherd Dog, Japanese Attack Dog, Mastino, St. Bernard.

    • Entry ban for Pit Bull Terriers and Pit Bull crossbreeds. Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Bull Terriers and Miniature Bull Terriers may only enter the country with FCI papers.

    • Legal leash obligation for all dog breeds.

    • EU Regulation No. 576/2013.

    • Import ban for dogs of breeds and their types that are not registered in the FCI register.

    • EU Regulation No. 576/2013.

    • Leashes are compulsory in all public areas and muzzles are compulsory on public transport.

    • EU Regulation No. 576/2013.

    • Local regulations stipulate that so-called “dangerous dog breeds” must be kept on a leash and muzzled: Pitbull Terrier, Staffordshire Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Rottweiler, Dogo Argentino, FilaBrasiliero, TosaInu, Akita Inu. They must be registered locally with the responsible municipality. The handling of tourists with these dogs is not uniformly regulated.

    • Dogs are strictly forbidden on beaches, promenades and public transport.

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