Animal importation to France


- Since 3 July 2004, the conditions for the movement of pet animals have become harmonised under the conditions laid down in Regulation 998/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 May 2003. It lays down the animal health requirements for both the movement of pets between Member States and from third countries. This regulation strengthens the rules applying to cats, dogs and ferrets entering the EU from third countries, to prevent the risk of rabies.

NOTA BENE : When there are more than 5 animals, the requirements and controls are those applicable to commercial movements.

documents and certificates required

Pet animals brought into Community territory from a third country other than Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and The Vatican are subject to documentary and identity checked by the competent authorities at travellers’ points of entry :

- The animal shall be identified by an electronic identification system (transponder), or by a clearly readable tattoo. After the 3rd of July 2011, the transponder will be the only identification system allowed.

- Valid rabies vaccination (respect the booster rules). For the first rabies vaccination injection, it has to be done at least 30 days before the travel date.

- Vaccination and in addition testing carried out by an approved lab on a blood sample taken three months before the departure date.

- A health certificate for non-commercial movements of pets (cats, dogs and ferrets) entering the EU from Third Countries has been adopted by the Commission under Decision 2004/824/EC
The health certificate will need to be printed on a single sheet of paper in the language of the Member State of entry and completed in block letters either in the language of the Member State of entry or in English.
The certificate must be accompanied by supporting documentation, or a certified copy of it, including vaccination details and the result of the serological test. This documentation must bear the identification details of the animal concerned.

The certificate is valid for movements within the EU for a period of four months from the date of issue or until the date of expiry of the vaccination, whichever is earlier.


1st category : the following breeds are not allowed in France :
* Pitbull : Staffordshire Bull terrier breed, American Staffordshire terrier breed.
* Boerbulls : Mastiffbreed, Tosa breed.

2nd category :
* Staffordshire Bull terrier breed.
* American Staffordshire terrier breed.
* Tosa breed.
You are allowed to import those breeds only if they have a pedigree or a birth certificate.
* Rottweiler breed (allowed without pedigree or birth certificate).

If you want to have more infomation on this matter, click here.


The French authorities require certificates in both languages (English and French) issued by a qualified vet who is a Local Veterinary Inspector :
- A certificate of good health issued between 1 and 5 days before the entry of the animal into France. This certificate proves that your pet has no signs of disease, above all any signs of a contagious disease of the species (for example regarding rabbits : myxomatosis etc…). Mammals
must have taken treatment against parasites.

For further information regarding pets import, you can download the official document from the European Parliament and of the Council


You can import pet birds as long as they don’t come from a country or territory affected by the Newcastle disease and avian influenza.

- You can import a maximum of 5 birds.

- One of the following conditions must be undergone :
* Each bird must have undergone a 30 days pre-export isolation in the place of departure
* Each bird must undergo a quarantine for 30 days after import in France on approved premises
* Each bird must have been vaccinated against avian influenza using an H5 vaccine. The vaccination must have been done within the last 6 months and not later than 60 days prior to the departure date.
* Each bird must have undergone a test to detect the H5N1 antigen or genome and must have been in isolation before departure.

- Compliance with the above conditions must be certified by an official veterinarian in accordance with the approved model certificate and a declaration of the owner.

Many animals are registered as "Endangered species" according to the Washington Convention. As a consequence, there specific regulations and conditions. Click here to have more information on this topic.

Useful links :
Site de la douane française
Europa, gateway to the European Union
Cites, official website dedicated to Endangered species

publié le 04/11/2008

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