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Information for private individuals - Pets

Published on May 5, 2016

I. Dogs, cats and ferrets

The European Union adopted new measures for the importation of pets (dogs, cats and ferrets) into the EU member states.

In order to bring their dogs, cats and ferrets from the United States and Canada into France, travelers must abide by the following conditions:

- The animal must be at least 12 weeks old.

- Every animal must be identified by a microchip (standard ISO 11784 or annex A ISO standard 11785) or a tatoo. In case of identification with a tattoo, the tattoo must be clearly readable and applied before July 2011.

If the microchip standard is different from standard ISO 11784 or annex A ISO standard 11785, you must bring your own scanner in order to read the microchip. In the United States, you may acquire the microchip standard ISO 11784 on the web at It should be implanted by a veterinarian only.

- Every animal must have a valid rabies vaccination. If it is the first rabies vaccination for the pet, you must wait 21 days between the last shot of the vaccination protocol and departure.

A revaccination (booster) must be considered a primary vaccination if it was not carried out within the period of validity of a previous vaccination.

- Any rabies vaccination prior to the micro chipping is considered as non-valid.
If your dog, cat or ferret has been vaccinated before being fitted with a microchip, the animal will have to be vaccinated again after the microchip is inserted. You must wait at least 21 days between the completion of the vaccination protocol (the same as for a primary vaccination) and the departure date, even if the dog had been vaccinated before the micro chipping.

- A blood test is not required for animals coming from Canada and the United States (including Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, Gibraltar, Greenland, Northern Mariana Islands).

- Blood tests are not required for animals coming from the following countries as well:
Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Bermuda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile, Curacao, United Arab Emirates, Fiji, Hong Kong, Ascension Island, BES islands (Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba), Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, British Virgin islands, Wallis and Futuna Islands, Iceland, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montserrat, Norway, New Caledonia, New Zealand, French Polynesia, Russia, St Kitts and Nevis, St Helena, St Lucia, San Marino, St. Martin, St Pierre and Miquelon St Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, State of the Vatican City, Vanuatu.

- If transiting through a country where the blood test is required (country not listed above), the owner or the authorized person must provide a declaration certifying that, during the transit, the animals have had no contact with any animals of species susceptible to rabies and have remained secured within the means of transportation or within the perimeter of the international airport.
Please see below the declaration form:

- IF YOU ARE BRINGING 5 ANIMALS OR LESS, please use the following certificate (Annex IV of EU decision 577/2013):

You may also use this certificate if you are bringing more than 5 animals, but under the following conditions :

  • The non commercial movement of these animals concerns competitions, exhibitions, sporting events or training for the purpose of these events.
  • The owner or authorized person submits a written proof that these animals are indeed registered, either for the participation in one of the aforementioned events or registered by their organizing association.
  • The animals are more than 6 months old.

- In the USA, the official health certificate will be issued by veterinarians and endorsed by the USDA. USDA endorsement is required for all certificates except those issued by military veterinarians for dogs, cats and ferrets. Please check the list of USDA Offices

- In Canada, the official health certificate will be issued by veterinarians and endorsed by the Canadien Food Inspection Agency CFIA. Please check the list of animal health offices

- The official health certificate will be valid for 10 days, from the date of endorsement until the date of arrival at the EU point of entry.

The certificate is also valid for the purpose of further movements within the EU for a total of 4 months from its date of issue or until the date of expiration of the rabies vaccination, whichever date is earlier.

- The owner or authorized person should accompany his animal during a non-commercial movement. Nevertheless, the movement of an animal travelling 5 days before or after the owner or authorized person is accepted with the presentation of a justifying document (boarding pass, plane ticket, ...). The declaration document below should be completed and presented:

- IF YOU ARE BRINGING MORE THAN 5 ANIMALS (for private purpose and not for commercial purpose), and IF YOU DO NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS DESCRIBED ABOVE, please use the two following certificates (Annex I of EU regulation 2013/519):

What is an EU Pet Passport?

  • An EU Pet Passport is a document issued by an official veterinarian in a European Union Member State that contains official health information related to a specific pet.
    An EU Pet Passport cannot be obtained in the U.S.
  • The purpose of the pet passport is to simplify travel between EU member states, but the EU has also allowed it to be used for pets returning to the EU from other countries.

If your pet has an EU Pet Passport, what documents are needed to return to France?

  • If the rabies vaccination recorded in the EU Pet Passport is still valid and was recorded by an EU veterinarian, your pet will only need the EU Pet Passport to travel back to France.
  • If the rabies vaccination recorded in the EU Pet Passport has expired and your pet requires revaccination in the U.S. or was already revaccinated while in the U.S., you will need to obtain a health certificate issued by a USDA Accredited Veterinarian before your pet leaves the U.S. by following the instructions above. You will need to follow the steps for dogs, cats, and ferrets that do not have an EU Pet Passport.

Does my pet require a clinical examination in the U.S. before returning to France?

  • Pets returning to France with a valid EU Pet Passport do NOT need a clinical examination.


- Dogs considered as dangerous:

  • The importation into any French territory of any dog resembling the following breeds, based on their morphology: Staffordshire terrier, American Staffordshire terrier (pitbulls), Mastiff (boerbulls) and Tosa, is absolutely forbidden.
  • However the importation into any French territory of any dog of the following breeds: Staffordshire terrier, American Staffordshire terrier (pitbulls), Mastiff (boerbulls) and Tosa, registered by the American Kennel Club, as well as dogs related to Rottweilers, is possible, under special rules.

- Assistance dogs : assistance dogs - even accompanied by their owner - are subject to the same requirements as regular pet dogs.

Penalties which may be applied in France if regulatory obligations are not fulfilled:

• If the above-mentioned health requirements are not complied with, the officials in charge of checks can have the animal sent back to the country of origin at the owner’s expense, have it put into quarantine or have it put down, pursuant to Articles L.236-9 and L.236-10 of the French rural and maritime fishing code (code rural et de la pêche maritime).
• Failure to observe the regulations and thereby causing or contributing to the involuntary spreading of transmissible diseases in domestic or wild vertebrates may result in a fine of €300,000 and two years in prison.
• Moreover, if the failure to observe the requirements set out in Article L.236-9 has had a serious effect on human or animal health the penalties are increased to five years in prison and a fine of €600,000. There are additional penalties for natural people or legal entities.

For more info:

II. Domestic pet rodents (rabbits, hamsters, mice...)

You may bring into France a maximum of 5 domestic rodents. A health certificate (in French), executed no longer than ten days prior to arrival into France by a national licensed veterinarian of the country of export must accompany the rodent. Please use the following certificate.

Pet rodents and reptiles

III. Pets reptiles not intended for sale

You may bring into France a maximum of 5 pet reptiles (by family), provided:

- they are not sold under any circumstances;

- they are accompanied by a health certificate executed not more than ten days prior to arrival and bearing the signature of a licensed veterinarian of the country of export;

- they must be free of evidence of disease (in particular, of lesions of the skin).

Pet rodents and reptiles

IV. Pet birds

WARNING: The EC regulations regarding the movements of pet birds have been modified in response to the avian influenza alert (bird flu). The regulations below remain applicable until further instructions.

Pet birds may be brought to France solely at the following conditions:

1. Each family is limited to 5 birds;

2. ONE of the following conditions must be undergone:

a. Each bird must have undergone a 30 days pre-export isolation in the place of departure (both the US and Canada are concerned);


b. Each bird must undergo quarantine for 30 days after import in France on approved premises;


c. Each bird must have been vaccinated, and at least on one occasion re-vaccinated, against avian influenza using an H5 vaccine approved for the species concerned in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions; the bird must have been vaccinated within the last six months and not later than 60 days prior to dispatch from the third country;


d. Each bird must have been in isolation for at least 10 days before departure and must have undergone a test to detect the H5N1 antigen or genome carried out on a sample taken not earlier than the third day of isolation.

3. Compliance with the above conditions must be certified by an official veterinarian in accordance with the approved model certificates. USDA endorsement is required for all certificates.

The list of USDA Area Offices of Veterinary Services may be consulted at the following URL address:

The documents linked below provide an English and a French versions of the same approved model certificate. Both versions must be completed and signed by the competent authorities in the US. The French version will be requested by the French authorities upon arrival in France.

English version
French version

The following declaration of ownership in addition to the above health certificate should also be filled out:


[*Many birds are registered as "Endangered Species" according to the Washington Convention. In such case, a specific permit is required in the country of departure and in the country of arrival. Please check our page "Endangered Species".*]

Please note that until further instructions are given, commercial movements into the EC of live birds are strictly forbidden.

V. Other species

For other pets than those mentioned in I to IV above or pets listed in I to IV above but intended to be exported to France in greater quantities than those allowed for under the standards regulation, please call our office: 1 202 944 6375.


[*France is party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. International trade in species listed by the Convention is unlawful unless authorized by permit. This includes, for example, wild birds, reptiles, crustaceans, fish as well as any part or product (such as skins, feathers, eggs) and products and articles manufactured from wildlife and fish. Permits to export from Canada or re-export certificates are issued by Environment Canada (Convention Administrator - Canadian Wildlife Service - Ottawa - ON K1A 0H3). Permits to export from the US or re-export certificates are issued by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (Office of Management Authority - Department of the Interior - Washington, DC 20240). Permits to import into France are issued by the Ministère de l’aménagement du territoire et de l’environnement (direction de la nature et des paysages - sous-direction de la chasse, de la faune et de la flore sauvages - bureau des échanges internationaux d’espèces protégées - 20, avenue de Ségur 75302 Paris 07 SP - France).*]

For more info :

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