Travelling within the European Union

Each DCF must meet all of the following conditions:

  • being identified by means of a transponder (chip) or tattoo (A tattoo still counts as valid identification if applied before 03/07/2011 and is clearly legible). The identification must be carried out before, or at the latest at the time of, the rabies vaccination.
  • having a European passport, as defined in Annex III to Regulation (EU) No 577/2013, drawn up and issued by an authorised veterinarian in accordance with the provisions of Article 21 of  Regulation (EU) No 576/2013.
  • having been administered a valid anti-rabies vaccination:
    • Primo-vaccination
      • Minimum age for administration of vaccine: 12 weeks
      • Valid after 3 weeks at the earliest (*)
      • Decision: the DCF must be at least 15 weeks old to be validly vaccinated (**)
    • Revaccination
      • Is immediately valid if the vaccination protocol was duly followed (before the end of the validity of the previous vaccination)
    • Pay attention! The duration of validity of the anti-rabies vaccination shall be determined by the country of destination. A vaccination valid for three years in Belgium may not be valid for as long outside Belgium and, therefore, considered invalid by the country of destination.

      More specifically, the period of validity of a rabies vaccination is described and determined by the technical specifications of the vaccine in the country where it was administered and/or as stated by the authorised or official veterinarian in the identification document (passport or certificate) of that country.
  • Treatment against Echinococcus multilocularis: In order to take your dog to a country listed in the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/878 of 18 June 2018, the animal must have an additional treatment against Echinococcus multilocularis in accordance with the delegated Commission Regulation (EU) 2018/772 of 21 November 2017.

(*) The legislation states that the vaccine is valid from 21 days after vaccination and that the manufacturer's protocol must be followed. If the manufacturer states that the vaccination is valid from 2 weeks after vaccination, you should still wait 21 days. If the manufacturer states that the vaccination is valid from 4 weeks after vaccination, you should still wait 4 weeks.

(**) The introduction and transit of animals under 15 weeks of age shall not, in principle, be permitted unless the Member State so permits. This is not allowed in Belgium. This information is available on the website of DG SANTE of the European Commission:


     a. Clarification of non-commercial traffic

If the owner does not travel with his DCF, the DCF must be accompanied by an authorised person. In the latter case, the movement of the DCF must take place within 5 days before or after the owner's movement (see the European Commission website

Regulation (EU) No 576/2013 regulates the non-commercial movement of a pet animal which accompanies its owner where its owner moves and is under his direct responsibility. The non-commercial movement of the pet animal may take place up to five days before or after the movement of the owner, in which case the non-commercial movement of the pet animal is carried out under the responsibility of a natural person who has authorisation in writing from the owner to carry out the non-commercial movement of the pet animal on his behalf).

     b. Clarification of commercial transactions and adoption in another Member State

Each DCF must be dispatched from an establishment, dealer or kennel approved or registered by the competent authority. In Belgium, the competence for this is assigned to the 3 Regions (Flanders, Wallonia, Brussels Capital Region).

Each DCF must be accompanied by the TRACES certificate, model 92/65 EI, which provides guarantees of origin and, inter alia, a clinical examination of the animal. More information about TRACES can be found on the FASFC (Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain) website: see also the link to 'TRACES' (guide) under 'IT applications for export'.

Adoption, which is accompanied by transport with a view to the delivery of the DCF to the adopter, is a special case of commercial intra-Community trade, because there is a transfer of ownership.

Each transfer of ownership of a DCF must be accompanied by a 92/65 EI certificate, where under points 'I.5. and I.13.' the adopter (name and address) must be indicated as consignee. Under no circumstances may the declared consignee be an asylum seeker or an association.

In this case, the owner must already be regarded as animal owner if an adoption contract has been drawn up and payment has been made. In addition, the animal must be transported directly from the place of origin to the place of destination.

Last updated: 18/11/2020