Travelling with your pet: Return to Belgium

If you want to travel with your pet, it is a good idea to consult all the useful information on conditions and procedures in good time to avoid any unpleasant surprises. Please bear in mind that all deadlines must be strictly observed. These rules were drawn up to protect the health of people and animals in Belgium and other countries. Therefore, your pet (dog, cat or ferret) must also meet the following conditions.

I am in a country within the European Union and I want to return to Belgium with my dog or cat.
I am in a country within the European Union and I have found/rescued/adopted a dog or cat. Can I bring it to Belgium?
I am in a country outside the European Union and I want to return to Belgium with my dog or cat.
I am in a country outside the European Union and I have found/rescued/adopted a dog or cat. Can I bring it with me?
What are the conditions if I travel by road or by plane and come from a country outside the European Union?

 

 

I am in a country within the European Union and I want to return to Belgium with my dog or cat.


Conditions:

  • Identification and registration (passport + microchip)
  • A valid rabies vaccination


Identification and registration

Your pet must have a European passport to travel in the EU. This passport must contain the identification details of animal and owner. In addition, your pet must be identified by a microchip. A tattoo is only valid if it was made before 3 July 2011 and is clearly legible.


Vaccination against rabies

Your animal can be vaccinated against rabies from the age of 12 weeks. This is known as the ‘primary vaccination’ (first vaccination against rabies).

Please note!
This vaccination is only valid after at least 21 days, which means that your puppy or kitten can travel from the age of 15 weeks at the earliest.

The validity period of the vaccine depends on the type of vaccine. This can be checked in your animal's passport. If the revaccination is carried out within the validity period, the vaccination is immediately valid. A vaccination that is given too late, only after the expiry of this period, should be considered a ‘primary vaccination’. This vaccination is only valid after at least 21 days.

 

Are you travelling with more than 5 pets or are you unable to travel with your pets at the same time?
>  The transportation of your pets must comply with the conditions applicable to the commercial movement of pets. This requires, among other things, a certificate. For more information, please contact your Local Control Unit (LCU).  

 

 

I am in a country within the European Union and I have found/rescued/adopted a dog or cat. Can I bring it with me to Belgium?

The same rules apply as for travel within the EU:


Identification and registration (passport + microchip)

Your pet must have a European passport to travel in the EU. This passport must contain the identification details of animal and owner. In addition, your pet must be identified by a microchip. A tattoo is only valid if it was made before 3 July 2011 and is clearly legible.


A valid rabies vaccination

Your animal can be vaccinated against rabies from the age of 12 weeks. This is known as the ‘primary vaccination’ (first vaccination against rabies).

Please note!
This vaccination is only valid after at least 21 days, which means that your puppy or kitten can travel from the age of 15 weeks at the earliest.

The validity period of the vaccine depends on the type of vaccine. This can be checked in your animal's passport. If the revaccination is carried out within the validity period, the vaccination is immediately valid. A vaccination that is given too late, only after the expiry of this period, should be considered a ‘primary vaccination’. This vaccination is only valid after at least 21 days.

 

 

I am in a country outside the European Union and I want to return to Belgium with my dog or cat.

Conditions:

  • Identification (microchip)
  • A valid rabies vaccination
  • A health certificate

Possibly also:

  • A blood test


Identification

Your pet must be identified by a microchip. A tattoo is only valid if it was made before 3 July 2011 and is clearly legible.

Will your dog/cat be staying in Belgium for longer than 6 months?
You need to register your pet in the DogID/CatID database within 8 days of your arrival. Your veterinarian can help you with this.


Valid rabies vaccination against rabies

Your pet must have a valid rabies vaccination.

Your animal can be vaccinated against rabies from the age of 12 weeks. This is known as the ‘primary vaccination’ (first vaccination against rabies).

Please note!
This vaccination is only valid after at least 21 days, which means that your animal can travel from the age of 15 weeks at the earliest.
The validity period of the vaccine depends on the type of vaccine. This can be checked in your animal's passport. If the revaccination is carried out within the validity period, the vaccination is immediately valid. A vaccination that is given too late, only after the expiry of this period, should be considered a ‘primary vaccination’. This vaccination is only valid after at least 21 days.


Blood test

If you are travelling from a country that is on the list of countries in Annex II of European Regulation (EU) 2013/577, then no blood test for antibodies against rabies is required:  your dog or cat may  travel from at least 21 days after the primary vaccination against rabies.

Please note! Are you coming from a country that is not on this list? Then you must also have a blood test for antibodies against rabies carried out. It is important to be aware here that:

  • the blood sample for this test may not be taken until 30 days after the primary vaccination at the earliest, since only then can sufficient antibodies be detected in the blood;
  • if the blood sampling takes place outside the EU, your pet may only travel to Belgium 3 months later;
  • if the blood sampling and test are carried out before your departure to a country outside the EU, you may return sooner with your pet to Belgium. (Your pet does not have to wait 3 months to return to Belgium);
  • the test must be carried out in an EU-approved laboratory (a test carried out by a laboratory which does not have valid approval is not valid). So be sure to check this with the laboratory!
  • the result of the blood test must be higher than 0.5IU/ml and is valid for life, although only on the condition that your animal is always revaccinated within the validity period.


Health certificate

A health certificate is required if the animal does not have an EU passport and/or if the vaccination and/or titration took place in a third country.

Have you been on holiday to a country outside the EU with your pet, which has a European passport, and do you want to return to the EU? In this case, your dog or cat does not need a health certificate and a fully completed European passport is sufficient to return. Please note that a health certificate is required if a vaccination was administered or if a titration test was taken in a country outside the EU.

Within ten days before departure, you must have an official veterinarian in the country of departure issue a health certificate according to the model described in Regulation (EU) No. 2019/1293. If a blood test is also required, the blood test report must be presented along with the health certificate.

For the purpose of further movement into other EU Member States, the certificate for non-commercial movement is valid for a total of 4 months. During these 4 months, travel within the EU without an EU pet passport should in principle be possible. When the validity of the vaccine expires prior to the end of this 4-month period, the certificate is, of course, no longer valid for travel within the EU.

 

Are you travelling with more than 5 pets or are you unable to travel with your pets at the same time?
> The transportation of your pets falls under ‘commercial imports

 

 

I am in a country outside the European Union and I have found/rescued/adopted a dog or cat.

Can I bring it with me?

These rules were drawn up to protect the health of people and animals in Belgium and in other countries. Therefore, your new dog or cat must also meet these conditions.
The animal will need to meet all the import conditions that apply to travelling with pets from countries outside the EU. A health certificate is definitely required in these cases. Be aware that this is a process that can take a long time:

  • If the animal comes from a country outside the EU for which no blood test is required, you can only bring it to Belgium if it is identified by a microchip, it has been vaccinated and a waiting period of at least 21 days after vaccination has elapsed. If you want to bring a puppy or kitten to Belgium, you can bring the animal to Belgium at the age of 15 weeks at the earliest (the vaccination can only be administered from the age of 12 weeks + a waiting period of at least 21 days after vaccination must be observed).
  • If the animal comes from a country outside the EU for which a blood test is also required, you can only bring it to Belgium if it is identified by a microchip, it has been vaccinated,  a blood test has been carried out 1 month after the vaccination took place and a waiting period of 3 months after the blood test has elapsed. If you want to bring a puppy or kitten to Belgium, the earliest you can bring the animal is when it has reached the age of 7 months (the vaccination can be administered from the age of 12 weeks at the earliest + the blood test is only possible 1 month after the vaccination took place + there is a 3-month waiting period after the blood test).
  • Dogs and cats that come from a country outside the EU and are going to stay in Belgium for at least 6 months need to be registered in the central DogID/CatID database within 8 days after their arrival in Belgium (you can have this done by a veterinarian; In addition, your animal will then be able to get a European passport).

 

 

What are the conditions if I travel by road or by plane and come from a country outside the European Union?

 

Pets must always pass through a travellers' point of entry designated by Member States when entering the EU.

When travelling by plane: upon arrival at the airport, you must immediately present yourself at Customs. Customs will check whether your pet meets all the requirements. In Belgium, this must be done via the Travellers' Points of Entry.

When travelling by car: at the border of the first country where you enter the EU, you must also present yourself to the competent authorities for an inspection.

 

More detailed information about travelling with pets can also be found on the FPS Public Health website, the European Commission website and the FASFC website. For specific questions about travelling from countries outside the EU, please contact import@favv.be.

Last updated: 27/08/2021