Taking animals or plants with you
Pets (Dogs, Cats and Ferrets)
As an EU national, you can freely travel with your cat, dog or ferret if it has a European pet passport. This passport is available from any authorised veterinarian and must contain details of a valid anti-rabies vaccination.
If you have a dog, cat or ferret which is less than 3 months old (and not vaccinated against rabies), check the national rules.
The EU pet passport is only for dogs, cats and ferrets. If you have other pets, such as rabbits or canaries, you should check relevant national rules on taking animals in/out of the country.
If you take an animal into Finland, Ireland, Malta or the United Kingdom, it must be treated against the tapeworm Echinococcus as follows:
- the treatment shall be administered by a veterinarian within a period of not more than 120 hours and not less than 24 hours before the time of scheduled entry into Finland, Ireland, Malta or the United Kingdom;
- the treatment shall be certified by the administering veterinarian in the relevant section of the passport.
Your animal will require an electronic microchip or a readable tattoo that has been applied before 3 July 2011 with the same code as the one documented in the passport.
Other animals and plants
You may carry animals or plants - including parts thereof - when you are travelling in EU countries. But most EU countries do have strict rules on transporting endangered species or products derived from them. You may need a permit to travel with some species.
To find out about a specific species, you should always check the EU wildlife trade reference database. You can also contact the CITES authority in your country to know if the species you want to travel with needs a certificate.
During outbreaks of animal diseases, there may also be local restrictions on the movement of live animals and products of animal origin. Contact the relevant veterinary authorities if you are planning to transport animals.
Always check whether you are allowed to take your purchases home
Kaya went to Greece on holiday. She went home to Malta with a necklace made out of shells from marine turtles. A customs officer asked her for a permit for it. As she didn't have a permit, he confiscated the necklace. Generally, goods may be moved freely inside EU countries. But there are strict controls on the movement of some threatened species between countries. Next time, Kaya should contact the Maltese CITES authority to find out if the product she wants to bring back requires a certificate.