Moving a Pet to France

Rules and Regulations for International Pet Shipping

What Pet Travel Documents Are Needed to Travel to France?

Every country sets their own rules for importing pets when you move to or visit their country. In France, it is the French Ministry for Agriculture, Food and Forestry that governs pet importation. The rules differ somewhat, depending on where you live now. For instance, if you and your pet (dog, cat, or ferret) currently reside in another European Union country and your pet has a current EU Pet Passport, you do not need any additional documentation to bring your pet to France.  

However, if you live in the UK, the ultimate resolution of the Brexit situation will determine what rules affect your pet’s travel. This site explains rules for taking British pets abroad, and this one is a government page devoted to Brexit-specific updates.

If you currently reside in a non-EU country, there are specific steps you will need to take in order to bring your pet into France. You can consult this document to get the details, but we have outlined all the essentials below. You will be happy to learn that France’s pet import requirements are less complex than those of many other countries.

But do not take the requirements lightly. Without proper documentation, your pet could be sent back, quarantined, or even put down. If your pet causes or contributes to the spread of transmissible disease, you could be fined or worse.

If your pet will not be traveling with you, you will need to sign a consent form for the person who will accompany or be authorized to transport your pet.

Health Certificates

Health Certificate for Dogs

The requirements described below apply only if your dog or cat or ferret will be entering France within 5 days before or after your own arrival date. If the timing difference will be greater than this 10-day window, your pet will need a “commercial” health certificate, which is somewhat different. No worries, though – our Starwood Animal Transport team can easily handle this for you.

You will need an EU Veterinary Health Certificate that must be endorsed prior to shipment for each pet. It must be filled out and signed by an accredited veterinarian.  Coming from the US, the Aphis 7001 is required for some airlines in addition but does not need USDA endorsement. France does not allow online submission of documents for pet import.

Your pet’s health certificate must be completed within 10 days of there arrival in France.

Import Permit

France does not require a separate import permit for dogs, cats, or ferrets, as long as you are not bringing more than 5 pets and as long as they will arrive in-country within 5 days before or 5 days after you arrive.

Vaccines

Rabies Vaccinations

Rabies is the only immunization required for dogs, cats, and ferrets to enter France. One, two, or three-year vaccines are acceptable, as long as it was properly administered and is still current when your pet arrives. To be considered valid, rabies vaccine must be administered after or at the same time your pet is microchipped (see Microchip section below). All countries make this distinction because each animal’s microchip number is their unique identifier and it has to appear on all documentation.

To enter France, your pet’s microchip must be ISO-compliant. If your pet has a microchip that was implanted prior to rabies vaccination, he will not need to be re-vaccinated but he will need to get a second, ISO-compliant microchip. All paperwork must show both microchip numbers.

The first rabies vaccination given after implantation of a microchip (or at the same time) is considered the “primary” vaccination. This definition also applies to a vaccination given after earlier rabies vaccine has expired. All pets must wait at least 21 days between this date and their arrival in France.

Other Vaccinations

Although other immunizations are not officially required, it is recommended that pets living in France be vaccinated against common pests and diseases. This is something you will want to discuss with your veterinarian after arriving in France.

Tapeworm Treatment

France does not require imported pets to be treated for tapeworm.

Dog and cat napping

Blood Tests

If you are moving from a non-listed country (where rabies is a known problem or not reliably controlled), your pet will also have to have a blood titer test to prove their rabies vaccine is active within their body. This can take several months. This is not needed when coming from the United States. 

Photo of Pet

France does not require you to submit a picture of your pet along with their paperwork, but who doesn’t love to show off photos of their beloved pet? You probably have several on your phone, should anyone ask.

What Are the Pet Restrictions for France?

Like many countries, France does not allow the import of certain breeds of dogs, although there are no restrictions for cats. You can get more information about this here.

Banned Breeds

If your dog is one of the following breeds, you may not bring him to France unless he has an official, registered pedigree:

  • Staffordshire terrier
  • American Staffordshire terrier (pit bull)
  • Mastiff
  • Tosa

If your dog is one of these breeds and does have a registered pedigree, you may import him but you will have to follow certain rules set forth for dangerous dogs. This also applies to Rottweilers and dogs that are “similar to Rottweilers,” with or without a registered pedigree.

 

Age Restrictions for France

France does not allow the import of puppies, kittens, or baby ferrets that are younger than 12 weeks and have no rabies vaccination, or those between 12-16 weeks whose rabies vaccine was administered less than 21 days prior to arrival. 

Do I Need a Microchip for My Pet to Travel to France?

All dogs, cats, and ferrets must have a microchip that meets ISO standard 11784 or 11785. (The number will be 15 digits.) If your pet currently has no microchip, that should be your first order of business, because it is a prerequisite for obtaining documentation. If your pet has a microchip that does meet ISO standards, you have options:

  • Carry a chip reader that customers officials can use to scan your pet
  • Notify French customs in advance so they can have an appropriate scanner available
  • Have your veterinarian implant a second, ISO-compliant microchip. This won’t hurt your pet. You will need to include both microchip ID numbers on all your pet’s paperwork.

What Are the Quarantine Requirements for a Pet Traveling to France?

France does not quarantine pets upon arrival, providing they meet all the stated health requirements.

Are There Any Area Specific Pet Requirements in France?

Although France does not have any other pet import restrictions you will need to know about, airlines also have rules about pet travel. Therefore, it is important to consult your airline (or your Starwood rep) to learn if there are additional rules that apply to your pet’s journey.

Top Destinations in France

How Starwood Can Help

Our France pet shipping services include:

  • Door-to-door transport
  • Assistance with health certificates, import certificates, and other travel documents needed for animal transport to France (outlined above)
  • USDA endorsement and consular legalization (when needed) of all relevant documents where required
  • Airline-approved flight kennels provided with personalized labels, identification and emergency notification instructions
  • Customs clearance and delivery to your home
  • Local pet taxi service to and from the airport, your home, veterinarian, kennel, or groomer – available in major France cities as well as their surrounding areas
  • Travel consultation and flight reservations

We will inform you of your pet's full itinerary before the trip and we will update you as your pet travels to France.

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