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