What Pet Travel Documents Are Needed to Travel to Germany?
The German Federal Customs Service (known as “ZOLL”) is responsible for regulating pet importation. As with every other country, the rules for moving to Germany with a pet depend on where you’re living now. For example, if you and your dog or cat (or ferret) are coming from another European Union country and your pet already has an EU Pet Passport, you’re good to go.
That could change, if you are a resident of the UK. As of May 2019, there is no final Brexit resolution. Pending that, pet travel remains as is under EU rules. However, if the final deal changes Britain’s status as a listed country, the rules for traveling from the UK to remaining EU countries will change.
And what if you currently live in a non-EU country? You can read those rules in detail here. As an overview, however, you’ll find everything you need to know below. Germany’s regulations are not complex compared to many other counties.
Originals of all documents must travel with your pet.
An accredited veterinarian must fill out and sign an EU Veterinary Health Certificate for your pet. In the US, this is USDA/APHIS Form 7001 is required for some airlines in addition but does not need USDA endorsement. Germany does not accept electronic documents for pet import.
The health certificate must be completed within 10 days of your pet’s departure.
Dogs, cats, and ferrets do not need an import permit to enter Germany.
Rabies is the only immunization required for dogs, cats, and ferrets to enter Germany. 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 Germany, 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 Germany.
Pets are not required to be vaccinated for anything other than rabies. However, Germany recommends you do immunize as follows. Vaccines must be valid when your pet enters Germany but must be given at least 2 weeks before your poet departs:
- Dogs: Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus (DHLPP), and Bordetella
- Cats: Feline Viral Rhinotrachaeitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukoopenia (FVRCP)
- Dogs do not need tapeworm treatment prior to entering Germany.
- Not applicable to cats or ferrets.
Foot and Mouth Disease
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.
Photo of Pet
Pet photos are not required. If someone asks, though, we suspect you’ll have plenty available on your phone to show them!