I'm Israeli with a European citizenship (Romanian). I'm thinking of moving to France to live and work long-term. I also have 2 dogs that I would like to keep with me when I go.

What is the regulation in France regarding importing animals?

Is there an official government office I can contact to get more details?


4 Answers 4


Well, we've done that quite a few times (from Romania to France), and you need to have the full vaccination set done – rabies vaccination (la rage) being really the critical one, as well as have your animal identified.

You may need to make a passport for him, though I guess there's a european legislation regarding animals identification.

I'm pretty sure if you ask your veterinary, he'll be able to tell you what you need to do.

  • Your second paragraph confuses me... is a passport or other form of pet-identification necessary, or you don't know?
    – Flimzy
    Mar 29, 2014 at 2:05
  • Well, pet identification of animals that cross borders is mandatory. Usually when moving between countries, some kind of "passport" is needed that contains all the (ownership and medical) informations about the pet. What I'm wondering is whether EU has unified somehow pet identification making the passport not necessary. I mean, I'd expect some kind of unification like that in the EU, but it's not like the EU does logical things :-)
    – zmo
    Mar 29, 2014 at 8:44

I moved my cat from a non-EU country to Germany. I did a bunch of research about this, but the most important thing in the end was to find a vet that deals with pet export (not all do, or are authorised to). The vet was able to point me to the official import/export agencies if I required further information. It is also possible that some pet export companies do everything, including having their own vets to take care of the medical side of things.

In my case, she required standard vaccinations, rabies vaccination, a special flea and tick treatment, microchipping, and pre-departure and post-arrival vet checks. What is required between EU countries, and for Romania and France in particular, can vary. Note that the timing of procedures can be extremely strict.

It may not be essential to have an "official" pet passport (I'm not even sure if there is an official one), but it is essential that all procedures and exams are documented. Especially if your dogs will be travelling in cargo, there are specific rules about which cages or cage types are acceptable that you will need to follow.

I strongly advise that you do not try to go this alone. Find reputable and authorised vets and pet export companies to ensure that everything is done as it should be.


Embassies in France (especially the one from your country of residence) or the local Ministry of Foreign Affairs might have some info on their website (as an example, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs has some info on doing the opposite, namely moving out of France with a pet). The French Ministry of Agriculture provides some info too.

I haven't found a comprehensive overview of the rules about importing pets in France but it seems that if your pets are already in the EU, it might be easier. If not, you might need to get them tested for rabies well in advance (on top of all the other requirements, including identification and vaccination).

For more info, you should certainly contact a veterinary. The relevant government office in France is the Direction départementale de la protection des populations (there is one per département, as the name suggests). Contact details are available on service-public.fr (click on the right part of France, then look under “Agriculture”).


The details are available at http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/liveanimals/pets/nocomm_third_en.htm.

Basically you are moving your pets from an unlisted third country to an EU country. So the following applies:


Countries with an unfavourable situation or for which no application to be listed has been submitted to the Commission are not listed in Part C of Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 998/2003 pdf.

From 1 January 2012

Entry into all Member States:

(a) anti-rabies vaccination; and
(b) rabies anti-body titration test
    (i) carried out on a blood sample taken by an authorised veterinarian at least 30 days after vaccination and three months before movement. The collection of sample must be documented by the authorised veterinarian in the relevant section of the passport or the health certificate.
    (ii) performed in any EU-approved rabies serology laboratory;
    (iii) measuring a level of neutralising antibody to rabies virus in serum equal to or greater than 0.5 IU/ml and using a method prescribed in the relevant part of the Chapter concerning rabies in the Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals of the World Organisation for Animal Health;
    (iv) which has not to be renewed following a satisfactory result provided that the pet animal is revaccinated at regular intervals prescribed by the vaccine producing laboratory.
The three-month period shall not apply to the re-entry of a pet animal whose passport certifies that the test was carried out, with a favourable result, before the animal left the Union.

So you need to go to your vet, get a microchip , rabies vaccination, blood test to check the vaccination has worked and your pets need to be accompanied by the serology report and a certificate based on Annex I or II to Decision 2011/874/EU completed by your vet according to the timescales above. Just make sure your vet works through everything carefully.

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