FAQ: Entry and re-entry of pets from third countries

What does the term "third country" mean?

The term refers to a country that is not a Member state of the EU (European Union).

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Who carries out the checks on animals accompanying tourists?

In Austria, the checks of animals accompanying travellers are being carried out by the customs. Please contact the customs officers upon entry, e.g. by using the exit marked in red at the airport. In case of non-compliance with the conditions the customs will consult the border veterinarian who will carry out border veterinary checks and decide on the import.

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Do I have to show only the confirmation of the latest vaccination? (I lost documentation of earlier vaccinations)

The latest vaccination is the most important. If you are not able to provide evidence of previous vaccinations the latest one is deemed as basic vaccination and thus must have been carried out at least 21 days before leaving the country of provenance/origin.

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My pet will first arrive by plane in another Member state of the EU and then go on to Austria by a connecting flight – where will the checks be carried out?

The checks will be carried out at the first point of entry into the EU, which means not in Austria. There are no further checks at the Austrian border.

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Is it permitted to have the animal travel alone as "luggage"?

Yes, animals may travel alone in the cargo hold if all conditions pertaining to animals travelling with tourists are met.

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Does the certificate have to be issued by an official veterinarian?


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Which is the authority I can contact in the USA regarding the issuing of a certificate?

It would be best to ask in the USA on the organisation of their authorities. There may be different requirements in force in different states and it might be useful to contact the bureau of the National Import Export Services in the federal state from which the pet is to be sent. You may also inquire there regarding the procedures at the airport concerned.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service provide further information on the movement of pets from the USA at:

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I have a Bosnian "pet passport". Is it valid in the same way as an Austrian Heimtierausweis/pet pass?

No. Andorra, Switzerland, the Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, and Vatican City State are the only non EU-Member states that also may issue pet passports.

Some third countries like Bosnia, Serbia, Ukraine, or Turkey make use of vaccination passes that look like pet passports and often are even termed as "pet passport"; However these can not replace the required certificate for entry or import.

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When do I have to get the certificate issued?

The period for issuing has been laid down in the certificate; the maximum period is 10 days before entry into the EU.

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What is the period of validity of the rabies vaccination and when is a re-vaccination (booster) required?

The period of validity depends from the authorization of the vaccine in the country where the vaccination is being carried out. Please ask the veterinarian who carried out the vaccination, when the next re-vaccination/booster is required.

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Besides rabies, do the animals need any further vaccinations?

There are no further vaccinations required by the authorities.

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I am worried that the micro-chip can not be read.

The officers at airport Vienna in Schwechat are equipped with reading devices that allow reading of chips of different standards. When in doubt please take along your own reading device.

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Where do I have to have the rabies titre (serological rabies antibody) test be carried out?

The blood sample has to be tested in an EU-approved laboratory. This laboratory may be situated in the EU but also in a third country.

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Do I need to have a rabies titre test carried out, even if the animals have been demonstrably vaccinated and re-vaccinated at regular intervals?

If this is an import requirement, a serological rabies antibody test has to be carried out on animals that had not been tested, even if they were vaccinated at regular intervals. However such rabies titre test does not have to be repeated in the case of animals that have been re-vaccinated at the regular intervals provided for in the authorisation of the product.

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What do I have to do in case there is no approved laboratory in the country of provenance/origin available?

In this case the serological rabies antibody test has to be carried out by an EU-approved laboratory in another third country or an EU Member state. There is no requirement to have the test be carried out in the third country of origin.

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Do I have to have the blood sample tested in Austria, if the place of destination of the animal is Austria?

The test of the blood sample has to be carried out in an EU-approved laboratory. This laboratory may be situated in the EU but also in a third country.

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My dog/cat comes from Malaysia; do I have to consider particular requirements?

According to a specific Commission Decision (2006/146/EC) particular conditions have to be met in the case of dogs and cats originating in Malaysia with regard to “Nipah-disease” in addition to those requirements already mentioned. In principle, imports of dogs and cats would be prohibited; but when meeting additional requirements (confirmation that there was no contact with pigs and that the establishment has been free from the disease for 60 days, IgG Elisa test in a laboratory approved by the Malaysian authorities within 10 days before export) import is allowed. This (informal) written confirmation has to be presented in addition to the model certificate. The decision can be found in the Official Journal of the European Union (2006/146/EC):

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I was offered to buy/adopt dogs/cats less than 12 weeks of age originating in Serbia. Am I allowed to import them into Austria?

Import of dogs, cats or ferrets less than 12 weeks of age originating in Serbia is not allowed because they cannot comply with the EU import rules. They neither comply with the conditions of pets accompanying travellers nor with those of commercial imports. An animal complying with the conditions of entry of pets is at least 7 months old: 

  • Anti-rabies vaccination at the earliest at an age of 12 weeks,  
  • 30 days after this blood sampling for serological titre test, 
  • Import certificate may be issued 3 months from this blood sampling at the earliest.

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From which countries may I introduce dogs, cats or ferrets to Austria without serological rabies test (rabies titre test)?

From the following Third countries animals may be introduced without serological rabies test (rabies titre test):

  • Antigua und Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Aruba
  • Ascension Island
  • Australia
  • Bahrain
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Bermuda
  • Bonaire
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Chile
  • Curaçao
  • Falkland Islands
  • Fiji
  • French-Polynesia
  • Hong Kong
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Macedonia (Former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia)
  • Malaysia
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Montserrat
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • Sint Maarten
  • Stint Eustatius and Saba (The BEQ-Islands)
  • St. Helena
  • St. Kitts und Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Pierre und Miquelon
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Taiwan
  • Trinidad und Tobago
  • Vanuatu
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States of America (including American-Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico und US Virgin Islands)
  • Wallis and Futuna

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Am I allowed to enter Austria with a dog of a so called dangerous breed (listed breed)?

In Austria there is no general restriction on the import of dogs of so called "dangerous breeds" (e.g. pit bull) in force. However, keeping of those breeds can be subject to restrictions based on public safety legislation, which may be applied on a local (communal, district) basis. Please contact your local authorities, once you know where you will reside in Austria, whether they apply such regulations.

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