Import a Pet into France
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How to Import a Pet into France

You may import any breed of cat or any breed of dog other than Staffordshire terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Mastiff or Tosa not pedigreed in France. Breeds of dogs which resemble these prohibited breeds must be accompanied by an original pedigree certificate and ID-number that proves the animal's breed.

The import of dogs, cats and ferrets, the most common pets as well as the most likely rabies carriers, is subject to rules that comply with those of the EU and the EEA. In all cases, the owner, or the owner's appointed representative, must accompany the pet(s) upon import. Up to five animals may be imported as family pets. Import of more than five animals is regarded to be commercial and is subject to separate regulations. Otherwise, the rules vary according to the country of last residence of the pet(s).

Import from EU countries and from low-rabies-risk countries* outside the EU is permitted provided you adhere to five rules:

1. Identification: the animal must be identified by a microchip (transponder) to ISO Standards 11784 Annex A or 11785 (if it is to another standard, you must supply a reader for it). Until 3 July 2011, a clearly readable tattoo is allowable, except for Ireland, Malta and the UK, which already require the transponder.

2. Vaccination against rabies: the animal must have been vaccinated against rabies according to World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, and a blood sample for confirmation of antibody litre must have been taken not earlier than 120 days and not later than 365 days after the last vaccination.

3. Enchinococcus treatment: dogs and cats must have had a tapeworm (enchinococcus) treatment no more than 10 days before being imported.

4. Pet passport or Veterinary Certificate: a pet coming from an EU/EEA country must be accompanied by an EU Pet Passport issued by a vet in the country of origin (the EU does not issue the passports). A pet coming from another country* must be accompanied by a Veterinary Certificate in English or French, certified by the country's Health Authority.

5. Customs control: upon clearing customs with an animal, go through the red zone with the animal and its documentation.

Import from countries not considered low-rabies-risk is permitted, following the first four of the five rules listed above, with an extended fifth and an additional sixth rule:

5. Customs control: the border vet must be notified at least 48 hours prior to import, and you must have written confirmation that the notice has been received. Upon clearing customs with an animal, go through the red zone with the animal and its documentation, including the vet's confirmation of your request.

6. Quarantine: after you have cleared customs with an animal, it will be taken into quarantine for at least four months, followed by two months of "home quarantine" isolated from other animals.

For further information in general, visit the European Commission animal health and welfare website at europa.eu.int , for information specific to France, visit websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at www.france.diplomatie.fr with pages in English, German and Spanish, or the National Association of Veterinarians [Ordre national des veterinaires] at www.veterinaire.jr.

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