Traveling with pets (cat, dog, ferret)

Information for when you are traveling with pets (cat, dog, ferret).

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The following information is only for the importation of cats, dogs & ferrets.

As of October 01, 2012, you NO LONGER need to apply for an import or transit authorization from the FASFC for pet animals moving from a non-EC country to Belgium. The conditions for importing pet animals are laid down by the Regulation 998/2003 and the Royal Decree of 01/05/2006. 

You can find more information on import conditions on the following websites:  

For all other pets, please consult the website(s) above.  

Needed for cats/dogs or ferrets

1) Microchip + rabies shots

The microchip (15 digits). 

If you are traveling to a EU country and your pet has the 9 digit microchip, your pet will either need another 15 digit microchip OR you will need to bring your own scanner. (the 15 digit ISO microchip is fast becoming the world standard).In Europe, the standard pet microchip meets ISO standard 11784/17785 and is a 15 digit microchip operating at 134.2 kHz ) 

“Pet dogs, cats, and ferrets must be identified with a microchip compatible with ISO standard 11784 or 11785 or the appropriate microchip reader must be provided along with the pet. Microchip implantation must occur prior to rabies vaccination. Any rabies vaccination that occurs prior to microchip implantation is not considered valid regardless of whether the animal was up-to-date on its previous rabies vaccines. In this case, the animal must be revaccinated. 21 days must have elapsed after the first (primary) vaccination after implantation of the microchip before the animal is eligible to enter the European Union. A rabies vaccination is considered primary if either: (1) an animal was up-to-date on its rabies vaccination but vaccination occurred prior to microchip implantation, (2) vaccination was not carried out within the period of validity of a previous vaccination, or (3) the animal was vaccinated for the first time.“ 

2) The rabies vaccinations

After the implant of the microchip and at least 21 days before traveling. (So at least 21 days - but  the “maximum” vaccination of a pet cannot exceed 3 years - otherwise the pet will need to get vaccinated again.) Also, if the shots were given before the implantation of the new microchip, your pet will need a rabies booster shot and again has to wait at least 21 days before traveling. 

(A puppy has to be at least 3 months old before getting the vaccination and afterwards wait at least 21 days before travel) 

3) Veterinary certificate (within 10 days of travel**)

If the veterinary is USDA accredited, his signature will suffice. 

More information 

5 or less dogs, cats, and ferrets traveling ** 

  • Owner traveling on the same plane as the pet OR owner travels within 5 days before or after the pet 

  • Certificate must be issued within 10 days of entering the EU 

  • Designated person* traveling on the same plane as the pet OR designated person* travels within 5 days before or after the pet 

  • Certificate must be issued within 10 days of entering the EU 

  • Neither the owner nor a designated person* is traveling within 5 days of the pet 

  • Certificate must be issued within 48 hours of departing the U.S. 

  • *Designated person: a family member, friend, or other person authorized by the owner to travel with pet 

Health certificate (Movement of no more than 5 non-commercial pet animals) 

6 or more dogs, cats and ferrets traveling ** 

  • Privately owned pets 

  • Certificate must be issued within 48 hours of departing the U.S. 

  • Pets traveling in a group to the EU to participate in competitions, exhibitions, sporting events, or in training for those events 

  • Certificate must be issued within 10 days of entering the EU 

Health certificate (Movement of commercial of more than 5 non-commercial pet animals) 

Please note: The EU health certificate is valid for travel within the EU for up to 4 months from the date it is issued by the USDA Accredited Veterinarian as long as the rabies vaccine documented on it does not expire. 

4) NOTE: post-rabies/titillation test

This is only needed if your pet is coming from a third world country… not if your pet is leaving from the US. (For example: If you came back from Africa… your pet would need it) 

If you have are any more questions, please contact Mrs. Malliet, Mrs. Rixta Lycklama or M. Moelans. at the email address below. (They are the experts). 

Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain 
Import, Export & Notifications 
Food Safety Center (6th floor, office 04)  
Kruidtuinlaan 55  
1000 Brussel  
Tel.: +32 211 8466 
Fax.: +32 211 8468 

  • with regard to import controls in Belgium; now managed by the " Thematic Control Unit Border Control Point " (TCU BCP) 

  • with regard to intra-community certification and exports to third countries, now managed by the "Notifications and Certification Cell" (CNC)"