Importing pets and domestic animals to Finland

Lemmikki- ja kotieläinten tuominen Suomeen
Below you will find information on what to do if you plan to import pets or domestic animals to Finland.

Dogs, cats and ferrets

These requirements apply to the import of dogs, cats and ferrets from EU countries, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland. The requirements only apply to pet animals accompanying travellers that are not intended for sale or transfer to a new owner. The requirements apply to pet animals travelling or moving to, temporarily staying in or transiting Finland.

There are no import restrictions in Finland concerning cat or dog breeds. However, the Finnish decree on alien species prohibits imports to Finland of cross-breeds of tame dogs and wolves/other canine species as well as of cross-breeds of tame cats and other feline species. More information on alien species:

1. Identification

Pet animals must be identified with a unique microchip. Tattooing is only accepted as a means of identification under certain conditions; see the website of the Finnish Food Authority for more details. Animals must be identified before the rabies vaccination.

2. Rabies vaccination

Animals must be vaccinated against rabies.

Animals must be identified before the rabies vaccination. The vaccination must be administered at least 21 days before importation. Booster vaccinations have no 21-day waiting period, if the vaccination is administered before expiry of the period of validity of the previous vaccination.

The previous vaccination must be marked in the pet passport or other vaccination certificate. The veterinarian marks the last day of validity of the rabies vaccination in the pet passport.

If puppies, kittens or ferret kits under the age of 12 weeks are imported directly from the breeder in any EU country, vaccination is not required. However, puppies, kittens and ferret kits require a signed declaration by the owner that the animal has not been in contact with wild animals. A model declaration can be found on the website of the Finnish Food Authority. Imports of puppies, kittens and ferret kits under the age of 12 weeks from non-EU countries (including Norway, Iceland and Switzerland) are prohibited, however. The requirement for imports from these countries can be found on the website of the Finnish Food Authority.

3. Tapeworm treatment

Echinococcus treatment is not required for dogs imported directly to Finland from Norway. Anti-echinococcus tapeworm treatment must be given to dogs imported from other Nordic countries. The treatment must be administered by a veterinarian abroad 1-5 days before entering Finland or applying the 28-day rule. Then the pet must be treated at least twice before travelling at a maximum interval of 28 days in an EU country or a country comparable to an EU country, and after that regularly at maximum intervals of 28 days for as long as the pet keeps travelling to and from Finland. The last treatment must be administered in the animal’s home country after the travelling has ended. If there is a longer gap in the treatment, the programme of treatment must be started over again.

If a dog is subject to the 28-day rule, an entry is made in the pet passport in the echinococcosis treatment section. The entry is made in Finnish or Swedish and English. For more details, go to the website of the Finnish Food Authority.

Cats and ferrets do not need to be treated.

4. Pet passport

When travelling within the EU, a pet must have a pet passport issued by an authorised veterinarian. The passport can be purchased in EU countries from the veterinarian who treats the animal. Countries that apply EU rules and procedures (including Norway, Iceland and Switzerland) may use a so-called third-country pet passport, which is also an approved travel document within the EU.

So as to issue the passport the veterinarian checks that the pet is identified, and that the animal has been vaccinated against rabies. The pet passport is valid for the animal’s whole lifetime. The veterinarian also enters other vaccination data in the passport, as well as details of echinococcus treatment.

More information on the current regulations and restrictions is available on the website of the Finnish Food Authority.

Importing an animal without a traveller

If an animal is sent to Finland without an accompanying traveller, a veterinarian approved by the competent authority in the country of departure must perform a so-called clinical examination of the animal to ensure the animal is in good health and is capable of travelling alone. The examination must be done no more than 48 hours before travel and is entered in the pet passport.

More information on various types of travel and on the maximum number of animals arriving e.g. for competitions or shows is given on the website of the Finnish Food Authority. You can get more information on importing by email from EU-elain@foodauthority.fi.

Other pet animals

Imports of rabbits and rodents (guinea pigs, rats, mice, hamsters, chinchilla etc.), ornamental fish, reptiles, turtles and amphibians are permitted without import licences or veterinary certificates if they are pet animals and do not come to Finland to be sold or forwarded. Imports of rare or endangered animal species, however, are subject to authorisation.

Importing mini-pigs and other breeding or domestic animals as well as birds for commercial sale requires registration as an importer. The Finnish Food Authority charges for issuance of import registration, and this must be applied for in good time before the intended importation.

Horses

No separate health certificate is required for horses registered in Finland, Sweden, Norway or Denmark and travelling between the Nordic countries for competition purposes (Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry 1033/2013), provided that

  1. the horse crosses the border between the countries in order to participate in a competition at the earliest five days before the start of the competition and at the latest five days after the end of the competition;
  2. the horse is accompanied before the competition by a document stating that the horse has been entered for the competition;
  3. the horse is accompanied after the competition by a certificate of participation in the competition;
  4. the certificate referred to in section 3 is issued by the veterinarian supervising the competition, or if the competition does not require veterinary supervision, by the presiding judge of the competition;
  5. the horse is accompanied by an identification document (horse passport); and
  6. the horse meets the general health requirements in legislation.

 A health certificate is required for horses imported to Finland for purposes other than competition. Instructions are available on the website of the Finnish Food Authority.

Other domestic animals

You can find instructions for importing other domestic animals on the website of the Finnish Food Authority. Imports of certain species are restricted by legislation on invasive species.

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