Travelling with cats in/into the EC

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Travelling with cats in the EC and into the EC



EC-regulation 998/2003

With the issue of the EC-regulation 998/2003 from 26.5.2003 many things have been changed:

  • When you travel with your cat in the EC
  • When you travel with your cat into a non-EC-country and want to come back into the EC
  • When you want to import a cat into the EC.

In this EC-regulation the countries are divided into:

  • EC-member countries
  • There are special rules valid for Sweden, Ireland, Malta and England - part A of the annex
  • All other member countries - part B section 1 of the annex
  • Non-EC-member countries
bullet Countries, with whom a special agreement is valid - part B section 2 of the annex:
Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco. Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, Vatican
bullet Countries, which fulfill the conditions of 10 of the EC-regulation and recognize those conditions - part C of the annex
bullet All other countries not listed in the annex - there are other regulations valid!

The annex of this EC-regulation (list of countries) is regulated in the EC-regulation 1467/2006 from 4.10.2006.

When traveling within the EC - please note the special regulations of the antibody titer-test for rabies in Sweden, Ireland, Malta and England! - cats need to have a:

  • Microchip
  • Pet passport

When traveling to the EC from a country listed in part B section 2 and in part C cats also need a

  • Health certificate


See 3b and  17 sentence 2 of the EC -regulation, and see the EC-regulation 803/2003 about the pet passport. The regulation 803/2003 also includes pictures, how the pet passport must look like.

Each cat crossing the border must have such a pet passport as it is described in regulated in the regulation 803/2003 !

This pet passport is not for free, in Germany for example one has to pay 15.- Euro.


See 4 of the EC-regulation 998/2003.

That means, each cat crossing the border - regardless which vehicle is used, regardless from which country the cat enters - must have an identification, which is usually a microchip.

There is a special regulation - having a tattoo instead of a microchip - which is valid for France until 2011. Please think twice, if you import now a cat from France it must be microchipped latest until 2011!

The microchip (= transponder as it is called in the regulation) must be conform to the ISO-norm 11784 or to annex A of the ISO-norm 11785.
That means, if there is used a microchip not being conform to these ISO-norms - be careful when importing a cat from America - you must supply the reading device by your own, which is able to read the microchip, when you want to cross the border into the EC!

Health certificate

If your cat comes from a country listed in the annex part C or in the annex part B section 2 (see regulation 1497/2006) the cat need additionally to have a

  • health certificate.

The form for the health certificate is regulated very detailed in the EC-regulation 824/2004.

Also for this health certificate you have to pay!

Pay attention to the date of issue, which shall not be older than 1-2 days. This time frame is not listed in the health certificate, but is commonly practiced by the official veterinaries.

Additional tests or treatments

Be careful when you come with or import cats into the following countries:

  • Ireland, Sweden, Malta and England:
    There is needed a antibody titer-test for rabies (serologic test), whose date must be 3 months before you come to the EC.
    This special rule is valid until 3.7.2008!
    This serologic test is only recognized when done by a laboratory authorized and approved by the EC!
  • Pay attention when you want to enter Finland:
    The cat must have a treatment (resp. vaccination) against ticks and ringworm, which must be certified on the health certificate.


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