Travel to the Netherlands

Travel to the Netherlands with your pets

There are harmonized regulations regarding non commercial transport of pets (dog, cat or ferret) within the European Union. There are different regulations for pet moving from one member state of the European Union to the Netherlands and from third countries outside of the European Union to the Netherlands.

Travelling from EU member states to the Netherlands

Pets from the other EU member states, including Andorra, the Faeroes Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, the Vatican City State and Switzerland may travel to the Netherlands through any border crossing, as long as they comply with the following requirements:

  1. Pet passport: The pet must have an EU pet passport and the passport must be issued by a licensed veterinarian.
  2. Rabies vaccination: All pets older than 3 months must have been vaccinated against rabies which is certified by a veterinarian in the pet passport.
  3. Microchip: The pet must have a microchip which is implanted on the same day or before the first rabies vaccination has taken place.
Travelling from third countries

First, it is important to check whether the country the pet is coming from is a low or a high risk country regarding rabies. The regulations for importation are different for both categories. Territories or third countries listed below (Annex II to Regulation (EU) No 577/2013)  are considered a low risk. If the country the pet is traveling from is not on this list, it is considered a high risk country.

Acension IslandFijiNew Caledonia  
United Arab EmiratesFalkland IslandsNew Zealand  
ArgentinaHong KongFrench Polynesia  
AustraliaJamaicaSair Piere and Miquelon  
Bosnia and HerzegovinaSait Kitts and NevisSingapore  
BarbadosCayman IslandsSaint Helena  
BahrainSait LuciaSint Maarten  
BermudaMontserratTrinidad and Tobago  
Bonaire, Sint Eustasius and SabaMacedoniaTaiwan  
BelarusMauritiusUnited States of America  
CanadaMalaysiaAmerican Samoa  
ChileMexicoGuam, Northern Mariana Islands  
Puerto Rico and Virgin IslandsSaint Vincent and the GrenadineBritish Virgin Islands  
VanuatuWallis and FortunaMayotte  
Traveling from low risk rabies countries

Traveling with a pet from a low risk third country to the Netherlands is quite similar to traveling within the European Union. The pet needs to meet the following requirements:

  1. Microchip: The pet most have a microchip which is implanted on the same day or before the first rabies vaccination has taken place.
  2. Rabies Vaccination: The pet must be vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days prior to arrival in the Netherlands.
  3. Veterinary Certificate: The pet must have a Veterinary Certificate according to Regulation (EU) nr. 577/2013 issued by an official veterinarian from the country the animal is travelling from. Or an EU Animal Passport according to Regulation (EU) nr. 577/2013 when the animal originates from the EU. The Veterinary Certificate can be found HERE. The Veterinary Certificate should be completed and issued by an official veterinarian, or by an authorized veterinarian and subsequently endorsed by the competent authority. It should contain the alpha-numeric code of the microchip, the details of vaccination against rabies and where applicable details of titertest and treatment against Echinococcus Multilocularis. The Veterinarian Certificate is valid for 10 days from the date of issue and for the purpose of further movement info other member states of the EU it is valid for a total of four months or until the date of expiry of the anti rabies vaccination, whichever date is earlier.
  4. Written declaration: The pet must be accompanied by a written declaration completed by the owner or an authorised person (see model in Part 3 of Annex IV to Regulation (EU) No 577/2013) regarding the non-commercial nature of the movement. This declaration can be found HERE.
Traveling from a high risk rabies country

Additional regulations apply to pets traveling to the Netherlands from countries with a high risk of rabies. In addition to the requirements for traveling from a low risk rabies country like the microchip, rabies vaccination, veterinary certificate and written declaration, your pet will also need a:

5. Rabies antibody blood titer test: A rabies antibody level blood test must be carried out. A blood sample must be drawn from the pet at least 30 days after the date of the rabies vaccination and tested by an EU approved laboratory. EU approved laboratories can be found HERE. The results of the test must be at least 0,5 IE/ml. If the results are good, the pet will have to wait another 90 days before it can enter the Netherlands. This period is for the possible presence of rabies despite the vaccination and positive blood test.

Minimum age for pets to be imported  

Member States of the European Union have discretion whether or not they allow the introduction onto their territory of “young dogs, cats and ferrets”, i.e. dogs, cats and ferrets which are:

  • less than 12 weeks old and have not received an anti-rabies vaccination, or
  • between 12 or 16 weeks old and have received an anti-rabies vaccination but are not yet fully protected (i.e. do not met the validity requirements for the anti-rabies vaccination).

To find out if your young pet is allowed to travel to your country of destination within Europe, you can have alook on the website of the European Commission

If young pets are not allowed into your country of destination and you are travelling from a EU member state or a low risk third country, your pet will have to be 15 weeks of age upon entry. After the first rabies vaccination at 12 weeks, a period of 21 days needs to go by before the pet is allowed to enter. Young pets traveling from third countries with a high risk of rabies have to be at least 7 months upon entry (3 months before first rabies vaccination +1 month after that the rabies anti body test + 3 month waiting period).

Extra regulations

The maximum number of pets you are allowed to import for non commercial purposes is five. If you and your pet(s) travel separately, your pet(s) are not allowed to arrive more than 5 days before or after your arrival.

Fees for entering the Netherlands

The are no fees for importing a pet into the Netherlands.

Prohibited breeds of pets

There is no nationwide ban on for example dangerous dogs in the Netherlands.

More information

For more information, you can have a look on the website of the government of the Netherlands or the European Commission.