Importing pets from third countries
Customs officers at border crossing points perform official controls on pets that are brought into the EU from third countries.
In terms of the of Regulation (EU) No. 576/2013
pets for commercial movement listed in Part A
of the document are dogs, cats, ferrets, while pets listed in Part B
are invertebrates (except bees, bumblebees, molluscs and crabs), decorative aquatic animals (decorative fish), amphibians, reptiles, birds (except poultry and birds that are moved for commercial purposes) and rodents and rabbits.
At the same time, non-commercial movement of pets is the movement without direct commercial effect or transfer of ownership to another person.
Entry of pets, accompanied by the owner or a person authorized by the owner, from third countries is possible only at border crossing designated by the Rules on determining entry points for the non-commercial movement of pets
(Official Gazette of Republic Croatia no. 53/23
However, pets, accompanied by the owner or a person authorized by the owner, may be brought into EU from Andorra, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican City State through all border crossing points, including ports and airports towards EU where customs supervision is carried out.
For non-commercial movement of pets on the EU customs territory following rules are applied:
- for bringing five or less pets documentation check, identification and registration by customs officers at the entry border crossing is needed,
- for bringing more than five pets veterinary checks is needed by border veterinary inspector at approved veterinary border inspection posts.
Larger number of dogs, cats and ferrets as pets that are subject to documentary checks, identification and registration can be allowed by customs officials at the entry border crossing if the following conditions are met:
- the non-commercial movement of pets is for the purposes of participation in competitions, shows or sports events or for training for such events
- owner or an authorized person submitted written evidence confirming that the pets have been registered to take part in events or are registered with the event organizer
- pets are more over six months old.
More information about non-commercial movement of pets and sample copies of prescribed forms that should accompany pets during their non-commercial movement are available on the following website of the Ministry of Agriculture, Directorate for Veterinary Medicine and Food Safety: http://www.veterinarstvo.hr/default.aspx?id=1289
Non-commercial entry of dogs, cats and ferrets
The owner or authorized person is obliged to, when entering the EU from a third country:
- present an identification document (veterinary certificate-EU animal health certificate or pet passport, depending on whether the pet originates from a third country or EU) to customs officials
- present a written statement that pets are not the subject of relocation, due to planning their sale or transfer of ownership
- make pet available for examination
Labeling and vaccination requirements against rabies
Pets must be appropriately marked with a microchip (transponder) or a clearly legible tattoo. The tattoo is accepted only if the animal was tattooed before July 3, 2011 and is clearly legible. Information about the tattoo must be entered in the animal’s identification document (veterinary certificate or pet passport).
Vaccination against rabies must be administered an authorized veterinarian to a pet that is at least 12 weeks old on the date of vaccination and not vaccinated before marking it with a microchip or tattoo. Non-commercial moving of such pet can take place only during the period of validity of the rabies vaccination.
Authorized veterinarian must record in pet identification document (pet passport) a name of the vaccine, date of vaccination and the period of validity of the rabies vaccination and add signature and official seal.
If pet is receiving a vaccine for the first time, the period of validity counts after 21 days from the vaccination. If pet is regularly vaccinated every year during the period of validity of the vaccination, there is no need to wait 21 days after the vaccination. In case that the period of validity of the previous vaccination has expired it is necessary to wait again 21 days before non-commercial movement of pet.
Requirements for rabies antibody titration test
Generally, by entering the EU rabies antibody titration test is needed for:
1. dogs, cats and ferrets originating from high-risk third countries (third countries that are not listed on the lists of so-called "low-risk third countries" from Annex II of Commission Regulation (EU) no. 577/2013
2. dogs, cats and ferrets with EU origin that have stayed in the territory of high-risk third countries in relation to rabies and are returning to the EU,
3. dogs, cats and ferrets with EU origin traveling through the territory of one or more third countries with high-risk of rabies, but owner or authorized person does not have
a signed handwritten statement (from Part 2 of Annex I of Commission Regulation (EU) no. 577/2013
) although pets were not in contact with animals susceptible to rabies and were locked inside vehicle or another means of transport or within the area of the international airport port.
In case that owner or an authorized person has handwritten signed statement, the rabies antibody titration test is not required.
The rabies antibody titre test must be taken in a laboratory approved by the European Commission in one of the EU member states or in third country.
In case pet originates from third country, a certificate obtained from laboratory with the results of the rabies antibody titre test must be attached to veterinary certificate (e.g. EU animal health certificate).
In case pet originates from EU, the certificate with the result of a rabies antibody titre test is not necessary, only record of satisfactory result in the appropriate section of the pet passport.
The result of the blood test must show that the vaccination was successful e.g. rabies antibody result is at least 0.5 IU/ml. In that case earliest four months after vaccination non-commercial movement of dogs, cats and ferrets from high-risk third countries to the EU is allowed.
The titration test can be performed in an approved laboratory in one of the EU member states before the pet leaves EU for third country. For re-entry into EU, it is not necessary to wait four months after the rabies vaccination, just to have record in the identification document (pet passport) that the anti-rabies antibody titration test was done with a favourable result before the date of travel.
If the pet has been regularly vaccinated against rabies during the validity period of the previous vaccination just one rabies antibody titre test is needed.
Requirements regarding the entry of dangerous dogs
In accordance with the Rules on Dangerous Dogs (Official Gazette of the Republic of Croatia no. 117/08)
, dangerous dog breeds of the bull terrier type and their crossbreeds who are not in the register of the World Canine Organisation (FCI) are not allowed to enter Republic of Croatia.
On the other hand, controlled breeding of the bull terrier type (Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, bull terrier, mini bull terrier) can be proven by pedigree certificate issued by the kennel club of any member country of the World Canine Organisation (FCI).
Entry of other pets
Requirements for non-commercial movement of pets listed in Part B of Regulation (EU) no. 576/2013
(invertebrates (except bees, bumblebees, molluscs and crabs), ornamental aquatic animals (ornamental fish), amphibians, reptiles, birds (except poultry) and rodents and rabbits) from third countries to the EU member states are not harmonized by the EU legislation in member states. During the non-commercial movement of these pets requirements prescribed in the national legislation of the EU member states should be consulted. These requirements prescribed by other EU member states are available on the link on the following EU website: https://ec.europa.eu/food/animals/movement-pets/eu-countries-specific-information_en
The non-commercial moving of pets from third countries is allowed if:
- animals do not show signs of illness;
- the owner of the animal or an authorized person has the appropriate document on the basis of which the owner or the authorized person can be connected with the same animal (e.g. a veterinary certificate- EU animal health certificate, a receipt from a store, etc.);
- depending on the animal species, the animals should be marked or correctly described in the accompanying document,
- protected and endangered animal species should have CITES certificate/permit during movement (relocation).
Specificity for bringing birds
Which birds are not considered as pets:
- poultry (the term poultry includes chickens, turkeys, guinea fowls, ducks, geese, quails, pigeons, pheasants, partridges and ostriches-ratitae
, which are bred or kept in captivity for breeding, meat or egg production for food or population renewal wild birds);
- birds that are moved for commercial purposes.
During the non-commercial movement of up to five birds as pets to the EU from third countries, the following requirements must be met:
- birds as pets must come from a member state of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)
- birds as pets must have original veterinary certificate in accordance with Annex II. Decision of the Commission no. 2007/25
, issued by official veterinarian from third country
- a bird as a pet must be accompanied by a statement from the owner or an authorized person, prescribed in Annex III of Commission Decision (EC) no. 2007/25
- the non-commercial movement of birds in the EU from third countries is allowed in Republic Croatia only through the border crossing points Bajakovo
, Stara Gradiška
, Nova Sela
and Zagreb Airport
Entry of more than five pets and non-pet animals in accordance with Regulation (EU) no. 576/2013
Non-commercial movement of more than five pets, except in the case of participation of pets in competitions, exhibitions, or sports events or in training for the purpose of such events and animals that are not considered pets in the sense of Regulation (EU) no. 576/2013
is allowed only through border crossing points where there are approved border veterinarian posts. The veterinary inspection is performed by a border veterinary inspector who is obliged to issue a Shared Health Entry Document (in Croatian ZZUD) after the check of animals.
Leaving the customs territory of the EU
In accordance with the regulations of the EU and national regulations of member states, there are no restrictions for pets to exit the EU customs territory, accompanied by the owner or a person authorized by the owner for the purpose of non-commercial movement to third countries, through all border crossing points designated for international transport of passengers.
If a pet leaves the EU customs territory through a border crossing point in Republic Croatia that is not specified in above mentioned Rules on determining entry points for the non-commercial movement of pets
, the customs officer should warn the owner or a person authorized by the owner of refusal by the competent authorities to entry with pet into a third country, and due to that refusal re-entering EU through the border crossing point at which it left.