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Food Safety

Entry into the Union from third countries or territories

Conditions

Specific animal health requirements for entry into the Union of dogs, cats and ferrets are laid down in Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/692. Accordingly, the following conditions must be met:

Authorised third countries - dogs, cats and ferrets must come from third countries or territories listed in part I of Annex VIII to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/404.

Registered establishments - dogs, cats and ferrets must come from establishments which are registered and under the control of the competent authority, they have a system in place to maintain and to keep up-to-date animal health records, they are receiving regular animal health visits and they are not subject to any ban on animal health grounds (including rabies).

Traceability/Marking - dogs, cats and ferrets must be marked by the implantation of a transponder approved by the competent authority.

Vaccination against rabies - dogs, cats and ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies as follows:

  • the animals must be at least 12 weeks old at the time of vaccination;
  • the vaccine must comply with the requirements set out in Annex III to Regulation (EU) No 576/2013;
  • at the day of dispatch to the Union, at least 21 days must have elapsed since the completion of the primary vaccination against infection with rabies virus;
  • a certified copy of the vaccination details must be attached to the animal health certificate.

Rabies antibody test - dogs, cats and ferrets coming from third countries or territories listed in part I of Annex VIII to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/404 for which the specific condition “rabies antibody titration test” applies must undergo the test as follows:

  • must be carried out on a sample collected by a veterinarian authorised by the competent authority during the period commencing at least 30 days after the date of the primary vaccination, within a current valid vaccination series, and ending 3 months before the date of issue of the certificate;
  • must measure a titre of neutralising antibody to rabies virus equal to or greater than 0,5 IU/ml;
  • must be certified by an official report from the official laboratory as regards the result, and a copy of this report must be attached to the animal health certificate accompanying the animals to the Union;
  • does not have to be renewed on an animal which, following the antibody rabies titration test with satisfactory results, has been revaccinated against rabies within the period of validity of the primary vaccination  and all subsequent valid vaccinations in the series.

Parasite Echinococcus multilocularis - dogs must, prior to entering one of the Member States listed in the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/878, as last amended by Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/2017, or United Kingdom (Northern Ireland) or Norway, be treated against the parasite Echinococcus multilocularis in accordance with Part 2 of Annex XXI to delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/692, as follows:

  • the treatment must consist of an approved veterinary medicinal product which contains the appropriate dose of praziquantel or pharmacologically active substances which alone or in combination have proven to reduce the burden of mature and immature intestinal forms of Echinococcus multilocularis in the host species concerned
  • the product must be administered by a veterinarian within a period commencing not more than 48 hours and ending not less than 24 hours before the time of arrival in the Union
  • the treatment must be certified by the administering veterinarian in the relevant section of the passport

Clinical examination - dogs, cats and ferrets must undergo within 48 hours prior to the time of dispatch a clinical examination carried out by an official veterinarian, who must verify that the animals show no signs of diseases

Border Control Post - dogs, cats and ferrets must be accompanied to a Border Control Post (BCP) to which one working day notice has to be given, by the animal health certificate laid down in chapter 38 of Annex II to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/403.

N.B.: The use of the EU Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES) by the country of dispatch in order to issue the animal health certificate automatically pre-notifies the arrival at the BCP (number, nature and estimated time of arrival of the animals).

Common Health Entry Document - at the BCP the importer or his agent completes Part 1 of Common Health Entry Document (CHED), the official veterinarian completes Part 2 following the successful outcome of the identity, documentary and physical checks, then the entire CHED is issued by the official veterinarian. The identity, documentary, and physical checks are performed in accordance with the Official Controls Regulation (EU) 2017/625 and Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/1602 supplementing Regulation (EU) 2017/625

Health certificate – Animal health certificate remains at the BCPs after official controls. CHED must accompany the animals to the place of destination.

Exceptions

Regarding the marking - EU countries shall authorise entry into Union of dogs, cats and ferrets marked by a clearly readable tattoo if applied before 3 July 2011.

Regarding the purpose of the movement and the number of animals moved - Dogs, cats and ferrets moved for non-commercial purposes in a number of more than five may derogate from the aforementioned rules where:

  • their movement is for the purpose of participating in competitions, exhibitions or sporting events or in training for such event, and
  • the owner or authorised person submits written evidence that the animals are registered either to attend the event or with an association organising such events
  • the animals are more than six months old.

Regarding the vaccination against rabies:

  • Entry into the Union of young dogs, cats and ferrets not vaccinated against rabies are not allowed.

The consignments accompanied by health certificates provided for by the previously applicable Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2019/294 are accepted for the entry into the Union until 20 October 2021 provided that the certificate was signed by a person authorised to sign the certificate before 21 August 2021.