Pet & Animal Transport into European Union

Pet Travel Stats

Pets travelling to the EU are not subject to any quarantine time. Pets may only enter the EU under one of the two below channels. Non-Commercial:  Within 5 days (either side) of the owner or a representatives arrival into the EU Commercial: Outside of this 5-day window.  South African Export Law requires that the animals must arrive into the UK from a Government Approved Registered Export Facility, PETport can assist with this compliance which involves the pet spending 5 days at the pet hotel in Johannesburg or Cape Town.  If travelling this route, you will receive 2 options on your quotation, the commercial option INCLUDES your Veterinary Health Certificate, boarding charges as well as VAT payable on arrival in the EU. NOTE: Failure to comply or put fraudulent entry dates on the Customs clearance and entry documentation is a criminal offence.  Every arrival to the EU comply with this entry requirement, if you are in any doubt please do call our offices for discussion. VETERINARY PROCEDURE TO FOLLOW
  • Valid Inoculations (5in1 for Dogs; 3in1 for Cats) – over 30 days less than 12 months
  • Valid Rabies Vaccination – over 30 days less than 12 months
  • Microchipping
  • Rabies Neutralising Antibody Titration Test (RNATT)
Entry to The EU may take place AT LEAST 90 days after the drawing of blood for the RNATT, no sooner entry may happen. IMPORTANT: The Rabies Test (RNATT) can only be drawn after 30 days from re-vaccination of Rabies if the pets Rabies inoculations have been allowed to expire.  Please DO NOT draw blood before these 30 days as the pets will not receive State Clearance and may not be allowed to enter the country or may be quarantined on entry.  Micro-chipping MUST be done prior to or on the same day as the rabies vaccine, any variation to this may result in a blood redraw and possible travel delays
The UK & Northern Ireland authorities have made it compulsory to use an agent on arrival to clear your pets. THIS FEE IS CHARGED IN POUNDS / EUROS AND WILL BE EXCLUDED IN OUR QUOTATION – this will be quoted separately directly by the import agent. Southern Ireland it is not compulsory to use an agent, will however include this fee as an annexure in our quotation to you. In the event you wish to carry out your own clearing please do let us know and we will remove this. This option is not recommended.
We do have excellent partner agents who are also able to meet your pet on arrival into the EU, clear customs and forward your pet onto his/her final destination including delivery to your new home.  Please ask us about this service.

How to immigrate with your Pet from South Africa to Europe. 

Do you want to bring your pet with you to Europe from South Africa? PETport can help you to adhere to all the rules and regulations for immigrating with your pet and make the process simple for you. 



If you want to take your pet with you to an EU-country, only dogs, cats and ferrets are permitted.
You will also need to transport your pet for non-commercial purposes, meaning that it must either travel on the same flight as you or within 5 days of your travel date. In addition, you may only transport 5 pets for non-commercial purposes.
If you can’t travel within 5 days of your pet, it will need to fly under the Balai Directive regulations (commercial purposes).


Each EU country requires your pet to be microchipped before entry. It’s important to note that microchip needs to be completed before annual vaccinations. Any vaccinations completed before microchip is not recognised. According to EU regulations only a registered vet is able to implant the microchip and administer the vaccinations. Additional internal treatments are required before departure and needs to be recorded on your veterinary health certificate. A valid rabies vaccination is required upon arrival and needs to be older than 30 days but less than a year and present in vet book.


Pets require a rabies neutralising antibodies titration test before entry into the EU. This can only be done by an authorised vet and needs to be completed at least 31 days after rabies vaccination. Once the blood draw is complete and has been sent to an approved laboratory, travel is able only 90 days or 92 days after the blood draw date.


Any pet entering an EU-country must be accompanied by a pet passport (or the Common Veterinary Entry Document). This document can be issued by any vet and it states that your pet has been vaccinated and has undergone a veterinary examination.

Health Certificate Your pet will also need a health certificate stating that it is fit and healthy to travel. You can get this from your vet as well but you should make sure that it contains the following:

Your pet has had a Rabies vaccination Results of antibody and blood tests Confirmation of tapeworm treatment for dogs

Your pet’s health certificate should be valid for at least 10 days from date of issue by the vet until the date of travel. A new health certificate is needed each time your pet travels.

Written Declaration As your pet’s owner, you’ll need to complete a written declaration stating that your pet is traveling for non-commercial purposes.


Your pet won’t have to be quarantined upon arrival in Europe, as long as you comply with all the above health and documentation requirements.


Most frequent questions and answers

EU has no limitations on the number of pets you bring into Europe but it will be dependent on the airline carrier. In addition, your pet must be either a dog, cat or ferret. Other animals aren’t allowed into Europe as pets.

The most pet-friendly airlines for pet transport into Europe include British Airways, KLM, Lufthansa and Virgin. For more information on how your pet will fly, contact PETport today!

No, there is no quarantine period for pets into Europe as long as you comply with all the health, vaccination and documentation requirements. PETport can help you with every aspect of this process.

Only seeing eye dogs are allowed to travel in the cabin to the EU from South Africa.

While not a pleasant experience, pets have a way of coping with the flight by “hunkering down”. Once the lights have been dimmed, the hum of the plane will make it easier for your pet to go to sleep.

Vets often recommend Calmeze products for pets if you believe your pet may feel anxious. Calmeze tablets are recommended for dogs, while Calmeze gel can be used for cats.

We recommend making sure that you have all the necessary documentation and that your pet has been vaccinated and declared fit and healthy to fly. This will ensure that you can claim your pet between 4-12 hours, depending on how busy the airport is, as well as season. If it is during December, this will take much longer.

The EU has a few more rules and regulations than other countries for pet importation, making it more complex. PETport has vast experience in this field and we can help make sure your pet meets all the necessary requirements.

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Mrs Fishhoek
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Have used them twice, both times I've been extremely happy. Updated via telephone, email and sms. Driver was friendly and brilliant with pets. Good prices.
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Great service. Our dog was so spoiled and happy there
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Very caring, with both animals and humans alike