You can bring up to five animals into the Netherlands for non-commercial purposes. Since 2004 the European Union has operated a pet travel scheme (full details and instructions for getting a ‘pet passport’ at http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/liveanimals/pets/index_en.htm).
To qualify for entry to the Netherlands under the pet travel scheme, a pet must:
- be fitted with an identification microchip;
- must be vaccinated against rabies within one year and at least 30 days before the move (this goes for cats, too);
- be blood tested to check the effectiveness of the rabies vaccination; and
- be issued with an Official Pet Passport (or a Pet Travel Scheme Certificate) by a recognized veterinary surgeon in the country from which the animal is moving. The Pet Passport includes a full description of the pet including the breed, sex, colour, age and any distinguishing marks, as well as the name of the owner.
- have a vaccination and health certificate
Pet owners should engage the services of a reputable animal shipping company to assist with customs clearance. Animal Travel (http://animaltravel.com) provide a full range of services.
Birds and rodents are generally easy to import also. If your bird or rodent was originally imported from a third country (tropical bird owners should pay particular attention) there may be extra restrictions depending on its place of origin. For more details visit the website of the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature, and Food Quality (website below).
If you keep to these regulations your pet can join you immediately, no quarantine will be necessary. Checking with your closest Dutch embassy ahead of time will certainly help to put your mind at ease about any extra regulations concerning travel from your country. Your airline may also have additional regulations for transporting your pet (this is especially important if you are transiting through a third country). KLM have a good reputation among expats for being particularly helpful with animals.
It should be noted that Pit Bull Terriers are banned in the Netherlands.