If you want to bring your beloved family pet or pets with you, German customs authorities will allow their entry into the country subject to the relevant paperwork being in order and provided that they are not on the Restricted Breeds list.

The following breeds and their crossbreeds will be refused entry:

  1. Pitbull terrier
  2. American Staffordshire terrier
  3. Staffordshire bull terrier
  4. Bull terrier

You are entitled to bring in up to five pets, on the understanding that they are not for resale but that they are domestic pets.

Moving Pets Within the EU

If you are moving your pet from another EU country or intend to move them around the EU once you arrive, this can be done with considerable ease with the EU Pet Passport.

This is a booklet that contains obligatory information concerning the pet: identification number, proof of valid vaccine against the rabies virus. This document is valid for the lifetime of the pet and is numbered for identification purposes.

Animals traveling to Germany need to have:

  • Identification by microchip
  • Valid vaccine against rabies

The passport can only be issued by a licensed EU vet. The vet will confirm that the animal:

  • is identified by a microchip
  • has valid vaccines against rabies
  • has had a blood test to confirm the vaccine is in the system

Dogs and cats must be vaccinated against the rabies virus. This vaccination must have been given at least 30 days, but no more than 12 months before crossing the German border.

For other pets, the vet must certify them to be in good health and free from disease within 10 days prior to departure, excluding pet rabbits and rodents which can move between EU countries without vaccination or quarantine.

The EU Pet Passport grants the freedom to move your pet through the EU without quarantine.

Moving Pets to Germany from outside the EU

Animals must be identified and accompanied by official Vet Certificate documentation (similar to the EU passport), as requirements differ depending on the exact country of origin, you should consult the German Embassy in the country of departure for the exact details in your case.

If an animal is coming from a country on the approved European list, they must have been vaccinated against rabies. The US, Canada and Australia are all on this list. Coming from an approved country and meeting all the requirements of vaccination means that no quarantine is required.

Cats and dogs coming from an unapproved country will need an additional blood test, undertaken by an EU approved laboratory, at least 30 days after their rabies vaccination and three months before traveling. Quarantine may then not be required on arrival in Germany.

Similar requirements exist if an animal leaves Germany temporarily for an unapproved country and then returns again.

Once the pet arrives in Germany, a vet will be able to issue an EU Pet Passport allowing the animal to travel elsewhere within the EU.

Any animals coming from non-EU countries will need paperwork which contains confirmation of vaccination and microchip identification details, these will all need to be translated into German.

Pet rabbits and rodents coming from outside the EU must spend a period of six months in quarantine.

If you are flying with your pets, you don’t need to notify customs in advance. But be sure that all of your paperwork (Official Vet Certificate) is in order, stapled and signed by your Vet, otherwise your pet will need to stay in quarantine until it is all sorted out.

Once in Berlin

All dogs in Germany must be microchipped for identification, tattoos are no a longer valid pet identification in Germany. However, cats do not need to be microchipped.

All dogs must be vaccinated annually against rabies. No other vaccinations are compulsory however the following are recommended:

Dogs: C – Hundestaupe (Distemper)
H – Hepatitis (infectious hepatitis)
P – Parvovirose (Parvovirus)
L – Leptospirose (Leptospirosis)
Cats: feline distemper
feline herpes

For more information, you can visit the German Customs website at http://www.zoll.de/english_version/index.html

To download a copy of the German Vet Certificate that is required by customs, cilck here: http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/liveanimals/pets/sanco10767r4_de.pdf

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