Cats and dogs
It is relatively easy to bring cats and dogs to Russia. There is no quarantine requirement, although veterinary certificates and immigration records are necessary. You should be sure to travel together with your pet, and either carry it on the plane, or ensure it travels as accompanied baggage or excess luggage (not cargo!).
If you can do this, then you receive your pet at the baggage claim when you arrive in Moscow, and simply have to register your cat or dog at the airport veterinary station before you may clear customs with your pet and remaining luggage. You will need to present the following:
- a pet registration fee of about 400 RUR
- a certificate of health issued by a certified veterinarian between three and ten days prior to your pet’s arrival (English is acceptable).
- your pet’s vaccination records, which must include all feline/canine infectious diseases, and a rabies vaccination no older than one year and no more recent than one month.
The veterinary station officer will stamp and date your pet’s certificate of health, which will then be your pet’s official import document. You must present the stamped certificate to take your pet through customs.
If your pet must travel as cargo, for unavoidable reasons, you will need to obtain an international health certificate for your pet. Your pet will be delivered to a cargo airport and will need to clear import customs, which involves extensive documents, fees, and time, not all of which can be resolved prior to your pet’s arrival in Moscow. You should enlist the professional services of a Moscow veterinary experienced with import of pets.
Birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, and exotic animals
The import of any animal other than a cat or dog to Russia is very complicated and not recommended. Some pets are forbidden from import and export entirely. Russia is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which regulates much of the import of exotic animals.
If you do decide to bring a pet such as a bird or guinea pig to Moscow, note that there will likely be a 30-day quarantine requirement. This quarantine is best undergone and certified at the place of departure. You should consult with a veterinarian in your home country, and hire the services of a professional, Russian-speaking veterinarian in Moscow to help you handle the import.
Keep in mind:
- The European Union has additional requirements for any pets transferring through an EU airport. These include written proof of tick and de-worming treatment administered two days before departure.
- ISO Standard Microchips are not yet required in Russia, but are required in many other European countries. If you are able, it is a good idea to get this chip implanted before you leave your home country.
- There are special restrictions on pregnant or very young (less than three months) cats and dogs.
- Russia’s export requirements and your origin country’s import requirements will apply to your pet if you ever want to bring it back. Verify your origin country’s import requirements to make sure you can bring your pet home when your time in Russia ends!
Leaving Russia with your pet
If you need to take a pet with you out of Russia, similar requirements apply: you must provide a certificate of health from a licensed Russian veterinarian, and evidence that all vaccinations, including rabies, are up to date. Furthermore, if there is any question about the intrinsic breeding value of your dog or cat, you must obtain a certificate of pedigree from the appropriate Moscow breeder’s club. You may need to pay export duties based on this pedigree certificate.
Of course, you should also verify the import requirements of your destination country. Most will require an international health certificate, which you can obtain at the departing airport for a fee of about 200 RUR, provided you can present a health certificate from a licensed Russian veterinarian.
Professional Pet Import Assistance
- Dr. Yuri Shishmaref, DVM
Valeriya Shismareva, Interpreter
A husband-and-wife team that provides professional pet import assistance service.
+7 (495) 694 03 88
Department of Environmental Protection
- Wild animals and birds
+7 (495) 254 67 33; 254 86 01 (English); 127-84 10 (Russian)
- Domestic animals and birds
+7 (207) 83 86 (English); 975 59 29 (Russian)
Ariport Veterinary Stations
- Sheremetevo Airport (Russian only)
Passenger Terminal 1: +7 (495) 578 62 44
Passenger Terminal 2: +7 (495) 578 76 53
Cargo Terminal: +7 (495) 578 66 16
- Domodedovo Airport (Russian only)
All Terminals: +7 (495) 323 85 74
Moscow Breeder’s Club
+7 (495) 159 18 05; 132 00 03
+7 (495) 459 09 03; 459 00 03