General provisions for animals coming from eu countries and third countries

The instructions provided concern only dogs, cats and other pet animals arriving in Italy together with their owner or an authorized person designated by their owner. Therefore, such instructions do not concern the movement of animals to be sold or transferred to another owner, including adoptions. For these cases, please refer to the procedures relating to commercial movements.

Since 29 December 2014, the European Union new health legislation has entered into force (Regulation No. 576/2013 EU and Regulation No. 577/2013EU). It applies to the non-commercial movement of pet animals into a Member State from another Member State or from a third country.

Such provisions are fundamental to protect public and animal health, with particular attention to the prevention of rabies, and they help in the fight against the illegal trade in pets without putting unjustified obstacles when travelling abroad with pet animals. 

As a precautionary measure, it is generally recommended to start the procedures in good time before the estimated date of departure, since the most complex of them may require more than 4 months.

There are some general provisions concerning all dogs, cats and ferrets coming from both EU Member States and third countries:

  • dogs, cats and ferrets shall be identified by a microchip (transponder) or a clearly legible tattoo, when applied before 3 July 2011
  • it is prohibited to introduce in Italy dogs, cats and ferrets:
    1. aged less than 12 weeks that have not been vaccinated against rabies
    2. aged between 12 and 16 weeks that, although vaccinated against rabies, do not meet the validity requirements laid down in Annex III, Point 2, Letter e) to Regulation No. 576/2013 EU (the period of validity of the vaccination starts from when the protective immunity is established - not less than 21 days after completion of the vaccination protocol required by the manufacturer for the primary vaccination. It continues until the end of the period of protective immunity) and consequently are not yet protected against the disease.    

In fact, Italy does not make use of the possibilities of derogation from compulsory vaccination against rabies for young pet animals accorded to Member States by Articles 7 and 11 of Regulation No. 576/2013 EU.

  • The maximum number of pet animals (dogs, cats and ferrets) that may accompany the owner or the authorized person during a single movement shall not exceed five (Article 5, Paragraph 1 of Regulation No. 576/2013 EU). By way of derogation and under certain conditions, the maximum number of pet animals (dogs, cats and ferrets) may exceed five if the non-commercial movement is for the purpose of participating in competitions, exhibitions or sporting events or in training for such events (Article 5, Paragraph 2 of Regulation No. 576/2013 EU).When the maximum number of pet animals (dogs, cats and ferrets) exceeds five and the conditions for derogation are not fulfilled:
    1. if the animals come from a EU country, they shall meet the requirements set out in   Directive 92/65/EEC as amended in order to be subjected to veterinary controls provided for in Directive 90/425/EEC as amended
    2. if the animals come from a third country, they shall meet the requirements set out in   Directive 92/65/EEC as amended in order to be subjected to veterinary controls performed by border inspection posts (BIPs) as provided for in Directive 91/496/EEC as amended.  
  • Normally, the owner or the authorized person shall accompany the animal during a non-commercial movement. However, on duly justified and documented grounds, the pet animal shall be considered as accompanying its owner or the authorized person even if its non-commercial movement takes place up to five days earlier or later than the movement of the owner or the authorized person, or if it takes place in a different physical location than that occupied by the owner or the authorized person
  • A preventive treatment against ticks and echinococcus is NOT required for the introduction of pet animals in Italy.  

In addition to the general provisions, different conditions apply depending on whether animals come from EU Member States or third countries.

Additional requirements for dogs, cats and ferrets coming from eu member states

The following additional requirements apply for animals coming from EU Member States or from Andorra, Switzerland, Faeroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Island, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and the Vatican City State.

Passport. The animal shall be accompanied by a European passport:

  • conforming to the model required in Part 1 of Annex III to the Implementing Regulation No. 577/2013 EU for EU countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Hungary)
  • conforming to the model required in Part 3 of Annex III  for Andorra, Switzerland, Faeroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Island, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and the Vatican City State
  • completed and issued by an authorized veterinarian of the country of origin. For the release of the passport, please contact the Veterinary Services of the country of origin
  • including the alphanumeric code of the microchip (transponder) or the tattoo and certifying the vaccination against rabies and, if appropriate, a new valid vaccination against rabies.

A written declaration of the owner in case an authorized person carries out the non-commercial movement of the animal by written delegation of the owner.

Anti-rabies vaccination:   

Dogs, cats or ferrets shall be vaccinated against rabies by an authorized veterinarian of the country of origin in accordance with Annex III to Regulation No. 576/2013 EU:

  • the pet animal was at least 12 weeks old at the date on which the vaccine was administered
  • the date of administration does not precede the date of identification or the date of reading of the microchip
  • the period of validity of the vaccination starts from the 21st day from the completion of the vaccination protocol for the primary vaccination and each further vaccination shall be performed within the period of validity of the previous one
  • additional requirements for dogs, cats and ferrets coming from third countries

Additional requirements for dogs, cats and ferrets coming from third countries

In addition to the general provisions, different rules apply for dogs, cats and ferrets coming from a third county depending on whether such country is included or not in the list drawn up by the European Commission and published in Part 2 of Annex II to Regulation No. 577/2013 EU. This constantly updated list is available on the European Union website.

 

Third countries with favorable situations with respect to rabies included in the list referred to in Annex II, Part 2 to Regulation No. 577/2013 EU.

Dogs, cats and ferrets coming from these countries, identified by a microchip or a clearly legible tattoo, if applied before 3 July 2011, shall be accompanied by the health certificate described in Annex IV to Regulation No. 577/2013 EU, issued by an official veterinarian from the competent Authority of the third country. The health certificate shall attest the conduct of the anti-rabies vaccination and, if appropriate, a new valid vaccination. In order to be considered valid, the vaccination against rabies shall be carried out after the identification of the animal and in compliance with Annex III to Regulation No. 576/2013 EU. In the event of a primary vaccination against rabies, at least 21 days shall pass before the movement of the animal.   

Other third countries.  

Dogs, cats and ferrets identified by a microchip or a clearly legible tattoo, if applied before 3 July 2011, shall be accompanied by the health certificate described in Annex IV to Regulation No. 577/2013 EU, issued by an official veterinarian from the competent Authority of the third country. The health certificate shall attest, in addition to the conduct of the anti-rabies vaccination and, if appropriate, a new valid vaccination, the accomplished execution with favorable results (titre equal to or greater than 0,50 UI/ml) of the rabies post-vaccination neutralizing antibody titration test.

This blood test shall be performed at a Laboratory recognized by the European Commission. The list of the recognized laboratories is available at http://ec.europa.eu/food/animals/pet-movement/approved-labs/index_en.htm. The blood sample for titration shall be collected at least 30 days after the date of anti-rabies vaccination and, in case of a favorable result of the titration, the animal may be moved not less than 3 months from the date of the blood sampling.

Please remember that the antibody titration shall not be renewed on those animals that, after titration, have been regularly revaccinated without interrupting the vaccination protocol required by the manufacturing laboratory.

Reintroduction from third countries

In accordance with Article 27, Paragraph 1, letter b), for pet animals reentering the Italian territory from a third country, the community passport referred to in Annex III, Part 1 to Regulation No. 577/2013 EU may also be used. It shall attest that the above-mentioned provisions required for the introduction from third countries have been observed. In this case, with respect to the execution of the rabies antibody titration (if required), it is not necessary to respect the minimum time limit of three months for collecting the blood sample, as indicated for the introduction from third countries. This is on condition that the community passport attests that the antibody titration has been performed with favorable results (titre equal or greater than 0,50 UI\ml) at a Laboratory recognized by the European Commission before the animal left Italy.

Other pet animals

Other pet animals that may travel with their owner according to Regulation No. 576/2013 EU, Annex I, Part B, are listed below.

  • Invertebrates (excluding bees and bumble bees referred to in Article 8 of Directive 92/65/EEC and molluscs and crustaceans referred to, respectively, in Article 3, Paragraph 1, Letter e), Point ii ) and Letter e), Point iii ) of Directive 2006/88/EC)
  • ornamental aquatic animals referred to in Article 3, Letter k) of Directive 2006/88/EC and excluded from the scope of such Directive by its Article 2, Paragraph 1), Letter a)
  • amphibians and reptiles
  • birds: specimens of avian species other than those referred to in Article 2 of Directive 2009/158/EC
  • mammals: rodents and rabbits other than those intended for food production and defined “lagomorphs” in Annex I to Regulation No. 853/2004 EC.

Such animals may be introduced provided that:

  • they are transported by their owner without commercial purposes and they are not intended for transfer of ownership
  • they are transported in appropriate containers to ensure animal welfare during transport and sufficient security
  • if they come from a third country with an accompanying Health Certificate signed by an official veterinarian or a veterinarian authorized by the competent Authority declaring that the animal has been inspected 48 hours before dispatch, the animal concerned does not show any clinical sign of diseases proper of the species and it is fit to be transported to its  final  destination.  The certificate shall include the description of the animal, information on its owner and the address of origin and destination of the animal.  

However, for poultry (except for poultry described in Directive 2009/158/EC, for which the introduction with their owner is prohibited) reference is being made to:

Italy shall only authorize the movement of consignments of five or less than five live pet birds from third countries. Moreover, they shall be accompanied by a health certificate conforming to the model set out in Annex II to Decision 2007/25/EC as amended. In accordance with Annex III to Decision 2007/25/EC, a written declaration signed by the owner or the authorized person shall be part of the certificate.


Data di pubblicazione: 3 agosto 2016, ultimo aggiornamento 3 agosto 2016

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