We updated this post on 9 December on learning that pets travelling more than five days before or after their owners no longer need to follow the TRACES process.

All dogs, cats and ferrets travelling from one EU country to another must have a valid pet passport. In most cases, dogs must be given a worming treatment by a vet between 24 hours and five days of their arrival in the destination country. To protect animals from theft, trafficking and so on, some additional requirements must be met, if the pet is:

  • Relocating from one EU country to another, and travelling unaccompanied by its owner. For example, the pet may be travelling with Animalcouriers by road, while its owner flies.
  • Being rehomed from one EU country to another. Rehoming involves a change in ownership of the pet. For example, the pet may be leaving a breeder and going to a new owner in a different country; or may have been adopted from a shelter by a new owner in another country.

Pets relocating, unaccompanied by their owners

Your pet’s valid passport and microchip registration must show both your old and new addresses. You need to include the following documents with your pet’s passport:

  • A declaration from you as the pet’s owner giving Animalcouriers permission to transport your pet for you to your new address — we provide the declaration for you to complete and sign
  • Evidence that you, as the pet’s owner, are relocating — such as a copy of an airline ticket or boarding pass, or a ferry booking receipt
  • A colour photocopy of the photo ID page from your passport

Pets being rehomed with a change of ownership

Your pet’s valid passport and microchip registration must show its destination address. You (or the organisation sending the pet) need to include the following documents with the pet’s passport:

  • A declaration from you as the pet’s new owner giving Animalcouriers permission to transport your pet for you to your address — we provide the declaration for you to complete and sign
  • Evidence to support the pet’s destination address
  • An ITAHC certificate (export health certificate) generated by the TRACES tracking system — see below

Some departure countries additionally require the departing pet:

  • To have an official adoption certificate from the local municipality or breeder showing that permission has been given for the pet to leave the country
  • To have been neutered before departure

Check with the shelter, breeder or local government vet.

TRACES

Pets that are being rehomed to a new owner in another EU country must be recorded onto the electronic tracking system TRACES by a government vet in the departure country a day or two before the pet leaves. The person, shelter or other organisation organising the pet’s departure must arrange this. The departure address or organisation must be recognised as suitable and be approved by the government vet.

The TRACES entry will generate an ITAHC certificate that must be included with the pet’s passport.

You must inform your nearest Animal Health Office at least 24 hours before the pet is due to arrive. In the UK, this will be an AHVLA office (part of the government department Defra). They will reserve the right to visit the pet up to 48 hours after its arrival.

Each EU country interprets the TRACES rules slightly differently. In the case of pets being rehomed into the UK, for example, the pet must have stayed at its departure address for at least 21 days following its rabies vaccination. You can consult TRACES information published by Defra. You should check the TRACES information published by the government of both the departure and arrival countries.

In line with the TRACES requirements, Animalcouriers doesn’t transport pets who are moving to a new country without a named owner and home to go to.

Sebastian recently travelled with us from the Filozoikos Shelter in Greece to a new home in the UK with Jenny. In accordance with TRACES, he was inspected by the AHVLA office on arrival, and was declared to be a perfect dog!

Sebastian recently travelled with us from the Filozoikos Shelter in Greece to a new home in the UK with Jenny. In accordance with TRACES, he was inspected by the AHVLA office on arrival, and was declared to be a perfect dog!