Pet Import Requirements for Finland
Before you begin planning your travel to Finland one very important question needs to be answered and that is, if your pet is a dog, whether the breed of your furry friend is allowed in the country in the first place. While it may seem odd, many countries ban certain Breeds. Finland does not explicitly ban or restrict any breeds of dog at this time and they do not quarantine healthy dogs, cats or ferrets who meet their import requirements.
Now that you know that your pet is allowed into Finland, here's what you'll need to do:
Contact your Vet
The first step is always to contact your vet to ensure your pet is safe to travel. Some breeds of dogs and cats should not fly and are not accepted on most airlines. Your local vet can also assist you with the process, paperwork, and vaccinations necessary for international travel.
Finland, like most EU countries, accepts two types of identification, microchip and tattoo, however there are some restrictions.
A microchip that meets the International Standards Organization (ISO) requirements is valid for Finland as well as all EU countries. Microchips available in the US may not be up to the same standards and if it isn’t the microchip scanners won’t be able to read it on your arrival. In this case you’ll need to bring a scanner that reads your specific type of chip.
Tattoos given prior to July 3, 2011 that are clearly visible are accepted for identification in Finland. As long as your pet's current rabies vaccination was administered after the tattoo was applied.
If your pet has a microchip:
Your pet’s rabies vaccination must have been given after the microchip has been implanted and at least 21 days prior to travel, and must have been given after 3 months of age. This requirement is meant to prevent the movement of puppies and kittens who have been vaccinated too young in an effort to comply with regulations. The vaccination must be current and be within the expiration dates of the vaccine. There is no additional waiting period for subsequent visits provided rabies boosters are kept up to date and the other entry requirements are met.
If your pet does NOT have a microchip or valid tattoo:
Your pet will need to be vaccinated again after the microchip is implanted and wait 21 days before travel.
If your pet is entering Finland from a high-rabies country, they will have to undergo a Blood Titer Test. This test must be conducted at least 30 days after they have been vaccinated. Assuming acceptable results of the test conducted by an approved laboratory, your pet must wait 90 days from the date the blood was drawn to enter Finland to avoid quarantine.
Before your dog can enter Finland, it must be treated against certain tapeworms one to five days prior to entering the country unless your pet is entering directly from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Malta or Norway.
Certifications and other paperwork
If you are traveling with your pet:
From Outside the European Union (EU)
In order for your pet to travel to Hungary, you must have an Annex IV form for Finland completed by an accredited veterinarian within 10 days of entry. The procedures to obtain an Annex IV certificate may vary by country of origin.
From another EU Member State
If your pet is traveling alone:
From a non EU Member State:
Finland requires an Annex I form for Finland (bilingual version) be completed by a licensed veterinarian within 48 hours of entry. If your pet is traveling from the United States or Canada, the veterinarian must be accredited by the USDA or CFIA respectively and the Annex I form must be endorsed by the local USDA (United States) or CFIA (Canada) office. The procedure for obtaining an Annex I form may vary by country so be sure to verify in your originating country.
Entry into Finland can only be via an approved Border Inspection Post (BIP) at the international airport in Helsinki, and you must notify the airport at least 24 hours prior to arrival.
If your pet is traveling unaccompanied and entering Finland from a high-rabies country, the blood titer test described above is required.
From another EU Member State:
If your pet is traveling to Finland alone from another EU country, just have your veterinarian update your pet’s EU Pet Passport. Use of company licensed for pet import/export that is registered with the governing authority in your EU country is necessary. Your pet must be accompanied by an Intra Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC) completed within 48 hours of entry.
Puppies and kittens who are under 12 weeks of age and not vaccinated or over 12 weeks and have been vaccinated less than 21 days prior to travel are permitted to enter Finland from another EU Member State, Norway or Switzerland. Your puppy, kitten or ferret must be accompanied by an EU Pet Passport, microchipped, and puppies must be treated for tapeworm.
They also must also be accompanied by one of the following:
- a declaration of the owner attached to its passport stating that, from birth until the time of import, your pet has not left its place of birth and has had no contact with wild animals that could carry rabies,
- their mother whose passport indicates that she was currently vaccinated for rabies at the time she gave birth.
Unaccompanied puppies and kittens must be microchipped and follow the steps outlined above for unaccompanied travel from a non-EU country. Their travel must be tracked through the Community Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES).
For puppies, kittens and ferrets arriving from EU Member States or rabies-controlled countries, rabies vaccinations must have been administered after 3 months of age and entry to Finland they cannot enter Finland until 21 days after the vaccination. The minimum age for entering Finland from high-rabies countries is 7 months of age.
Other categories of pets such as, tropical fish, reptiles, amphibians, small mammals such as guinea pigs and rabbits are not subject to requirements of rabies vaccination but should have a health certificate to enter Finland.
Importing rabbits, rodents, tortoises, amphibians and reptiles from other EU Member States including Norway and Switzerland does not require any import permits or health certificates as long as these pets are accompanied by their owner or owner's representative.
Other categories of animals such as, tropical fish, reptiles, amphibians and mammals are not subject to requirements of rabies vaccination, but may have to meet other requirements and should have a health certificate to enter Finland. Mammals will need parasite treatment prior to entering Finland.
Some other pets including parrots and turtles are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). You will need to apply for additional permits if this is the case.
Finland’s requirements for importing birds are very demanding. All birds entering Finland from other EU Member States must be accompanied by their owner and not be resale or ownership transfer. They must also have a band or microchip for identification and have lived in the originating country of export for at least 6 months and not have been born in an area that is subject to restrictions for infectious disease.
They must have a current health certificate showing vaccinations but not against Newcastle disease or avian influenza, and be free of any symptoms when examined at the point of entry. The Border Inspection Post must be notified of arrival in advance.
Cockatiels, undulates, rose-ringed parakeets (also known as the ring-necked parakeet) and rosy-faced lovebirds are subject to CITES requirements.
Birds entering Finland are subject to pre and post-travel quarantine and are subject to additional requirements.
Airport Arrival in Finland
Pets can travel as checked baggage or in the cabin with you. Pets entering by air from non-EU countries must do so at Border Inspection Posts at Helsinki. If by road you must do so at the BIP on Vaalimaa Road from Russia.
It is recommended that pets enter Finland directly or transit through another EU Member State whenever possible to minimize possible problems. However if your pet passes through a high-rabies country, you will be required to complete a Transit Declaration stating that your pet has had no contact with rabies-carrying animals and remained secured within the airplane or airport.
If your pet shows signs of any disease that may be communicable to humans when examined at the port of entry to Finland. They may be subject to further examination by a licensed veterinarian at your expense. This could result in quarantine or your pet not being allowed into Finland at all.
There are no quarantine facilities in Finland. Pets not meeting requirements will need to arrange for quarantine in official quarantine facilities in other EU Member States.
Have additional questions?
Check out the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website for more information about pet travel to Finland and other countries.
Managing the rules and regulations for importing pets into the many countries across the globe can be difficult. Not only because they can and do change frequently but also because it's hard to accurately say how enthusiastically a given country will chose to enforce the regulations or what the consequences of non-compliance might be. We attempt to ensure that the information provided here reflect current regulations but we strongly recommend that you verify the rules for the country you are visiting to avoid situations that could spoil the trip for you and your pet.
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