Thursday 10/28/21
MOVING TO SPAIN

How to travel to Spain with your pets: legal and health requirements

The regulations are not the same if the country of origin is another EU member state or if it is a third country
Dog girl pet by Pixabay
A woman playing with her dog. Photo: Pixabay.

The laws allow you to travel with your pet to Spain or bring your pets to Spain with you when you move to live there. However, the process is subject to both national and European Union regulations to protect animal safety and ensure compliance with sanitary requirements.

Of course, the regulations applied in Spain are not the same if the pet's country of origin is another state of the European Union (EU) or if it is a third country. However, before going into these differentiations, it is worth mentioning a series of general requirements.

The general regulations for the non-commercial movement of pets to Spain is established by Instruction 1/2014 of the Agricultural Production Health Directorate and described on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In general, the transfer of an animal is considered a movement of pets provided that:

  • The animals subject to transfer are 5 or less. If there are more, it is considered a commercial transfer. In this section some exceptions may apply, for example in the case of competitions, exhibitions or sports activities, duly documented for animals older than 6 months

  • The transfer does not have a commercial purpose and there is no transfer of ownership of the animal

  • Pets travel with their owner or a person responsible for them on behalf of the owner during the journey. The movement of animals is allowed to be carried out in a means of transport separate from that of the owner if it occurs within a period not exceeding five days with respect to the movement of the owner/person in charge.

girl-dog-pet-owner-by-PixabayPhoto: Pixabay.

From an EU country

In order to bring a pet dog, cat or ferret into Spain, the animal must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be identified with a microchip, or tattoo (if it was done before 07/03/2011) and as long as it continues to be legible.
  2. Be vaccinated against rabies with a valid vaccine at the time of travel and included in the passport.
  3. Have a European passport for the movement of pets. The sections "Owner", "Description of the animal", "Marking", "Issuance of passport" and "Rabies vaccination" must be completed in the passport (see Annex I of the Instruction).

The passport sections Serological test, Treatment against ticks, Treatment against Echinococcus, Other vaccinations, Clinical examination, Legalization and Others are not mandatory for travel from other Member States to Spain.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: RABIES VACCINE

Regarding the rabies vaccine, it is important to bear in mind that for travel purposes the minimum age allowed to vaccinate animals will be 12 weeks. And for the vaccine to be considered valid at the time of entry into the country, at least 21 days must have passed since the vaccination.

Therefore, the Spanish authorities do not authorize the entry into Spain of dogs, cats and ferrets under 15 weeks of age, since it is considered that they are not carriers of a valid vaccine against rabies. On this, the authorities do not admit exceptions.

Woman-girl-cat-pet-owner-by-PixabayPhoto: Pixabay.

From a non-EU country

In order to bring a pet to Spain from a third country, the owner must enter with his pet through one of the so-called 'authorized entry points for the control of pets' designated by the authorities.

At the time of writing this article, there are pet control points of this type in the main ports and airports of Spain. You can check HERE the updated list (in Spanish) as of 15 June 2021.

Upon arrival, the owner of the animal must declare before the 'Resguardo Fiscal' of the Civil Guard (police) that they are traveling with a pet and show its documentation.

In cases where a European pet passport is not available, animal owners must provide:

  • An animal health certificate, according to the EU model, which must be signed by an official veterinarian from the third country, and presented at least in Spanish. You can download the model  HERE
  • A declaration, also according to the EU model.
  • Certified copy of the identification and vaccination data of the animal.

In addition, the pet must be identified by a microchip, or tattoo (if this was done before 07/03/2011), and vaccinated against rabies with a valid vaccine at the time of travel. (Read above the IMPORTANT NOTICE: RABIES VACCINE). 

If the animal comes from a third country not listed in Annex II of Regulation (EU) 577/2013, it must have undergone a serological test against rabies (see section 4) in an authorized laboratory.

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