Frequently asked questions
The European Pet Passport is the only document accepted by the French authorities. A Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) certificate is not a valid document for entry into France.
The French authorities will allow the entry of a pet (cat, dog or ferret) into France 21 days after the anti-rabies vaccination. They do not require the serological test following the anti-rabies vaccination and 6 month wait before entry into France from EU countries (they are however required for animals arriving into France from third countries). However, animals (cats and dogs, but not ferrets) entering, or returning to, the UK must comply with the serological test, 6 month wait and ticks and tapeworms treatments.
Your pet has to be at least 3 months old and vaccinated against rabies since 21 days to enter into France. This rule cannot be derogated from in any circumstances.
EU regulation 388/2010 limits to 5 per person the number of pet animals (dogs, cats & ferrets and others) in transit from a member State to another, or from a third country into the EU. Above this number, the transit is considered as a commercial movement.
Dangerous dogs in France are classified in 2 categories :
Category 1 : attack dogs - They are dogs whose appearance is of American Staffordshire terrier (pit-bulls), Mastiff (boerbulls) and Tosa types (i.e. without pedigree). It is prohibited to introduce these dogs into France.
Category 2 : defence and guard dogs – They are dogs of American Staffordshire terrier, Rottweiler, and Tosa breeds (i.e. with pedigree), and dogs of a Rottweiler type (without pedigree).
Since 1st January 2010, by virtue of legislation dated 20 June 2008 and published in the Journal Officiel of 21 June 2008 (Loi du 20 juin 2008 renforçant les mesures de prévention et de protection des personnes contre les chiens dangereux), all owners of dangerous dogs (category 1 and 2) in France must hold a certificate of aptitude for keeping a dangerous animal, delivered by an approved trainer, and a licence (permis de détention) for the animal, delivered by the town hall (mairie) of residence. Until modification of the law to allow for a temporary derogation for category 2 dogs being imported into France, it is advised not to introduce such animals into France, whether on a temporary (holidays) or permanent basis. Sanctions may be incurred for absence of licence.
Staffordshire bull terriers are not on the list of dangerous dogs in France. An answer to a Parliamentary question put to the Ministère de l’Intérieur (Home Office), published in the Official Journal dated 5 February 2001 (page 774), confirms the amendment to the list published in the decree of 27 April 1999, and excludes Staffordshire bull terriers from the said list.
Dogues de Bordeaux without pedigree are classified in France as category 1 under the dangerous dogs regulations, and cannot therefore be introduced into France.
The transport of primates by private individuals between the UK and France is not permitted.
The relevant text is European Directive 09/426.
« Intra-Community trade in equidae is subject to certain rules. The equidae may not present any sign of disease when inspected during the 48-hour period preceding loading, and may not have been in contact with infected equidae during the 15-day period preceding loading. Equidae must be conveyed directly to the place of destination, accompanied by an animal health certificate. Commission veterinary experts may carry out on-the-spot inspections. »
If the horse is registered, the passport is sufficient to enter into France by virtue of the tripartite agreement between the UK, Ireland and France. However, if the horse is travelling on to another EU country, it will require a signed health certificate as per annex B of directive 90/426.
If the horse is not registered, it will need a TRACES certificate, as per annex C of directive 90/426.
Whether for commercial or private purposes, live fish introduced into France must be accompanied by a health certificate from a veterinary doctor.
Two instances may occur :
The fish are re-introduced into a closed environmental facility (no contact with other waters): the form to be filled is part B of annex IV of EU regulation 1251/2008.
The fish are re-introduced into open environmental facilities: part A of annex IV of the same regulation applies.
There are no specific regulations regarding the movement of tortoises. French authorities only require a health certificate established a maximum of 5 days before departure by an official veterinarian, indicating that the tortoise does not show any clinical signs of diseases specific to its species.
However, should your tortoise be covered by the CITES regulations on protected species, you will need an export authorization. You will be able to verify this by contacting your local Animal Health office as listed on the Defra website:
As far as the French authorities are concerned, there are no restrictions on routes for the transport of pets between the UK and France. The use of private means of transport (boat or others) is allowed.
Routes approved for transport from France to the UK are listed on the Defra website: http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/pets/travel/pets/procedures/support-info/routes-europe.htm.