Information for displaced persons travelling from Ukraine and Russia to the Netherlands with their pet

From 15 June 2023, the temporary easing of import requirements for the pets of displaced persons who have fled Ukraine and Russia will come to an end. This applies to all Member States of the European Union (EU). Dogs, cats and ferrets from Ukraine and Russia must therefore comply with the standard import requirements by 15 June 2023. This page tells you what this means for you.

What does this mean for me?

If you are travelling with your pet from Ukraine or Russia to the Netherlands from 15 June, it is important to make sure your pet complies with the European Union (EU) import requirements. These requirements are in place to prevent the spread of rabies, a very dangerous disease. Ukraine is a high-risk country for rabies. Note that from 16 September 2024, Russia and Belarus are also high-risk countries.

What are the EU import requirements for countries with a high risk of rabies?

  • Your pet must be microchipped.
  • The animal must have a valid rabies vaccination.
  • A blood test must be carried out at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination.
  • If your pet tests negative for rabies, there is a 3-month waiting period (starting on the day the blood sample was taken) before the animal can enter the EU.
  • You should have an EU animal health certificate and owner's declaration form for your pet. An EU pet passport is also valid but is only issued if your pet has previously been to the EU and has had all mandatory EU vaccinations.

Please note that other countries (e.g. Turkey) are also high-risk countries for rabies. For more information, you can find full details of EU import requirements here. Specific information on the blood test, rabies and travelling with your pet can be found here.

What if your pet does not comply with EU import requirements and you are already in the Netherlands?

  • Make an appointment with a vet as soon as possible. Your vet will tell you what to do. This may include getting the animal vaccinated and having a blood test done.
  • You or your vet should register your pet with the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA).

What should I do during the 3-month waiting period after the blood test?

  • Keep your pet or pets indoors as much as possible.
  • Make sure they do not come into contact with other people and animals. However, you may still take your pet(s) to the vet.
  • If you have a dog, make sure you walk it on a leash, preferably with a muzzle, in places with few other people or dogs.
  • Keep a lookout for possible rabies symptoms, such as a change in behaviour. You can find a list of possible symptoms here.

In some circumstances, it may be necessary for an animal to be put into a government-run quarantine facility. If this is the case, we will visit your home to collect the animal and we will inform you about what happens next and who you can contact. The owner has to pay the costs of quarantine.

Travelling to the Netherlands by plane

Are you travelling to the Netherlands by plane? When you arrive at Customs, go through the red channel for 'Goods to declare'. If your pet does not comply with EU import requirements, Customs will contact a vet working for the NVWA, who will assess the risk. In some cases, this may result in the animal being put into a government-run quarantine facility.

Do please be aware that the vaccine will only be valid if your pet was chipped at the time of vaccination.

Travelling by car, bus or train to or through other EU Member States

Your pet will be checked at your first point of entry into the EU. If you come to the Netherlands by car, your point of entry will be another EU Member State. You should report to Customs in that country.

The temporary easing of import requirements for the pets of displaced persons who have fled Ukraine and Russia is also coming to an end in other EU countries.