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Import of Pets


Import of Pets



A new Regulation, 998\2003\EC regulating the animal health requirements applicable to the non-commercial movement of pet animals (dogs, cats, and ferrets) in the European Union Member States is effective as of October 2, 2004.

According to this new regulation, to introduce animals in Italy from third countries, among which the United States, it is mandatory to obtain a European Community veterinary certificate for each pet that will be introduced in the Member States. The new format of the certificate has been approved by the Commission Decision 2004/203/EC on February 18, 2004 and all subsequent amendments.

The document foresees that pet animals:

a) Should be identifiable by a clearly readable tattoo or an electronic identification system (transponder/microchip), which provides the pet owner’s name and address;

b) Have a valid vaccination against rabies.

To introduce pet animals in Italy from third countries, it is not necessary to subject the animals to tick or echinococcus treatments.

For animals coming specifically from the United States (Annex II, Section C of the 998\2003\EC regulation) it is also not necessary to subject the animals to the Rabies serological test.

Information regarding this regulation and the European Veterinary certificate are also published on the web site for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In the initial stage, pet owners will be allowed, not withstanding the existing provisions of the new law (Commission Decision 2004\301\EC) to introduce pet animals with a different formatted veterinary certificate provided that all information pertaining the new requirements is still available (as provided for by the 998\2003\EC law), that the certificate has been obtained prior to October 1, 2004, and that the vaccination validity date on the certificate is still current.

Additional information is available on the web site for the Italian Ministry of Health.

Passengers may enter Italy with up to a maximum of five pets as long as they are included in the following list:

Birds (small birds with the exception of parrots, see below), dogs, cats, fish (small), common frogs, common reptiles, rodents (except rabbits and hares), common lizards and green lizards, and small turtles.

Pets can enter Italy only if accompanied by their owner/s and if they have a valid health certificate (link to certificate) issued by a certified veterinarian in the country of origin. The issue date on the certificate should not exceed 30 days prior the departure date. The certificate does not need to be authenticated or certified by this Embassy.

Passengers may also enter Italy accompanied by a maximum of 2 parrots for the larger species or up to a maximum of 4 parrots for the smaller species as long as they are accompanied by a certificate of origin and health attesting that there were no cases of psittacosis in the last 12 months within a radius of 15 miles from the place of origin.

For Dogs:

We would like to remind you that in Italy it is mandatory to use:

•A muzzle for dogs that walk on the streets or any other open space without a leash
•A muzzle and a leash for dogs in public places and public transportation (article 83 of D.P.R. 320/54 of the Veterinary Police Regulations).


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