Bringing Pets to Italy

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Bringing a pet to Italy from the Italian Embassy in Washington:

A new regulation, 998\2003\EC regulating the animal heath 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:

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

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