Bringing pets to the Netherlands

Import of Dogs, Cats and Ferrets into the Netherlands

Below are listed the rules for the import of pet animals (cats, dogs and ferrets).

We advise you to contact the airline you plan to travel by as some companies make additional requests, e.g. demanding the submission of a so-called fit-to-fly document. We would also recommend you to check the requirements for bringing pets back into Japan. Please have a look at the website of the Animal Quarantine Service 

The following rules apply to pet dogs, cats and ferrets entering the European Union (except the United Kingdom, Ireland, Malta and Sweden) from non-EU countries, including Japan:

  • The animals must carry an electric transponder inserted or a clearly readable tattoo to identify them.
  • Dogs, cats and ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies. The first vaccination is valid 21 days after the vaccination protocol has been finished.
  • Dogs, cats and ferrets crossing an EU border must be accompanied by a standard certificate which identifies the animal, gives the owner's name and address, and certifies that the animals was vaccinated against rabies.

Please note that these requirements apply for transit passengers as well.

Special requirements for entry into the Netherlands

The Netherlands does not set any additional veterinary requirements for pet dogs, cats and ferrets entering the Netherlands for non-commercial purposes. Animals do not have to be treated for ticks or tapeworms.
Young animals aged under three months may enter the Netherlands if the owner can certify that the animal resided at the same place as its place of birth, and had no contact with animals which might have been infected with rabies. Young animals which are not yet weaned, and are therefore accompanying the mother, may also enter the country.

NOTE that the United Kingdom, Ireland, Malta and Sweden do have special requirements for entry.

Preparations step by step when traveling to or via the Netherlands

before departure:

  • EU Veterinary Certificate - your veterinary practitioner should fill in the Dutch-English certificate (details 1-4).*

* in case of an indirect flight via another EU country a certificate drawn up in the language of the first (transit) port of entry within the EU and/or English should also be used. In addition to Dutch, The Netherlands accepts certificates in German, English and French. Therefore, for transit flights via Germany, France or the UK no seperate Dutch-English certificate is required. (However, please keep in mind that in case of flights over the UK items 1-5 have to be filled in.) Please look for the relevant certificate at European Commission Animal Health and Welfare

  • Rabies vaccination - it is advisable to vaccinate the animal about a month prior to departure.
  • Tattoo or microchip insertion - your veterinary practitioner should insert transponders: ISO No. 11784 or 11785 (in case a different transponder is used, please bring your own reader so that the animal quarantine authorities in the Netherlands can identify the chip).
  • Application for inspection at Animal Quarantine Service at airport of departure - a few days before departure you should contact the Animal Quarantine Service (AQS - see listed below) and send them the application form with the relevant details together with a copy of the rabies vaccination form issued by your veterinarian.

Download the application form (dogs)
Download the application form (cats)
Download the application form (ferrets)

JAL Narita Terminal 2  - AQS
Tel. 0476-34-2342/ Fax 0476-34-2338

KLM Narita Terminal 1 - AQS
Tel. 0476-32-6667/ Fax 0476-30-3011

JAL/KLM Kansai Airport - AQS
Tel. 0724-55-1956/ Fax 0724-55-1957

On the day of departure:

  • Animal health check
  • EU Veterinary Certificate - the certificate must be endorsed by the Animal Quarantine Station Inspector at the airport.
  • Export Certificate for Dog/Cat/Ferret - the Inspector will fill in and sign this Japanese certificate after having conducted the health check.

NOTE Make sure that you are traveling with the two certificates mentioned above!

For more information, please consult the follwoing Dutch animal quarantaine authority:

VWA (Voedsel en Warenautoriteit) or Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority

Tel. +31 70 448 48 48 (The Hague) or
+31 20 524 4600 (Schiphol Amsterdam Airport)
Fax. +31 70 448 47 47 (The Hague)


Dogs, cats and ferrets kept commercially
Harmonised veterinary requirements already apply to intra-community movements of commercially kept dogs, cats and ferrets (Directive 92/65/EC). With the new regulation, the veterinary requirements for commercially kept animals and pet animals are almost identical. The most important difference is that commercially kept animals must be clinically examined by a competent veterinarian 24 hours before the start of a journey. The veterinarian must record any findings at that time in the animal's EU passport.

Other pets
Some animal species are subject to restrictions under the framework of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES). The owner is therefore requested to submit a so-called CITES document upon entry in the Netherlands. For more information please contact the relevant section at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry .

More information

 European Commission Animal Health and Welfare