Office of Agriculture, Food and Environment

Requirements for non-commercial imports of dogs, cats, and ferrets

The following requirements concern the non-commercial import of cats, dogs, and ferrets exclusively from the United States and Canada into Spain pursuant to Regulation (CE) 998/2003 and Commission Decision 2004/824/EC

For the entry of up to five animals without commercial purposes (not being part of an international sale or with the intention to sell) please use the this certificate (AnnexII).

For the entry of more than five animals without commercial purposes (not being part of an international sale or with the intention to sell) please use this certificate (Annex I)

For the entry any number of animals with commercial purposes, please check the rules for commercial imports.

The entry of dogs, cats, or ferrets under three months of age is not allowed.


All animals will be identified with either a microchip compatible with standards ISO-11784 or Annex A to ISO-11785 or with a tattoo applied before July 3, 2011. If the animals are identified with a non-compatible microchip, the importer must supply the appropriate reading equipment. (more information in our Frequently Asked Questions page).

The microchip shall be administered before the rabies vaccine.

Rabies vaccine:

The vaccine must be administered AFTER the microchip or tattoo and then, a period of 21 days should follow before entering into Spain. For booster vaccinations, no waiting period is required, provided the booster vaccine was administered before the expiration date of the prior vaccine. For more information. See our Frequently Asked Questions page.

The anti-rabies vaccine must be a vaccine other than a live modified vacine and fall within one of the following categories:

  1. an inactivated vaccine of a least one anigenic unit per dose (WHO standard) or
  2. a recombinant vaccine expressing the immunising glycoprotein of the rabies vaccine virus in a live virus vector

The ownership in Spain of certain dogs is subject to strict requirements regarding registration and safety. Please read our page on Potentially Dangerous Dogs to see if your dog is included in this category.



The animals will also be accompanied by a veterinary certificate Annex 2 for entry of five or less animals or Annex I for the entry of more than five animals without commercial purposes, issued by an Official Veterinarian, which will include the following:

  • Identification of the owner or person responsible for the animal(s)
  • Description and origin of the animal(s)
  • Microchip or tattoo number, location and date of insertion.
  • Information on the rabies vaccine (the vaccine type must be inactive, and in compliance with the standards of the OIE).

The veterinary certificate is valid for 10 days from the date of issue by the official veterinarian until the date of the checks at the EU travellers' point of entry and for the purpose of further movements within the Union, for a total of 4 months from the date of issue of this certificate or until the date of expiry of the anti-rabies vaccination, whichever date is earlier.

Animals without the certificate will be denied entry into Spain.

This certificate must be accompanied by supporting documentation, or a certified copy thereof, including the identification details of the animal concerned, vaccination details and if required, the result of the serological test.

(In order to print the certificate, you will need to install Acrobat Reader, available for free at Adobe's web site).

Important: Who can sign the certificate?

United States: the veterinary certificate may be filled out by any veterinarian accredited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA/APHIS, under the National Veterinary Accreditation Program, NVAP. However, once filled, the certificate must be endorsed by an Official Veterinary employed by the Veterinary Services, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (VS/APHIS) of the Department of Agriculture. First, ask your veterinarian whether he/she is accredited under NVAP. If that is not the case, please contact the Area Office of VS/APHIS to request a list of accredited veterinarians near your place of residence. Once the accredited veterinarian has filled and signed the certificate, it will need the endorsement (signature) of a VS/APHIS Official Veterinarian. The accredited veterinarian or VS/APHIS Area Office can inform you of the procedure.

Canada : The certificate must be signed by a licensed veterinarian and endorsed by an Official Veterinarian from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). For more information on how to find an official veterinarian, read this page.

The cage or carrier in which the animal is travelling must be labelled with the name, address in Spain, and phone number of the owner or the owner’s representative.

Once in Spain, pet animals need a passport, according to the European Union model, in order to travel to other countries the EU. Ask your veterinarian in Spain about the passport.

Please see also our frequently asked questions section.