#D3 Moving Pets Overseas Part 2: Oh Yay More Paperwork!


Welcome to the next exciting chapter of will the paperwork ever end, haha. Thankfully due to some good comments I got from Rosy on my last post, we will try and see if we can do some things for ourselves and save money when transporting Whiskey. I called Iberia to see if they would be willing to work with Whiskey's size but couldn't get through yet. Once I get an answer, I'll make sure to share it with you all. Regarding the Pendleton beast, we almost got Murphey's Lawed again (I can use that as a verb, right?). Apparently, we have some freak hybrid chihuahua that is longer and taller than most and will not fit in an under-seat carrier. Luckily for us, due to him being registered as a service animal, we can bring him, and his size is not an issue as he is still under the weight limit of 30lbs. While we are currently trying to find a gigantic crate, I wanted to write the list of requirements when traveling with your pet overseas and some helpful websites.


Pet Travel Paperwork: the U.S. to Spain


Below, I will list the requirements to travel to Spain from the U.S. located on the USDA APHIS Pet Travel website: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel/by-country/eu/pettravel-spain. The following information pertains to dogs, cats, and ferrets without an EU permit. Save Time and Money!

STEP 1: Identification with microchip

  • Dogs, cats, and ferrets must be individually identified by an ISO-compliant (11784 and 11785) microchip.

  • ISO-compliant microchips are 15 digits long. The pet’s microchip ISO compatibility can be confirmed with the microchip manufacturer.

  • If the pet does not have an ISO compliant microchip:

  • The pet will need to travel with a microchip reader that can read the microchip OR contact the Veterinary Officials at the intended port of arrival to verify that they have a reader capable of reading the pet’s microchip. OR

  • If a non-ISO compatible microchip was previously implanted and can still be read, then the Veterinarian can implant an ISO-compatible microchip in addition to the non-ISO one the pet currently has.

  • The number and the date of implantation of both microchips must be documented on the EU Health Certificate.

  • When recording the “Date of implantation and/or reading [dd/mm/yyyy]” of the microchip/transponder on the health certificate, IT MUST BE ON OR BEFORE THE DATE OF THE PRIMARY RABIES VACCINATION. It cannot be the date of issuance of the health certificate.

STEP 2: Rabies vaccination

If the pet is less than 15 weeks old and has not been vaccinated for rabies more than 21 days before entry into the EU, this Member State DOES NOT ALLOW entry of the pet.

  • Click here to check which the EU Member States accept pets under 15 weeks of age.

For pets at least 15 weeks old and vaccinated for rabies more than 21 days before entry into the EU:

  • Rabies vaccination must occur the same day as or AFTER microchip implantation. The rabies vaccination may be administered the same day as microchip implantation, but any rabies vaccination before a microchip is implanted is invalid.

  • If the pet had a non-ISO compatible microchip implanted at the same time as or before the pet’s most recent vaccination and it is still readable, the pet will not have to be revaccinated even if it had to be re-microchipped with an ISO compliant microchip to travel to the EU.

  • Remember, the number and implantation dates of both microchips must be documented on the EU Health Certificate, and at least one of these microchips must have been implanted before the pet’s most recent rabies vaccine.


  • Rabies vaccinations valid for 1, 2, or 3 years are acceptable as long as the rabies vaccination is current and has been administered according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

  • The rabies vaccination must not expire before entering the EU.


  • A copy of the rabies vaccination certificate should accompany the pet to the EU.

STEP 3: 21-day waiting period (after primary vaccination)

  • After a primary rabies vaccination, the pet must wait 21 days before it is eligible to enter the EU.

  • A rabies vaccination is considered a primary vaccination by the EU when:

  • It is the first vaccination given after microchip implantation (this vaccination can be administered on the same day or any time after microchip implantation). OR

  • The previous rabies vaccination was expired when the latest vaccination was given.

  • If a rabies vaccination is given after microchip implantation expires before another rabies vaccination can be given, the pet must wait 21 days after the new rabies vaccination before being eligible to enter the EU, as the new vaccination is now considered a primary vaccination. If there has not been a lapse in the pet's rabies vaccination, the pet does not have to wait 21 days to travel to the EU after the booster vaccination.



If the pet is more than 15 weeks old and the most recent rabies vaccine is a primary rabies vaccine, the pet must wait 21 days after the date of that primary rabies vaccine before it can enter the EU. NOTE: If the pet is less than 15 weeks old and has not been vaccinated for rabies more than 21 days before entry into the EU, see Step 2 to determine if the pet is eligible to enter the EU by checking which the Member States allow these pets.


STEP 4: Have a USDA Accredited Veterinarian or Military Veterinarian* issue (complete and sign) the EU Health Certificate

The EU has two different health certificates for pets. The health certificate used will depend on the number of animals traveling, whether or not the pet is traveling within 5 days before or after the owner or designated person**, and whether the pet will change ownership or is intended for resale in the EU.

  • The “non-commercial” health certificate is:

  • For 5 or fewer pets traveling to the EU within 5 days of the owner or designated person**. OR For 6 or more privately owned pets that are more than 6 months old and traveling in a group to the EU to participate in competitions, exhibitions, sporting events, or in training for events, within 5 days of the owner or designated person**.

  • Valid for 10 days after the USDA Accredited Veterinarian issues (completes and signs) it. The health certificate must be issued by the USDA Accredited Veterinarian and endorsed (counter-signed and embossed/stamped) by APHIS within 10 days prior to entering the EU.

  • APHIS endorsement is not required if the health certificate is issued by a military veterinarian*.


  • The EU Health Certificate's final page contains a Declaration that must be completed and signed by the owner or designated person** before the pet travels to the EU. The Declaration must accompany the pet and health certificate to the EU.

  • Once the health certificate is endorsed by APHIS, the owner or designated person** must enter the APHIS-assigned certificate number in the “Animal health certificate number” section of the Declaration. See the instructions for completing the non-commercial health certificate on the Health Certificate page.

  • ALERT: This health certificate is NOT for pets traveling to the EU more than 5 days before or after the owner or designated person**, or changing ownership, or are intended for resale in the EU. This type of movement falls under the “commercial” health certificate below.

  • The “commercial” health certificate is:

  • For pets (any number) who are traveling more than 5 days before or after the owner or designated person**. OR For 6 or more privately owned pets traveling at the same time (even if their owner or designated person** is traveling to the EU at the same time or within 5 days before or after the pet). OR For pet animals changing ownership or intended for resale when arriving in the EU.

  • Valid for 48 hours after the USDA Accredited Veterinarian issues (completes and signs) it. The health certificate must be issued by the USDA Accredited Veterinarian and endorsed (counter-signed and embossed/stamped) by APHIS within 48 hours of departing the U.S.

  • APHIS endorsement is not required if the health certificate is issued by a military veterinarian*.


*A Military Veterinarian is defined as a Veterinary Corps Officer or civilian GS-0701 series government veterinarian employed by the U.S. Army Veterinary Service working at military treatment facilities. It does not apply to Army Veterinary Service non-appropriated funds or Department of Defense civilian contract veterinarians. **Designated person: a family member, friend, or other person authorized by the owner to travel with the pet.



STEP 5: Have APHIS endorse (counter-sign and emboss/seal) the EU Health Certificate

  • After the pet’s USDA Accredited Veterinarian has issued (completed and signed) the EU Health Certificate, have the pet’s completed health certificate endorsed by your local USDA APHIS Veterinary Services Endorsement Office.

  • APHIS endorsement is not required if the health certificate was issued by a Military Veterinarian*.

  • Your local USDA APHIS Veterinary Services Endorsement Office will be able to provide specific information about the process and fees associated with the endorsement of the EU Health Certificate.

  • You can also find more information about Endorsement Fees here.

*A Military Veterinarian is defined as a Veterinary Corps Officer or civilian GS-0701 series government veterinarian employed by the U.S. Army Veterinary Service working at military treatment facilities. It does not apply to Army Veterinary Service non-appropriated funds or Department of Defense civilian contract veterinarians. The EU health certificate is valid for travel within the EU for up to 4 months from the date it is issued by the USDA Accredited Veterinarian as long as the rabies vaccine documented on it does not expire. After entering the EU, dogs subsequently traveling to Ireland, Finland, Malta, or Norway will need to be treated for tapeworms by an EU veterinarian within 1-5 days before entering those countries. The EU veterinarian will add the tapeworm treatment information to the EU health certificate issued in the United States. It is your responsibility to ensure your pet meets the import requirements of each country you visit.

All forms are located on this website. You can also lookup differences based on other types of animals and other countries' requirements. A big win is that Spain DOESN NOT REQUIRE A PET QUARANTINE.



Other Info.

Banned Breeds

The following breeds are not banned from entering Spain, but they must be registered within 3 months of entry and must wear a muzzle to pass security in Spain: Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Rottweiler, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasiliero, Tosa Inu and Akita Inu.


Forms and Accessories Resources

I found this really awesome site where you can get a packet of all the paperwork you need for $20. They also have flying supplies, the ISO chip for purchase, and all the regulations, etc. The site is called Pet Travel Store: https://www.pettravelstore.com/. You can get all these forms for free from the USDA site up above. This site also has a special leash and collar with no metal to make it easier to carry your animal through the security checkpoint.





If there is any other information you are looking for or think would be helpful, please drop a comment, and I will add it to this page! Also, if you are looking for info on common airline requirements, please look at the previous post, part 1 of the Dog Visa Process. Now cue my gratuitous plug: If you are liking my posts or are finding them helpful, please subscribe and share! Also, utilize the forum to connect with others and get their thoughts.

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