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Non-commercial and commercial pet transport to the European Union explained

Travelling with your pet can be an incredible adventure; you and your pet can enjoy new cultures, new cuisines and share new experiences. Pets have a strong bond with their pet parents and enjoy spending time with them. Travelling with a pet is fortunately not as complex as it was before; every country has a set of pet import rules to follow, and your pet can easily be as well-travelled as you are.

Pet travel to the European Union is classified into commercial and non-commercial transport. If your pet is travelling to the EU, it is important to understand the distinction between the two categories before making travel plans. Here’s all you need to know about commercial and non-commercial pet transport to the European Union:

What is non-commercial pet transport to the European Union?

If your pet dog or cat is travelling with you to any country that is part of the European Union, they are most likely travelling as non-commercial transport. The following conditions must be met for non-commercial movement:

  • Pet owners or an authorised person must accompany the pet during the journey.
  • If the pet is travelling unaccompanied, pet owners must travel to the destination EU member country either five days earlier or five days later than the pet transport.
  • When the pet dog or cat reaches the destination country, they are not intended for sale or transfer to another owner.
  • The number of pets must not be more than five during a single movement. The number of pets travelling can be more than five only if the travel is to participate in a show, competition or a sporting event. The pet parent has to submit written evidence to prove the same.

Your pet must satisfactorily fulfil all other pet import criteria laid down by the destination country to enter the country.

What is commercial pet transport to the European Union?

Commercial pet transport to the EU is for pets are being sold or transferred to a new owner in the destination country. Pet transport that meets the following conditions are considered a commercial movement in the European Union:

  • The pet dog or cat is travelling to be sold or transferred to a new owner in the destination EU country.
  • The number of pet dogs and cats accompanying a pet parent is more than five.
  • The pet dog or cat is travelling more than five days earlier or later than the pet owner.

Pets that travel as commercial transport require a health certificate endorsed by an authorised government official within 48 hours of your pet’s travel date. Pets arriving into the EU country as a commercial move will be subject to examination upon arrival. The arrival process takes longer for commercial transport, and it is more expensive than a non-commercial move.

International pet travel to the European Union

Pet transport to European Union countries is possible only when all pet import criteria of the destination country, such as rabies vaccinations, microchip, health tests and documentation, are met satisfactorily. An IATA accredited pet transport agency can help you remove the stress out of the equation and make sure your pet arrives at the destination safely and in great spirits.

An international move is always fraught with uncertainty, such as changing flight schedules, unforeseen delays, travel restrictions and more. Having an experienced pet travel partner by your side through this journey will go a long in making the process simple and stress-free for you and your pet.

If you are planning to move to the European Union with your favourite pet dog or cat, reach out to Petraveller for more information on pet transport guidelines and a free pet travel quote