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Traveling to Malta with your pet

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Wondering how to travel to Malta with your pet? Here is some information on related formalities, not applying to commercial import however.

If you intend to relocate in Malta, you will probably have queries regarding your pet if you have any. You can, of course, take them with you if you are planning to make a long stay in the country. But for this, advance planning is required. In general, dogs, cats and ferrets are rather welcome in Malta provided they have been vaccinated against rabies. Indeed, different conditions apply to pets coming from rabies free countries and those coming from countries that are less concerned by rabies.

Quarantine

Pets having stayed for 6 months in a country that is free from rabies or less concerned by rabies will not be quarantined on their arrival in Malta provided they comply with the following conditions:

First of all, you are required to request for a pet import authorization from the Ministry of Sustainable Development.

Your pet must wear an intradermal 15-digit electronic identification microchip corresponding to ISO 11784/11785 norms that has been correctly implanted by a licensed veterinarian. In case your pet is equipped with a different model, it must be in possession of the adapting scanner.

If the pet comes from a country that is free or less concerned by rabies, it must still be vaccinated against this pathology 21 days prior to its import to Malta.

In case your pet has lived in a country which is strongly affected by rabies, it must first be vaccinated against this pathology, then be fitted with an intradermal microchip. Your pet will then undergo a blood test 30 days following the vaccination date. The blood sample will be send to an approved laboratory. If results are negative, the veterinarian will issue a pet health certificate. But if the results are next to the refusal limit, without exceeding it, your pet will have to be imported within the 90 days following the blood test. Otherwise, it will be quarantined.

As regards the pet health certificate, it generally varies from one country to another, but it remains an essential document for your pet to be allowed into the country by the Customs Department.

Your pet must have a pet passport if it comes from a European Union country. If it comes from Finland, Ireland, Norway or the United Kingdom, it will have to undergo a tapeworm screening test within 1 to 5 days following its arrival date in Malta.

Cats and dogs are examined by licensed veterinarians upon their arrival in Malta. In case they present symptoms of transmissible diseases, you will have to bear the costs of thorough health examinations.

Other pets

If you are importing a bird, invertebrate, tropical fish, reptile, amphibian or a mammal (rodent or rabbit), these do not have to be vaccinated against rabies. However, they must be in possession of a health certificate to be allowed to enter the Maltese territory. Make sure to seek all relevant information from your home country's health and sanitary authorities.

If you are importing a tortoise or a parrot, make sure to check out the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which is responsible for the protection of some species against import and export. In this case, you are required to seek a special permit from the CITES. Feel free to seek more information from your home country's veterinarian authorities (from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, for instance).

 Useful links:

Expat.com – Moving to Malta with pets Forum 
Ministry of Sustainable Development vafd.gov.mt
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora – CITES www.cites.org

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