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Moving to the Netherlands with pets

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Bringing pets into the Netherlands can be an intimidating task. There are a number of rules that must be followed before you are allowed to bring your pet into the Netherlands with you. The Netherlands is a rabies-free country, and some extra precautions are in place to keep it that way.

General rules and regulations

All cats and dogs within the Netherlands must have an ISO 11784/11785 compliant 15 digit pet microchip implanted under their skin. They must also be vaccinated against rabies, and this vaccination must be documented in their pet passport, which you are also required to have.

Within the EU

If you are coming to the Netherlands from a country within the EU, your pet will need to satisfy all three of the above-stated requirements (microchip, pet passport, rabies vaccine). In addition to these criteria, the pet must be older than 15 weeks, and the pet is young and has only received its first rabies vaccination, you must wait a minimum of 3 weeks before you can bring it to the Netherlands.

For dogs, you must register the pet and the microchip within 2 weeks of your arrival into the Netherlands.  Failure to do so can result in prison or a fine of up to €19,500 euros.

Outside the EU

If you are coming to the Netherlands from a country outside the EU, then in addition to the microchip, pet passport, and rabies vaccine, you must also provide the results of a virus titre test (a blood test to demonstrate active antibodies to rabies).  This test must be done within one month of the vaccination and at least three months before leaving for the EU.  

Other animals

The information on this page applies to only cats, dogs, and ferrets.  For other animals you may need to procure additional permits or provide additional documentation.  The relevant information can be obtained through the NVWA (Dutch language website), which has a rubric you can work through to determine what you need.

 Useful links:

Dutch Customs - Admission of pets
Ministry of Agriculture - Taking an animal in the Netherlands
European Commission - Passport pet

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