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Moving with your pet to Russia

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Are you planning to settle in Russia? But what about your pet? According to existing Russian regulations, you are authorised to be accompanied by your pet while travelling there, provided it complies with all health requirements. Note that different regulations will apply to different kinds of pets, and the animal's  country of origin.

You may inquire about these health requirements with the Federal Office for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Supervision, or with the nearest Russian Embassy or Consulate to your place of residence in your home country. You will not only need to inquire about the formalities to go to Russia but also about the formalities to leave your home country with your pet.

If you are planning further travel with your pet outside of Russia, it is best to get it a passport from your country of origin and a Russian passport with all its vaccines and ectoparasites treatments, with observations written in both passports. You are also highly advised to get both passports checked and stamped by the authorities so as to avoid any misunderstanding or difficulties.

Foreigners are allowed to travel to Russia with a maximum of two animals at once. You may also let them travel alone in appropriate transport cages which comply with IATA regulations. The cage should be wide and high enough for the animal to turn around normally while standing, to stand and sit erect, in addition to lying in a natural position. The bottom of the cage should be covered with permeable material. The cage should have ventilation holes on all four sides and metal screws to lock it. It should also be equipped with two troughs for food and water, or only one for water during short flights. Troughs should be accessible and refillable from the outside.

 Attention:

For pets coming from the EU there is no quarantine, however, your pet is likely to be quarantined for a period of 30 days if it does not comply with existing health requirements or if it is listed as a prohibited species. Russian customs are quite strict in this regard.

Proceedings

Documents to be produced to import a dog or cat are the following:

  • the animal's pet passport filled in appropriately;
  • a health certificate which has been issued by a licensed and registered veterinarian within 5 days before your pet's scheduled arrival in Russia. Note that some countries like France issue this certificate at the earliest 24 hours before the departure and up to a few hours before the departure;
  • your home country's Ministry of Health stamp on the certificate; and
  • proof of anti-rabies vaccination which has been administered at least one month prior to the animal's scheduled arrival in Russia or no longer than a year ago (the date the vaccine has been administered as well as its validity period should be indicated on the vaccination certificate).

European Union citizens also have to prove that their pet has received treatment against tapeworms, ticks and other parasites within 24 hours of the scheduled time of departure. The licensed and registered veterinarian should put their stamp next to proof of vaccination in the pet’s passport.

In case you are importing a bird, you have to produce a certificate of non-contamination by avian flu.

Your pet (cat or dog) should have either an identification microchip which complies with ISO 11784-11785 or a tattoo.

Allow yourself enough time to go through veterinary inspection at departure, if there is one. In countries like France, there is no veterinary inspection of animals travelling out of the country, so you do not need extra time at the airport. Whether your animal is travelling with you on board or alone in the baggage hold, you will need to check it in at the counter with your hold luggage. If your pet is travelling in the baggage hold, a member of your airline will pick it up no later than an hour before the flight.

Leaving Russia with your pet

Leaving Russia with your pet will require the same documents as those you needed to arrive in the country, except that they will be issued and filled in by a Russian licensed and registered veterinarian and at a state veterinary centre only. In big cities such as Moscow and St Petersburg, there is one state veterinary centre per district, therefore it should not be too difficult for you to find one close to your place of residence.

You do not need an appointment for this kind of procedure. You will need to bring your pet, its passport (or passports if it has several), its treatment against ectoparasite and ticks (or you can purchase them at the pharmacy located in the veterinary centre) and your own passport. It may be worthwhile bringing a notarised translation of your passport in case the veterinarian is not comfortable with transcribing data from foreign language passports, but most of them will just ask you to confirm the English and Russian spelling of your name and write down what you tell them is your name.

The veterinarian will administer the ectoparasite and ticks treatment, and give you a certificate of good health. You will need to check what the timeframe within which this certificate should be obtained for your country of destination.

To travel to the EU from Russia, the delay is three days before the pet’s departure as of July 2017. This procedure costs around 600 Russian roubles. On the day of departure, arrive about three hours before your flight to allow you enough time to go through the inspection process at the airport veterinary station before you check in your luggage. The veterinary station inspector will take your certificate of good health issued by the state veterinary centre veterinarian and hand you a paper of authorisation to leave Russia with the pet. This procedure is free.

To travel with your pet through Russia and countries of the CIS you will need your pet’s passport and the veterinary form 1 to be filled in by a licensed and registered veterinarian at a state veterinary centre.

 Useful links:

Locate the Embassy / Russian consulate in your country
Federal Office for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Supervision – Rosselkhoznadzor
Moscow branch of Rosselkhoznadzor
Russian customs official website

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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