It is possible to bring a pet from another country to the Netherlands, if all the conditions are met. For example, dogs, cats and ferrets must have been vaccinated against rabies. The conditions depend on the kind of animal and the country it is coming from.

Conditions for bringing a dog, cat or ferret to the Netherlands from an EU country.

The Netherlands wants to prevent animals with rabies from entering the Netherlands. When bringing a dog, cat or ferret to the Netherlands from another EU country the following rules apply:

  • the animal must be at least 15 weeks old
  • the animal must be vaccinated at 12 weeks old
  • after the animal has been vaccinated, the owner must wait 21 days before bringing it to the Netherlands
  • the animal must have an ISO microchip (electronic identification system) and have a dierenpaspoort (pet passport).

Any questions about bringing pets to the Netherlands from abroad, can be answered by the Nederlandse Voedsel- en Warenautoriteit – NVWA (Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority).

Registering an imported dog

When planning to import a dog, it must be microchipped and registered with the municipality within two weeks of its arrival in the Netherlands. The microchip is normally implanted by a vet, who can also advise on how to register the animal. Once registered the owner usually has to a pay dog tax to the municipality. The amount varies greatly from on municipality to another and it may vary depending on how many dogs are registered.

In the Maastricht Region dog tax is paid to BsGW, and once the dog is registered with the municipality owners will receive the tax bill from BsGW.

Bringing an animal to the Netherlands from another EU country

When planning to bring a small rodent, rabbit, bird, fish, amphibian or reptile to the Netherlands from another EU country, it must have a pet's health certificate signed by a veterinarian.

If the animal is a protected species, owners must check that it is allowed to be imported under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild flora and fauna (CITES). This international agreement regulates the trade in protected animal and plant species.

Bringing an animal to the Netherlands from a non-EU country

When bringing an animal to the Netherlands from a country outside the EU, first contact the NVWA. NVWA for further information.