Switzerland Pet Passport & Import Regulations
Unless otherwise stated, the regulations below apply to domestic dogs, cats and ferrets. Owners of other pets should refer to item 13.
If entering Switzerland from a high-rabies country (see below), an application for an import permit must be submitted at least 21 days prior to the planned date of entry, if your pet is to enter via the airports of Basel, Geneva or Zurich by direct air transport. The flight should be direct.
If your pet is entering Switzerland from a country that Switzerland considers to be rabies-controlled, (see below), it will need a rabies vaccination after the microchip is implanted and more than 21 days prior to entry but not more than the expiration date of the manufacturer of the vaccine. If your dog, cat or ferret has a current rabies vaccination but no microchip, it will have to be vaccinated again after the microchip is implanted and wait 21 days before travel. Once you have entered Switzerland, a 21 day waiting period is not required for subsequent visits, provided rabies boosters are kept up to date, and the other entry requirements are met. See step #3 for entering from a high-rabies country.
Dogs must also be vaccinated against distemper.
Cats from Australia may be imported if accompanied by an official veterinary certification that the animals have not been resident on holdings where during the past 60 days cases of Hendra disease have been confirmed.
Dogs and cats from Peninsular Malaysia must have a declaration stating they were not exposed to pigs within 60 days of import. They will also need to prove they originate from an area where no cases of Nipah have been reported. Your pet will also need to be tested for the antibody for Nipah disease within 10 days of import.
Rabies Titer Test
If your pet is entering Switzerland from a country which Switzerland considers to be high-rabies (see below), your pet must be microchipped, then vaccinated for rabies (in that order). After waiting 30 days, a rabies titer test must be administered (Have your veterinarian scan your pet's microchip prior to the titer test.) Samples must be processed at approved laboratories. Assuming test results within acceptable limits, your pet can enter Switzerland no sooner than 3 calendar months after the date the blood was drawn and avoid quarantine. This step is not required unless entering Switzerland from a high-rabies country.
Here is where the rules differ and depend on whether or not your pet's transport is accompanied OR it involves a purchase, sale or transfer of ownership.
The owner or a legal representative of the owner is traveling with or within 5 days of the pet AND the transport does not involve purchase, sale or transfer of ownership. If this is correct, then your pet will travel under non-commercial regulations as follows:
Traveling to Switzerland from a country outside of the EU:
- A licensed veterinarian in the originating country must complete the non-commercial EU health certificate within 10 days of travel. If your pet is traveling from the United States or Canada, the veterinarian must be accredited by the USDA or CFIA respectively and the non-commercial EU health certificate must be endorsed by the local USDA (United States) or CFIA (Canada) office unless the certificate is completed by a military Veterinary Corps Officer or GS-0701 series civilian government veterinarian employed by the military.
If traveling to Switzerland from another country, then the forms must be endorsed by the government agency responsible for the import and export of animals.
This form is good for transports of 5 or less animals. (see item 5 if you are traveling with more than 5 pets.) It is valid for 4 months of travel within the EU as long as your pet's rabies vaccination does not expire.
You or your representative must sign a Declaration of Non-Commercial Transport stating that your pet's transport does not involve the sale or transfer of ownership of your pet.
Traveling to Switzerland from inside of the EU:
- Have your veterinarian update an EU Pet Passport for your pet. A non-commercial EU health certificate is not required for pets traveling to Switzerland from another EU Member State with an EU Pet Passport unless a rabies booster was received by a veterinarian outside of the EU at any time after your pet received its microchip.
Pets entering Switzerland from the following countries are required to present a pet passport from their country: Andorra, Austria, Belguim, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Cyprus (southern part only), Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Faeroe Islands, France, United Kingdom, French Guiana, Gibraltar, Greenland, Guadeloupe, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Monaco, Martinique, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Reunion, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, San Marino and Vatican State.
Is your pet traveling alone? If yes, then the following rules apply:
- If your pet is traveling to Switzerland alone from another EU country, it must travel from a licensed premises which is registered with the governing authority in your EU country responsible for the import and export of pets. Your veterinarian must obtain and update an EU Pet Passport for your pet. Your pet's transport must be registered in the TRACES system and accompanied by an Intratrade health certificate completed within 48 hours of entry.
Countries that Switzerland considers to be rabies-controlled: EU countries including territories, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Aruba, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Barbados, Bahrain, Bermuda, Belarus, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Curacao, Faeroe Islands, Fiji, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Ireland, Iceland, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Malta, Mayotte, Monaco, Monserrat, Mauritius, Mexico, Malaysia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norway, French Polynesia, Russia, San Marino, Singapore, Sint Maarten, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Helena, St Pierre and Miquilon, St Vincent and Grenadines, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United States (including American Samoa, Guam, Northern Miariana Islands, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands), United Arab Emirates, Vatican City State, Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna Islands.
Switzerland considers all countries not listed above as high-rabies countries.
Traveling with more than 5 pets
If you are traveling with more than 5 pets that are 6 months or older, unless you are going to a show or competition, your pets must meet the requirements as listed above (non-commercial EU health certificate instead of commercial EU health certificate), and have endorsement from the government agency that regulates the import and export of animals. If you are traveling to Switzerland from another EU country, you will also need to have an Intra Trade Certificate and register the movement on the TRACES system. If you are entering Switzerland from a non-EU rabies-controlled (see above) country, you will need to enter through an approved Border Inspection Post and give 24 hours notice of arrival.
Entering Switzerland by Air
Accompanied pets entering by air from non-EU countries must do so at Border Inspection Posts at international airports in Geneva or Zurich. In the case of transit through a high-rabies country (see above), the owner must confirm with a declaration that the animal has had no contact with other animals whose species are prone to rabies and that the animal has not left secure means of transport or the premises of an international airport. Accompanied pets entering Switzerland from another EU country can enter at Geneva, Zurich or Basel (except birds).
Pets should enter Switzerland directly or transit through another EU Member State. If your pet transits through a high-rabies country, then a Transit Declaration will be required stating that your pet has had no contact with rabies-carrying animals and remained secured within the airplane or airport.
All domestic dogs and cats must be free of evidence of disease communicable to humans when examined at the port of entry to Switzerland. If your dog or cat is not in apparent good health, further examination by a licensed veterinarian may be required at your expense.
Pets may arrive in the cabin, as checked baggage or as air cargo.
Puppies and Kittens
Puppies and kittens less than three months old entering Switzerland from rabies-controlled countries or EU Member States (see above) may only be brought into Switzerland if they are accompanied by and still dependent on their mother or if an additional veterinary certificate can be provided showing that they have been kept at the place where they were born since birth and have never come into contact with wild animals which could have been exposed to an infection with rabies.
Regulations for banned breeds in Switzerland are set at the canton (province) level. Depending on the canton your dog is traveling to, the breed restrictions will apply. There are also restrictions on Savannah and Bengal cats.
In Geneva, the following breeds or their crosses will not be permitted entry: American Staffordshire, Boerboel, Bullmastiff, Cane Corso, Dogo Argentino, Dogue de Bordeaux, Fila Braziliero, Mastiff, Matin, Matin de Naples, Pitt Bull, Presa Canario, Rottweiler, Thai Ridgeback and Tosa Inu. In Zurich, American Staffordshire Terriers, Bull Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers are considered high-risk dogs.
Dogs with cropped ears or tails are also banned from entry to Switzerland. If you are intending to reside in the country, you will need to get advance permission from customs at your entry point.
Exporting Pets Living in Switzerland
All dogs, cats and ferrets leaving Switzerland for an EU Member State must be microchipped, then vaccinated for rabies at lest 21 days prior to entry. If traveling to a rabies-controlled country (see below) you must produce all relevant information required for your pet's destination country as well as a health certificate which may or may not be endorsed depending on the destination country's requirements. If you are planning to take your pet on a trip to a high-rabies country (see above), your veterinarian should implant a microchip, vaccinate your pet for rabies, and administer a Blood Titer Test before you leave Switzerland if you intend to return.
The rules listed here apply to the following pets: Dogs, cats, ferrets, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, aquarium fish, crayfish and shellfish (kept exclusively in aquaria or enclosed garden ponds for ornamental purposes).
Birds may be imported into Switzerland with their owner or owner's representative through Geneva and Zurich Airports only. They must have an import permit.
Invertebrates, tropical fish, reptiles, amphibia, mammals such as rodents and rabbits are not subject to requirements of rabies vaccination, but may have to meet other requirements and should have a health certificate to enter Switzerland. Pet owners are strongly advised to seek further information from the relevant authority of their country and/or that of the country of destination.
If your pet is not a dog, cat or ferret, and especially if it is a turtle or parrot, you should verify that it is not protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). You will need to apply for additional permits if this is the case. Over 180 countries participate and enforce CITES regulations.
Need More Assistance?
To the best of our ability, we ensure that recommendations given on PetTravel.com reflect the current regulations. We cannot predict how a given country may enforce these regulations. Noncompliance may result in the need to make arrangements to put your pet into quarantine at your expense, return your pet to the country of origin, or euthanize your pet. We suggest that you minimize the disruptions that may occur by following the rules of the country you are visiting.
Further detail on import permits, costs, tests and procedures are available at minimal cost at PetTravelStore.com. We also stock all the equipment and accessories you will need for traveling with your pet. Same day shipping Monday through Friday until 4:00 PM EST.
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