RIVIERA DYNAMICS

Bringing pets to France: Moving to France as a pawrent

Moving to France with pets: All you may know as a pawrent

If you are a pawrent and want to move to France with your pet, you probably wonder what are pet immigration requirements in France, or what are the pets allowed to enter France. Let’s dig into French pet immigration rules you must know if you want to move to France with pets.

No country for "dangerous" dogs

If you want to come to France with your American Staffordshire terrier or its cousin the American Pit Bull terrier, you’ll probably have to find another destination, or disguise your four-legged friend as a poodle.

France divides dog breeds into three categories. The criterion for assessing these categories is their level of dangerousness. Category 1 dogs are considered attack dogs, category 2 dogs are guard and defence dogs, and category 3 includes all other dogs.

Dog categories

Category 1

Category 2

Category 3

Attack dogs not LOF registered[1]

Guard and defence dogs

Other dogs

American Staffordshire Terrier/Staffordshire Terrier
Mastiff
Tosa

American Staffordshire Terrier LOF and Staffordshire Terrier LOF
Rottweiler LOF
Tosa LOF

Shepherd and Cattle Dogs
Pinscher and Schnauzer, Molossoid, Mountain and Swiss Mountain Dogs
Dachshunds
Spitz and Primitive type
Hounds, Bloodhounds and related breeds
Pointing Dogs
Game retrievers, game hounds, water dogs
Toy and companion
dogs Sighthounds

So you can’t bring your four-legged friend to France if he’s in category 1 or if he’s the offspring of crosses whose morphological characteristics make them similar to dogs in this category.  

However, you can bring your dog with you to France if it is in the 2e category, as long as you comply with the relevant regulations.

Category 3 dogs are allowed, but be aware that the maximum number of dogs or cats that can be brought into France from abroad is limited to 5. So if you have 101 Dalmatians, you must leave 96 at home.

[1] French Book of Origins

Good to know

Any dog brought into France may only enter if it has at least 1 adult tooth.

Cats, meanwhile, have the good life as usual: you can come to France with your cat, whatever its breed or cross-breed.

Conditions your dog or cat must meet to move to France

Pet from an EU country

  • Be chipped (or tattooed if the tattoo was applied before 3 July 2011 and remains clearly legible)
  • Be vaccinated against rabies. To be valid, the rabies vaccine must have been administered for the 1st time when the animal was at least 12 weeks old and after it had been identified by microchip or tattoo. Protective immunity is established at least 21 days after the 1st vaccination. Subsequent booster vaccinations must be given at the intervals specified for the vaccine used.
  • Be accompanied by a valid European pet passport
  • Have been subjected to any health measures to prevent diseases or infections other than rabies. You should check with a French vet before returning to France, or with a vet in the country of departure. You can also obtain information from the French embassy or consulate in your country of departure.

pet from another country

  • Be chipped (or tattooed if the tattoo was applied before 3 July 2011 and remains clearly legible)
  • Be vaccinated against rabies. To be valid, the rabies vaccine must have been administered for the 1st time when the animal was at least 12 weeks old and after it had been identified by microchip or tattoo. Protective immunity is established at least 21 days after the 1st vaccination. Subsequent booster vaccinations must be given at the intervals specified for the vaccine used.
  • have undergone a rabies antibody titration test at least 30 days after vaccination against rabies and at least 3 months before the date of arrival in France (blood test carried out in an EU-approved laboratory to check the effectiveness of the vaccination against rabies)
  • Have been subjected to any health measures to prevent diseases or infections other than rabies. You should check with a French vet before returning to France, or with a vet in the country of departure. You can also obtain information from the French embassy or consulate in your country of departure.

Moving to France with your pet: What's I-CAD?

Like all good pawrents moving to France, you must register your cat or dog with I-CAD (Fichier National d’Identification des Carnivores Domestiques) as soon as you arrive in France.

To do this, you need to take your pet to a vet so that he or she can draw up a form entitled “provisional identification certificate for intra-Community imports or exchanges”. Your vet can fill in this form online and attach scanned supporting documents for your pet.  

To find out more, click here

bring pet to france: Supporting documents to be provided

You must provide photocopies of the following sections of the passport of the animal’s country of origin:

  • Description of the animal
  • Marking or identification of the animal
  • Rabies vaccination
  • Date of issue of passport

In the event of non-compliance or absence of rabies vaccination, the veterinarian alerts the departmental directorate for population protection. If necessary, the latter will issue a prefectoral order placing the animal under surveillance for a specified period.

The animal’s definitive identification card will only be issued at the end of this surveillance period, on presentation of proof of a valid rabies vaccination.

You must provide the original health certificate issued by a veterinarian in the country of origin, containing the following information:

  • Identification or marking of the animal
  • Anti-rabies vaccination or proof that the animal has been vaccinated against rabies
  • Anti-rabies antibody titration

Good to know:

Animals coming from these countries are exempt from rabies antibody titration.

What should I do if the vaccination is not compliant?

In the event of non-compliance or absence of rabies vaccination, the vet alerts the departmental directorate for population protection. If necessary, the latter will issue a prefectural order placing the animal under surveillance for a specified period.

The animal’s definitive identification card will only be issued at the end of this surveillance period, on presentation of proof of a valid rabies vaccination.

If you do not have official health documents from your country of origin, you must send the following documents to I-CAD:

  • Written confirmation that you are not in possession of any health documents
  • Proof of rabies vaccination in France (passport)

 

The vet alerts the departmental directorate for population protection. If necessary, the latter will issue a prefectural order placing the animal under surveillance for a specified period.

The animal’s definitive identification card will only be issued at the end of this surveillance period, on presentation of proof of a valid rabies vaccination.

Find out more:

Service Publique website

The first step when moving to France with your pet: the travel

The first step as a pawrent emigrating to France with their pet is obviously the journey.

To start with, make sure that your pet, like you, has a passport. To do this, and if you’re from the United States, you’ll find here everything a pawrent moving to France needs to know.

Once you get to France, it’s better to get an EU pet passport from a French vet. Having an EU pet passport makes travel so much easier when flying back to United Stated to visit the family.

Next, make sure that the carrier is approved by IATA AND by the airline. If you want your pet to travel with you in the cabin, contact the airlines and make the necessary arrangements in advance. In short, don’t turn up at the airport on the big day with your pet hoping that it will be accepted in the cabin. If it’s not possible for your pet to travel in the cabin, then if possible, choose direct flights to avoid your friend getting lost like a suitcase.

See direct flights Nice Airport

https://www.nice.aeroport.fr/destinations

In conclusion, moving to France with your pet involves a few administrative formalities, and the trip needs to be prepared in advance. But once on the Côte d’Azur, your pet, like you, will enjoy a pleasant climate, natural areas to run around and let off steam, and an extremely pleasant lifestyle. In fact, why not let your pet live in a pleasant house with a garden in the immediate hinterland of Nice or Cannes? Are you dreaming about it? We’ll make it come true!

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