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As the European Union (EU) does not share the same legislation and measures with third countries, the conditions for the movement of pets from these countries differ from one another. They are particularly strict when it comes to rabies vaccination, as this is the only way to ensure the safety of animals and people from this deadly disease.

When an animal travels with a person who is named as the owner on the animals identification document and the purpose of the movement is neither a sale nor a change of ownership of the pet, it is a non-commercial movement. If the conditions for a non-commercial movement are not met, we are talking about import or trade, where the conditions are regulated by other rules.

If the journey crosses other third countries, it is also necessary to take into account their conditions for admitting the animal into the country, even if it is only a transit.

Third countries with regard to the application of rabies rules and control

Third countries are classified into three groups according to their application of rabies rules and control:

Group 1; third countries and territories that apply rules equivalent in content and effect to those of the EU: Andorra, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland, Vatican City State;

Group 2; third countries or territories that have demonstrated that they meet certain criteria for rabies control. These are: Ascension Island, United Arab Emirates, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Aruba, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Barbados, Bahrain, Bermuda, Bermuda, BES (Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba), Belarus, Canada, Chile, Curaçao, Fiji, Falkland Islands, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Japan, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Cayman Islands, Saint Lucia, Montserrat, North Macedonia, Mauritius, Mexico, Malaysia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, French Polynesia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Russia, Singapore, Saint Helena, Sint Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, Taiwan, United States of America (territories included: American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, United States Virgin Islands), United Kingdom except Northern Ireland, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna.

Group 3; all other third countries and territories outside the EU that do not appear on any of the lists because the status of rabies control is unclear.

Norway, Northern Ireland and Switzerland: for the purpose of regulating non-commercial movements of pet animals, Norway, Northern Ireland and Switzerland are subject to the same health conditions as between Member States of the EU.

Derogation from the conditions in exceptional cases

EU Member States have the possibility to grant exemptions from the health requirements for non-commercial movements of pet animals in exceptional cases, such as sudden natural disasters, political unrest and other types of force majeure affecting pet owners. For such exceptional movements, the competent authority must lay down the conditions under which the pet animal does not pose a risk to human and animal health during the movement.

In Slovenia, such an exemption may be granted by the Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Food Safety, Veterinary Sector and Plant Protection under the conditions that:

  • it is an exceptional case, such as a natural disaster, political unrest or other force majeure affecting the owner;
  • the owner applies for such authorisation in advance;
  • in the case of transit of the pet through another EU Member State, prior consent of the EU Member State of transit is required.

On the basis of the application, the regional office of the Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Food Safety, Veterinary Sector and Plant Protection shall issue a decision specifying the duration and place of isolation under official supervision.