How to Get Pet Passport from US to FRANCE

To get your EU Pet Health Certificate for France, your pet must be microchipped, have a Rabies vaccination at least 21 days before travel, have a Health Certificate by an accredited Veterinarian and submit the completed Health Certificate to APHIS within 10 days of entry in France.

This allows your pet to travel up to 4 months from the issue date as long as the rabies vaccine does not expire during your travel. Quarantine is not mandatory unless pet owners fail to follow travel requirements. Source: USDA/APHIS

Step 1   Schedule an Appointment with a USDA Accredited Veterinarian.

  1. At the appointment, the Veterinarian will fill out the approved USDA Health Certificate.  Find a USDA Accredited Veterinarian in your state or any office close to where you will travel from at the USDA/APHIS Portal Here. You can choose any USDA accredited Veterinarian in any state! Choose one closest to your departure or home or whom responds promptly.

2.  Your Veterinarian will ensure the following requirements are in the Health Certificate:

3.  You may need more than one appointment for your pet such as boosters  and 2nd dosage or to wait for a Rabies/Titer test results.

A. Your pet must have a Microchip

  1. All Dogs, Cats, and Ferrets traveling to France must have a microchip implanted. We recommend your pet have a microchip in the standard ISO compliant microchip format. Most country inspection services; veterinarians and animal shelters word-wide use the ISO standard.
ISO Standard Microchip? EXPAND

ISO compliant (11784 and 11785) microchips are 15 digits long. The pet’s microchip ISO compatibility can be confirmed with the microchip manufacturer.

Not an ISO Standard Microchip? EXPAND

If the pet does not have an ISO compliant microchip:
The pet will need to travel with a microchip reader that can read the microchip OR contact the Veterinary Officials at the intended port of arrival to verify that they have a reader capable of reading the pet’s microchip.
OR
If a non-ISO compatible microchip was previously implanted and can still be read, then the Veterinarian can implant an ISO-compatible microchip in addition to the non-ISO one the pet currently has.

The number and the date of implantation of both microchips must be documented on the EU Health Certificate.
When recording the “Date of implantation and/or reading [dd/mm/yyyy]” of the microchip/transponder on the health certificate, IT MUST BE ON OR BEFORE THE DATE OF THE PRIMARY RABIES VACCINATION. If your pet was vaccinated for rabies before the microchip was implanted, you pet must be revaccinated.

Step 2. Rabies Vaccination is Mandatory

Pets must be vaccinated for Rabies More than 21 days before entry to France.  This information is included in the pet’s microchip. If your pet was vaccinated for rabies before the microchip was implanted, you pet must be revaccinated.  The Rabies vaccine MUST occur the same day or after the microchip implant.

The Rabies vaccination valid for 1, 2, or 3 years are all acceptable.

The vaccination must be valid at the time of entry to France.

Note: Some EU countries have exceptions for pets younger than 15 weeks.  France is not one of those countries.  Unvaccinated pets younger than 15 weeks will NOT be allowed entry into France.

Step 3.  21 Day Waiting Period (after primary vaccination)

You must wait for 21 days after the Primary Rabies vaccination. What is a “Primary” Rabies vaccination?  (accordion text: A rabies vaccination is considered a primary vaccination by France when:

It is the first vaccination given the same day or after microchip implantation

OR

The previous rabies vaccination was expired when the latest vaccination was given.

If you pet has had previous vaccinations for Rabies that are now expired, another can be administered, and it is considered “primary”, and you must wait the 21 days from this subsequent vaccination.

2.  The number and the date of implantation of both microchips must be documented on the EU Health Certificate.

3.  When recording the “Date of implantation and/or reading [dd/mm/yyyy]” of the microchip/transponder on the health certificate,

IT MUST BE ON OR BEFORE THE DATE OF THE PRIMARY RABIES VACCINATION. If your pet was vaccinated for rabies before the microchip was implanted, you pet must be revaccinated. 

B. Pet Rabies Vaccination is Mandatory in France

  1. Pets must be vaccinated for Rabies More than 21 days before entry to France. This information is included in the pet’s microchip. If your pet was vaccinated for rabies before the microchip was implanted, you pet must be revaccinated. The Rabies vaccine MUST occur the same day or after the microchip implant.

2. The Rabies vaccination valid for 1, 2, or 3 years are all acceptable. The vaccination must be valid at the time of entry to France.

3. Some EU countries have exceptions for pets younger than 15 weeks. France is not one of those countries. Unvaccinated pets younger than 15 weeks will NOT be allowed entry into France.

C. 21 Day Waiting Period for Pets to Travel to France

After the primary vaccination, you must wait for 21 days after the Primary Rabies vaccination.

What is a “Primary” Vaccine? EXPAND

A rabies vaccination is considered a primary vaccination by Spain when:
It is the first vaccination given the same day or after microchip implantation
OR
The previous rabies vaccination was expired when the latest vaccination was given.
If you pet has had previous vaccinations for Rabies that are now expired, another can be administered, and it is considered “primary”, and you must wait the 21 days from this subsequent vaccination.

D. Tapeworm and Tick treatments are not mandatory for entry to France from the US.

STEP 2 SUBMIT DOCUMENTS TO THE APHIS ENDORSEMENT

Choose a location closest to your state or find one that is close to where you will travel from if you have to travel to an airport not close to where your live. You have 3 Methods: Electronic, In-Person, Mail

A. SUBMIT Electronically: Your Veterinarian will submit the Health Certificate for Endorsement (final approval).

B. SUBMIT In Person By Appointment to the nearest Endorsement Office.

As of August 2021, In-Person Appointments are Temporarily Suspended.

  1. Find the nearest office at USDA/APHIS Endorsement Office locator.
  2. Five or less pets traveling to France within 5 days of the owner or designated person, use the “Non-Commercial” Health Certificate.  You can download the APHIS Health Certificate HERE.

C. Regular/Expedited Mail

  1. Find the nearest office at USDA/APHIS Endorsement office locator.
  1. Include a POSTAGE-PAID, RETURN ENVELOPE. The USDA will not pay for your postage. Send it by FedEX, USPS, DHL UPS or other “overnight” delivery method to expedite. Most Offices process and return within 3 business days after they receive your documents.
  2. Include the France Health Certificate, Import Permit, Pet Export Checklist, Vaccination Checklist And Other Test Results Required and Payment. Do not pay in Cash.
  3. Once the Health Certificate is endorsed by USDA/APHIS, you must enter the APHIS-assigned Certificate Number in the “Animal Health Certificate Number” section of the Declaration.
  4. Five or less pets traveling to France within 5 days of the owner or designated person, use the “Non-Commercial” Health Certificate. You can download the APHIS Health Certificate HERE.
  5. The completed health certificate must be endorsed (counter-signed and embossed/stamped) by USDA/APHIS within 10 days of arrival.

D. The final page of the France EU Health Certificate contains a Declaration of Non-Commercial transport. Complete and sign before the pet travels to _. The Declaration must accompany the pet and health certificate to France.

E. The Health Certificate is valid for 30 days after the USDA Accredited Veterinarian completes and signs it.

F. Your pet’s Health Certificate allows you to travel up to 4 months from the date it is issued by the USDA/APHIS Accredited Veterinarian as long as the rabies vaccine documented on it does not expire.

G. Timeframe: How long will it take to receive my USDA Health Certificate Endorsement? Health Certificates submitted in VEHCS or as a hardcopy document may take upwards of 3 business days after receipt for endorsement. Source: USDA APHIS.

H. Cost: The fee will be $121-$173usd for the 1st Pet on the Certificate. Each additional pet on the same Certificate will cost $7-$14usd.

I. You can choose any USDA accredited Veterinarian in any state! Choose one closest to your departure or home or whom responds promptly. Fees vary greatly. See Cost of Pet Health Certificates for Travel—Prices from Actual Travelers  

Keep copies of all your documents and tracking number if you mailed your documents to APHIS.

Related: Flying a Large Dog In Cabin 2022

Are 6 or more pets traveling for events? EXPAND

For 6 or more privately owned pets that are more than 6 months old and traveling in a group to the EU to participate in competitions, exhibitions, sporting events, or in training for events, within 5 days of the owner or designated person use the “non-commercial” health certificate.

Step 5. Have APHIS endorse (counter-sign and provide their seal/emboss) the France Health Certificate.
See our complete guide: How To Get a USDA/APHIS Pet Health Certificate Endorsement.

FAQ:

Is tattoo identification allowed for pet entry to France? Yes, but only if the tattoo was done before the 3rd of July of 2011 and it must be clearly legible.

Am I required (as the owner or person responsible for the animal) to accompany my pet during the travel to France? In principle, all animals should be accompanied by their owner. For justified and documented reasons, the transport of animals in a different mode of transportation from their owners is permitted as long as it is no longer than 5 days away from the owner.

Related:

Flying Your Pet to England? Problems?Transit in France Instead!

Pet Taxis from France to England– Costs and Routes from Real Pet Travelers in 2022

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