Generally: 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 Portugal.
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
What Information is in a Pet Passport? EXPAND
A Pet Passport/EU Pet Passport contains the documents required to travel with your dog.
- Ownership: Name, Address, Passport Number, Email, Telephone
- Physical Description of Pet: Species, Breed, Date of Birth, Height, Weight, Name,
- Veterinarian Information:
Vaccination Records including medication used, lot numbers and date of treatments
Rabies Vaccination Certificate
Rabies Antibody Titer Test Results (if you are traveling from outside the EU, from high-risk rabies countries, your dog may need a Rabies Blood Test/Rabies Titer Test).
Parasite treatment records. Some Countries require.
Additional vaccination and treatment records
Veterinarian ID information with signature and official stamp and
Recent Pet photo 2” x 2”5cm x 5cm
Step 1 SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH A USDA ACCREDITED VETERINARIAN.
At the appointment, the Veterinarian will fill out the approved USDA Health Certificate.
Find a USDA Accredited Veterinarian in your state at the USDA/APHIS Portal Here.
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.
Your Veterinarian will ensure the following requirements are in the Health Certificate:
A. Your Pet Must Have a Microchip
All Dogs, Cats, and Ferrets 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.
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 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.
Note: Some EU countries have exceptions for pets younger than 15 weeks. Portugal is not one of those countries. Unvaccinated pets younger than 15 weeks will NOT be allowed entry into Portugal.
B. Rabies Vaccination is Mandatory
Pets must be vaccinated for Rabies More than 21 days before entry to Portugal. 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 Portugal. (In 2021, some travelers have reported that at the entry inspection, officers are denying vaccination records showing 3 year Rabies vaccines).
Some EU countries have exceptions for pets younger than 15 weeks. Portugal is not one of those countries. Unvaccinated pets younger than 15 weeks will NOT be allowed entry into Portugal.
C. 21 Day Waiting Period
After primary vaccination, you must wait for 21 days after the Primary Rabies vaccination.
What is a “Primary” Rabies vaccination? 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
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 Treatment
Parasite treatment is mandatory for entry to Spain from the US. The treatment must have been administered no less than 24 hours before entry to Portugal.
STEP 2 SUBMIT DOCUMENTS TO THE APHIS ENDORSEMENT
You will submit your documents to the office closest to your state via 1 of 3 Methods: Electronic, In-Person, Mail. (currently, many in-office visits are limited due to Covid procedures–Finding a Vet to submit electronically is fastest.
SUBMIT ELECTRONICALLY: Your Veterinarian will submit the Health Certificate for Endorsement (final approval) through APHIS VEHCS system .
SUBMIT IN PERSON BY APPOINTMENT to the nearest Endorsement Office.
A. Find the nearest office at USDA/APHIS Endorsement Office locator.
B. Five or less pets traveling to Portugal within 5 days of the owner or designated person, use the “Non-Commercial” Health Certificate. You can download the APHIS Health Certificate HERE.
C. 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.
- REGULAR/EXPEDITED MAIL: (NOT Recommended–it takes too long)
A. Find the nearest office at USDA/APHIS Endorsement office locator:
B. 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.
C. Include Health Certificate, Import Permit, Pet Export Checklist, Vaccination Checklist And Other Test Results Required and Payment. Do not pay in Cash.
D. 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.
- Five or less pets traveling to Portugal within 5 days of the owner or designated person, use the “Non-Commercial” Health Certificate. You can download the APHIS Health Certificate HERE.
- 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 EU Health Certificate contains a Declaration of Non-Commercial transport. Complete and sign before the pet travels to Portugal. The Declaration must accompany the pet and health certificate to Portugal.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Keep copies of all your documents and tracking number if you mailed your documents to APHIS.
- Portugal requires notification 48 hours in advance of a pet’s arrival at the airport. Upon arrival, your pet will be checked-in and potentially examined by a veterinarian at the airport.
- Am I required (as the owner or person responsible for the animal) to accompany my pet during the travel? 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.
What Vets are “Military Veterinarians”?
A “Military Veterinarian” is defined as a Veterinary Corps Officer, or civilian GS-0701 series government veterinarian employed by the U.S. Army Veterinary Service working at military treatment facilities. It does not apply to Army Veterinary Service non-appropriated fund or Department of Defense civilian contract veterinarians.
APHIS endorsement is not required if the health certificate is issued by a military veterinarian, but the military veterinarian must issue it within 10 days of arrival in the EU.
Are 6 or more pets traveling for events?
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.
Pet Passport policies change. Please check country-specific regulations before making flight arrangements.
Related: Pet Cargo Crate Requirements for Airlines-A COMPLETE Guide