Irish customs regulations are governed by EU legislation. Accordingly, the customs regulations that you will encounter when entering the country depend on whether you are travelling to Ireland from another EU country or from outside of the EU.
Customs officers in Ireland are allowed to carry out selective checks on all travellers at all points of entry to Ireland (air and sea). These checks are to ensure that you are not carrying prohibited or restricted goods, and to combat smuggling.
If you are coming to Ireland from a country outside the EU with €10,000 or more cash you must present a completed declaration form to the Customs at the airport or seaport when you enter Ireland. If you fail to submit a correct form your cash may be detained by the Customs and you could be subject to penalties.
The importation of pets into Ireland has always been strictly controlled to ensure that diseases such as rabies are not introduced. The EU system of Passports for Pets allows cats, dogs and ferrets to travel between EU member states. Pets from higher risk non-EU countries will also require a blood test.
If you want to import a cat, dog or ferret into Ireland from any EU member state including the UK, the pet animal must have an EU Pet Passport (this document is the same throughout the EU).
If there are more than 5 animals, a veterinary health certificate showing that animals have been clinically examined within 48 hours of departure is also required, unless the owner can show proof that the animals are being brought to compete in a sporting event or other competition.
If you want to import a cat, dog or ferret into Ireland from a country outside the EU there are 2 categories of these countries: qualifying lower-risk countries and non-qualifying high-risk countries. You can check if your country of origin is a qualifying high-risk country in this list.
Pets from qualifying non-EU countries (A cat, dog or ferret from a qualifying lower-risk non-EU country must undergo the following in this order):
Non-qualifying high-risk countries:
The animal must be transported by air to Ireland on an approved airline or pet cargo carrier and must fly into Dublin.
Some airlines allow pets to travel in an airplane's cabin, provided their cage is small enough to fit under your seat. Small birds may also be able to travel in the cabin, but tropical birds such as parrots are usually not allowed.
If your pet's cage does not fit under your seat, you will have to ship it as checked baggage. Since the outside air temperature also affects the temperature in the cargo bay, airlines may restrict the transportation of pets during certain times of the year. Airlines have special requirements for containers in the cabin and cargo bay. Make sure you get detailed information from your preferred airlines before purchasing a cage or kennel.
Before leaving, acquaint your animal with the kennel or container. Add some familiar toys or some of your clothing items, so your pet has a sense of familiarity during the transport. Sedation of your pet during the trip is generally not recommended and should only be used as a last resort.
There are also pet relocation service that figure out all the details of the move. These services tend to be quite expensive, but take away the stress of doing it yourself.
U.S. Citizens: The free pamphlet "Know Before You Go" at http://www.cbp.gov/ is very helpful. (Click on "Travel" and then click on "Know Before You Go! Online Brochure").
You can also contact:
U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP)
1300 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20229
Canadian Citizens: "I Declare", issued by the Canada Border Services Agency (tel. 800/461-9999 in Canada, or 204/983-3500 ) is helpful.
Australian Citizens: A helpful brochure is available from Australian consulates or Customs offices called "Know Before You Go". Call the Australian Customs Service at tel. 1300/363-263, or log on to http://www.customs.gov.au/.
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