Spanish customs regulations are governed by the EU legislation. Accordingly, the customs regulations that you will encounter when entering the country depend on whether you are travelling to Spain from another EU country or from outside of the EU.
If you are a member of the European Union: You won't have any particular custom forms to complete when you move to Spain
Coming from any other country: When arriving at the custom office you will have to present all documentation justifying the move (passport, work contract…)
Other documents required:
The entrance of pets into Spain has always been strictly controlled to ensure that diseases are not introduced. The EU system allows cats, dogs, ferrets and birds to travel between EU member states. Pets from higher risk or coming from non-EU countries will also require a blood test.
However, there are three general rules that need to be followed in order to avoid problems when entering the country:
Dogs, cats and ferrets that are less than 3 months old and are therefore not vaccinated against rabies, are not allowed entry. Before entering Spain, your pet must fulfil a serie of sanitary and identification requirements, which may vary according to the country of origin.
In most cases, your pet must be identified with a legible tattoo or microchip and the valid passport must prove that it was vaccinated against rabies. The animal must not travel within 21 days after its first vaccination.
Note that Spain does not allow the importation of dogs, cats, and ferrets that have not been vaccinated for rabies. These pets must be at least 12 weeks of age before being vaccinated and wait the required 21 days after vaccination to be allowed entry into Spain. Spain will not grant exemptions to this requirement.
Birds coming from non-European Union member states should comply with a series of control requirements for safety reasons (against bird flu). In all cases the animal must have the veterinary certificate written at least in Spanish, issued within the past 10 days and signed and stamped by an official vet, with a declaration from the owner or their representative. Poultry are not considered pets.
They must all have the corresponding veterinary certificate, written at least in Spanish and issued within 10 days before the trip.
If you come from a non-European Union country, on the following link from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, you will find information regarding the entry of animals into Spain by country of origin.
For more specific information about importing pets to Spain, visit:
Instituto de Turismo de España – TurEspaña
C/ Poeta Joan Maragall, 41, C.P. 28020 Madrid, España.
Tel: 91 343 35 00
For information on importing pets anywhere, refer to our article on Expat Pets.
Some airlines allow pets to travel in an airplane's cabin when 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.
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.
There will be no quarantine imposed on your pet when entering Spain as long as the requirements descried above are met. Unless otherwise stated, the regulations apply to domestic dogs, cats and ferrets including service and emotional support dogs and cats.
Rodents, rabbits or reptiles entering Spain from a rabies-controlled or rabies-free country must be examined by a licensed veterinarian within 5 days of transport and show no signs of disease or external parasites. They must be accompanied by their owner and less than 5 in number. Birds are subject to further requirements.
If your pet is not a dog, cat or ferret, and especially if it is a turtle or parrot, you should verify the quarantine requirements with Instituto de Turismo de España.
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