Moving with pets

You can bring your pet with you when you are moving to Finland. There are various requirements and restrictions around the importation of live animals. They vary according to, for example, on the type of animal and on the country from which it is brought to Finland.

I am moving to Finland with my pet from another EU country, such as Sweden or Germany

  1. Before your move, be sure to check the Finnish Food Authority website (in Finnish) for import requirements.
  2. You do not need to declare your pet to Customs, and your pet does not need to undergo customs clearance. However, note that Customs can inspect your pet and its documents.

I am moving to Finland with a pet from outside the EU, for example from Russia or the United States

  1. Before your move, be sure to check the Finnish Food Authority website for import requirements.
  2. Present your pet and its documents to the authorities in the EU country where you arrive first from outside the EU. The authorities will check your pet and its documents.
Example: If you bring an animal to Finland from the United States and you have a connecting flight from Germany, the German authorities will check the animal.
  1. When you are in Finland, you should submit an import declaration on removal goods to Customs for declaring your pet. You can submit your declaration at a customs office or through the Customs Clearance Service. You can also authorise a forwarding agency to see to customs clearance. If you declare your pet personally, first read the instructions for completing your declaration. The commodity code for a live cat or dog is 0106190000.

Please note that you can only use Finnish online banking IDs, a mobile certificate or certificate card for logging in to the Customs Clearance Service. Private individuals cannot use the Finnish Authenticator app to identify themselves for using the service.

Read more: Requirements for removal goods to be exempted from customs duty and tax 

When an animal is imported by airplane from outside the EU to Finland

Animals arriving by air whose owner does not travel with them can enter Finland only as air freight. Such animals must undergo a veterinary border control. If a person other than the owner (person accompanying the pet) brings the animal to a new owner in the cabin or hull of an aircraft, the animal will be denied entry to the territory of the EU. An animal that is denied entry can either be returned to the country of departure or put down in accordance with Article 66 of Regulation 2017/625. 

I am moving abroad with a pet

Finland has not implemented any conditions on exporting pets, and Customs does not require a declaration on exporting a pet. Before you leave Finland, you should consult for example the embassy or veterinary authorities of the destination country to find out what regulations apply to the import of animals.

Points to consider

Sometimes a pet arrives in Finland by air freight. This means that the airline transports the pet in the freight space of the airplane. In other words, the pet does not travel in the cabin with you or some other person accompanying the pet or as luggage.

When the pet has arrived in Finland, it is taken to the transport company’s temporary storage facility. You must declare the pet before it can be handed over to you from the storage facility.

Read these instructions if you are in this situation:

  • The pet has been acquired from abroad. For example:
    • You have bought a pet from abroad.
    • You are moving to Finland and you have acquired the pet at least 6 months earlier.
  • In addition, the pet is brought in from outside the EU directly to Finland without stopover or transfer in another EU country.

Before the animal arrives in Finland

On the website of the Finnish Food Authority, there is a search engine (in Finnish) where you can find out the requirements for pets entering Finland.

No veterinary border inspection is required if both of the following conditions are met:

  • There are no more than five pets.
  • The pet arrives in one of the following ways:
    • You travel on the same flight with your pet.
    • You travel first and the pet travels within five days from the same country of departure.

If these conditions are met, it is a case of so-called movement of one’s own pet. In that case, Customs will check the microchip and documents of the pet, but no veterinary border inspection is required.

In other cases, the border veterinarian of the Finnish Food Authority will carry out a veterinary border inspection of the pet. On the website of the Finnish Food Authority you can read the guidance on how to book a veterinary border inspection.

When the animal arrives at Helsinki Airport by air freight

  1. The pet arrives at the transport company’s temporary storage facility. The transport company notifies you of the arrival of the pet.
  2. If the import of the pet does not require a veterinary border inspection, Customs will check the documents and microchip of the pet with the assistance of the customer. The importer of the pet must participate in the check.

    If the import of the pet requires a veterinary border inspection, it will be carried out at the veterinary border inspection post of the Finnish Food Authority. Read the instructions on the veterinary border inspection on the website of the Finnish Food Authority.

    After the check by Customs or the inspection by the Finnish Food Authority, the pet must be declared. You can declare the pet at Customs’ customer service point at Rahtitie 1 A, Vantaa. The customer service point is open on weekdays 8.00–16.15. At other times, you can contact Customs by calling +358 295 527 039. You can also authorise a representative to declare the pet on your behalf.

    If the border veterinarian has inspected the pet, attach the CHED-A issued by the vet to the declaration.

    If you are moving to Finland from outside the EU, attach a document verifying your residency abroad to the declaration, so that you can bring in the pet tax-free as removal goods.
  3. Once the pet has been declared and any import duties due have been paid, you will receive a decision on release from Customs or from the representative who declared the pet. Take or send the decision on release to the temporary storage operator so they can hand over the pet to you.

Any questions?

Contact Customs Information Mon–Fri 8 am–4.15 pm

Please have a look at the frequently asked questions.

If you have a question about the arrival of parcels, its contents or the handling fee, please contact Posti.

Customs Information Service