Buying a pet from abroad

You can bring a pet you bought abroad to Finland. There are various requirements and restrictions concerning the importation of live animals. The requirements and restrictions vary, for example depending on what type of animal it is and on the country from which it is brought to Finland.

I am buying a pet from another EU country, for example from Sweden or Estonia

  1. Before you bring in the pet, be sure to check the import requirements well in advance on the Finnish Food Authority’s website (in Finnish).
  2. You don’t need to declare your pet to Customs, and your pet does not need to undergo customs clearance. However, please note that Customs can inspect your pet and its documents.

Please note! If you buy a pet from the customs territory of the EU but outside its fiscal territory, for example from the Åland Islands or Canary Islands, the animal must be declared when it is brought to Finland.

I am buying a pet from outside the EU, for example from Russia or the United States

  1. Before you bring in the pet, be sure to check the import requirements well in advance on the Finnish Food Authority’s website (in Finnish).
  2. Present your pet and its documents for control by the authorities in the EU country where you first arrive 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.

If the importation is considered non-commercial, Customs will inspect the pet and its documents in Finland. You can bring your pet to Finland through an approved point of entry.

If the importation of animals is commercial, they will undergo a veterinary border control in the EU country where they first arrive. Pets can be brought to the territory of the EU only through a border control post approved for bringing in live animals. In Finland, Helsinki Airport and Vaalimaa are approved border control posts. At these locations, the Finnish Food Authority carries out veterinary border controls. The control is subject to a fee, and the control appointment must be arranged in advance. For instructions, please visit the Food Authority’s website.

Commercial and non-commercial import of a pet

The import of a pet is considered non-commercial when all of the following requirements are met:

  • you are travelling with your own pet
  • you have no more than five animals
  • you are bringing the animals with you to Finland
  • if some other person brings in the pet, and you travel to Finland using the same route within five days of the date when the other person brings your pet to Finland
  • you don’t sell or hand over your pet in the territory of the EU

Importing a pet is considered commercial when one of the following takes place:

  • you have at least six animals
  • an animal is travelling alone
  • some other person brings in the pet, and you don’t personally travel to Finland within five days of the date when the other person brings your pet to Finland
  • the animals are sold or handed over in the territory of the EU
  1. In Finland, submit an import declaration to Customs for your pet. You can submit your declaration at a customs office or in the Customs Clearance Service. You can also authorise a forwarding agency to see to customs clearance. If you declare your pet personally in the Customs Clearance Service, first read the instructions for completing the declaration.

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 in the service.

When an animal is imported by airplane

Animals arriving by air and travelling without their owner can enter Finland only as airfreight. 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 be put down in accordance with Article 66 of Regulation 2017/625.

Points to consider

Ask the Finnish Food Authority about the restrictions and regulations regarding the importation of pets.

Clear the pet through Customs when you enter the country. Present documents and the invoice for the pet in connection with the customs clearance. You can bring in the pet without paying duties or taxes as long as the value limit for imports by travellers is not exceeded. The value limit is 430 or 300 euros depending on which transport vehicle you use. If the value limit is exceeded, the amount of VAT payable is 24% of the purchase price plus transport costs and possible insurance costs. Read more about import duties and taxes.


Before the animal arrives in Finland

Find out about the import requirements that apply to your pet and any need for a veterinary border inspection. Read the instructions from the Finnish Food Authority for arranging an inspection.

  1. Submit the documents about the animal to Finnish Food Authority in advance for approval.
  2. The Food Authority will let you know if the animal must undergo a veterinary border inspection. If an inspection is not needed, Customs inspects the microchip on the animal, as well as the documents relating to import requirements (vaccination certificate)
  3. If the animal has to be inspected by the border veterinarian, you should book the veterinary border inspection with the Food Authority no later than 24 hours before the arrival of the animal.

When the animal arrives at Helsinki Airport among air freight

  1. The animal arrives in the temporary storage facility of the freight carrier.
  2. The veterinary border inspection takes place at the veterinary border inspection post.
    - The inspection post is located in the temporary storage facility of Finnair Cargo Oy (Turbiinikuja 4, 01530 Vantaa)
    - The veterinarian will arrive at the BIP at the time you have booked.
    - The person who imports the animal must participate in the inspection.
    - If the animal arrives in some other temporary storage facility besides that of Finnair Cargo Oy, the storage operator transports the animal to the border inspection post, and back to the temporary storage facility.
  3. If a veterinary border control is not performed on the animal, Customs will control the animal's documents and microchip.

    The person who imports the animal must participate in the inspection.
  4. After the veterinary border inspection, you can
    - authorise a representative to take care of customs clearance on your behalf
    - see to it yourself in the Customs Clearance Service
    - visit our customer service point for customs clearance at the address Rahtitie 1 B.
    The service point is open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4.15 p.m.
    If a veterinary border control was performed on the animal, attach the CHED-A document from the Traces system to the customs clearance.
  5. If you are moving to Finland from outside the EU, you should attach a document verifying your residency abroad to your customs clearance. This qualifies you to import your animal as removal goods, and you do not have to pay customs duty or tax.
  6. Submit the decision on release to the temporary storage operator so they can hand over the animal to you.

Read instructions about how to declare a live animal in the Customs Clearance Service.


Dogs and cats that are hybrids of domestic dogs or domestic cats can be brought to Finland only under certain conditions. Such breeds have generational restrictions, so Finnish Customs requires a genealogy of the pet upon import. A genealogy must be presented e.g. for wolfdogs, and Savannah cats or Bengal cats.

Read more on import of domestic dog or domestic cat hybrids on the Food Authority’s website ‘Bringing in a wild animal as a pet’ (in Finnish)


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