Travelling with pets

You can bring your pet with you when you are visiting Finland. There are however 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 visiting Finland with my pet from another EU country, such as Sweden or Germany

  1. 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. However, note that Customs can inspect your pet and its documents.

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

  1. 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. If you bring an animal to Finland from Russia, inspection will take place in Finland, for example in Vaalimaa or Nuijamaa.

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 inspection in the EU country where they first arrive. Pets can be brought to the territory of the EU only through a border crossing point approved for bringing in animals. In Finland, Helsinki Airport and Vaalimaa are approved border crossing points. At these locations, the Finnish Food Authority carries out veterinary border controls. The controls are subject to a fee, and you must arrange for a control appointment in advance. For instructions, please visit the Food Authority website.

Non-commercial and commercial import of pets

Import of a pet is considered non-commercial when all of these 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
  • your pet arrives in Finland with another person accompanying them, and you arrive in Finland via the same route within five days of the date when the other person brings your pet to Finland
  • you do not 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
  • your pet arrives in Finland with another person accompanying them, and you do not personally arrive in Finland via the same route within five days of the date when the other person brings your pet to Finland
  • pets are sold or handed over in the territory of the EU. 

When pet import is considered commercial, you need to clear the animal through Customs. An animal that is to be sold or handed over is subject to import duty.

When an animal arrives by airplane

Animals arriving by air whose owner does not travel with them can enter Finland only as air freight, and they 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 taking an animal abroad

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.

I am returning to Finland with my pet

In good time before your trip, check the Food Authority website before you return to Finland with your pet.

For example, if you visit Sweden, Estonia or Russia with your dog, remember that your pet needs to have a valid treatment against echinococcosis. If you return to Finland from a country with a high risk of rabies, your pet needs to have a rabies antidote certificate. For instructions, please visit the Food Authority website.

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.


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