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© Ilanit Caruana Brandon© Ilanit Caruana Brandon

Whether you are moving in and out of Malta with your pets, or planning a short holiday abroad you will need to plan ahead and prepare in advance for this journey. Here is the summary of legal requirements and some useful tips:

Regulation (EU) No 576/2013 regulates the non-commercial movement of pet animals which accompanies its owner where its owner moves and is under his direct responsibility. The non-commercial movement of the pet animal may take place up to five days before or after the movement of the owner, in which case the non-commercial movement of the pet animal is carried out under the responsibility of a natural person who has authorisation in writing from the owner to carry out the non-commercial movement of the pet animal on his behalf.
The maximum number of pet animals (dogs, cats or ferrets) which may be moved for non-commercial purposes is up to 5.

Exceptionally, the maximum number may exceed 5 only when all of the following conditions are met:
-The movement is for the purpose of participating in competitions, exhibitions or sporting events (or in training for such events)
-Written evidence is provided that the animals are registered either to attend an event or with an organisation organising such events
-The animals are more than six months old.

The movement of pet animals younger than 15 weeks of age (105 days old) is not permissible.

Health requirements for pet animals entering Malta from the EU:
Pets animals of the species Dogs, Cats and Ferrets are in need of the following health requirements:
- An ISO identification - 15 digit microchip, or clearly readable tattoo. The animal must be identified before the rabies vaccination as per the passport records.
- A rabies vaccine at 12 weeks of age
- A valid EU passport
- 21 days have to pass from the date of the rabies vaccination
- De-worming treatment between 24 hrs to 120 hrs prior entering into Malta (only applies for dogs). Dogs moving directly between Norway, Finland, Ireland, or the United Kingdom to Malta are exempted from the treatment against the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis.
-The online pre notification needs to be submitted: https://nldmalta.gov.mt/MaltaPetArrivals/

If you are travelling to other EU countries from Malta de-worming treatment is not necessary. However if you are travelling overland to Norway, Finland, Ireland and UK this requirement will apply.

 Health requirements for pet animals entering Malta from Non- EU countries:
Pets animals of the species Dogs, Cats and Ferrets are in need of the following health requirements:
-An ISO identification - 15 digit microchip, or clearly readable tattoo. The animal must be identified before the rabies vaccination.
-A rabies vaccine at 12 weeks of age - it will also need a blood test if you are travelling from an ‘unlisted country’. The test must be carried out on a sample collected by an authorised veterinarian at least 30 days after the date of vaccination and not less than three months before the date of movement, the test must measure a level of neutralising antibody to rabies virus in serum equal to or greater than 0,5 IU/ml, the test must be performed in an approved laboratory.
-An Official Health Certificate issued by the country of departure either ‘listed’ or ‘unlisted country’ 21 days have to pass from the date of the rabies vaccination, and 3 months after the rabies neutralising antibody test if you are travelling from an ‘unlisted country’
-De-worming treatment between 24 hrs to 120 hrs prior entering into Malta (only applies for dogs).
-The online pre notification needs to be submitted: https://nldmalta.gov.mt/MaltaPetArrivals/

As well as all countries in the EU, Malta also accepts pet passports from (no rabies titration test is needed):
Andorra, Azores and Madeira, Canary Islands, French Guiana, Gibraltar, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, Guadeloupe, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Martinique, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, Vatican City

All EU countries, including Malta need the same entry requirements, but there are some non-EU countries with rabies titration test as additional requirements. If the pet is originating from these countries the pet will need to wait 3 months prior to travelling within an EU country after the date of the blood withdrawal. When the pet is originating from EU and travelling to non EU country with titration requirement, if the test is done in the  EU prior to travel, upon arrival back to an EU country the pet can enter into the country WITHOUT any waiting period.

For countries that are non in the EU but are on the following list rabies titration test is not necessary:
Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Ascension Island, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Bermuda, BES Islands (Bonair, Saint Eustatius and Saba), Bosnia-Herzegovina, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Curaçao, Falkland Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Montserrat, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Russian Federation, Saint Maarten, Singapore, St Helena, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Pierre and Miquelon, St Vincent and The Grenadines, Taiwan, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, USA (includes American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the US virgin Islands), Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna.

For all other countries that are no on the list rabies titration is required and if this is not done you will be refused entry and your pet may end up in quarantine forum to 4 months. All the fees and charges will be your responsibility.

Other Pets

For other pets like rabbits and birds this is not necessary, however there may be specific requirements for particular countries. Certain countries like Australia and New Zealand have more complicated requirements for import of pets and it best to get in touch with their respective veterinary authorities.

For any specific queries relating to pet travel in and out of Malta its best to contact official veterinarian in Malta by email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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