Bringing Dogs In From Non-EU Countries


Bringing dogs in from non-EU countries

You can bring dogs into Northern Ireland from a non-EU country but you must comply with EU Law.

1.    First, you must check that the Country from which you wish to import a dog is approved for the import of animals to the EU. There is a list in this EU Regulation of approved countries. If the Country is not in this list, you must not attempt to bring the dog into the territory.

2.    Dogs may only be imported into Northern Ireland from an establishment that it registered with competent authorities, that keep adequate records around animal health and are regularly inspected.

3.    The dog(s) must be microchipped or marked with a clearly identifiable tattoo if that tattoo was applied before 3rd July 2011.

4.    The dog(s) must have been vaccinated against rabies. The Dog must have been at least 12 weeks old when the vaccine was given and at least 21 days must have passed since the vaccine was given before despatch of the dog.

5.    Dogs may be subject to a rabies antibody test before they travel. Whether this is required  depends on where the dog is coming from. Again, the list in this EU Regulation explains which countries that will be required for. If this is required, you should speak to the registered establishment in the country of origin or your shipping company for more details.

6.    Dogs being imported into NI must be treated for tapeworms. Again, there are technical requirements for the kinds of treatment they will need which you must confirm with your shipping agent and/or the registered establishment in the country of origin.

7.    Within  48 hours prior to despatch, the dog must be inspected by a vet who must certify that they are fit to travel and do not show signs of disease.

8.    When animals arrive in Northern Ireland, they must enter via one of the designated border control points, i.e. Belfast or Larne ports. They must be accompanied by the appropriate Animal Health Certificate (again, your importer will be able to advise further). On arrival, a Common Health Entry Document must be completed. You (or your agent) should complete part one. The animal will be inspected by a designated vet who will complete part 2. The Animal Health Certificate will remain at the port, and the CHED which will go with the dog to its destination.

Failure to comply with any of these requirements in full will result in the dog being denied entry to the territory. You will not be able to recover costs involved. Deliberately trying to avoid complying with these rules could result in fines or criminal prosecutions, potentially in Northern Ireland or in the Country of origin.


Regulation (EU) 2016/429 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on transmissible animal diseases and amending and repealing certain acts in the area of animal health

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/404 of 24 March 2021 laying down the lists of third countries, territories or zones thereof from which the entry into the Union of animals, germinal products and products of animal origin is permitted in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2016/429 of the European Parliament and the Council 

Regulation (EU) No 576/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 June 2013 on the non-commercial movement of pet animals and repealing Regulation

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/878 of 18 June 2018 adopting the list of Member States, or parts of the territory of Member States, that comply with the rules for categorisation laid down in Article 2(2) and (3) of Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/772 concerning the application of preventive health measures for the control of Echinococcus multilocularis infection in dogs

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/692 of 30 January 2020 supplementing Regulation (EU) 2016/429 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards rules for entry into the Union, and the movement and handling after entry of consignments of certain animals, germinal products and products of animal origin