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Moscow Animals Advice Center


 
Importing / Exporting Pets to/from the Russian Federation

INDEX :

I. Import of Cats and Dogs to the Russian Federation

Importing cats and dogs to the Russian Federation is a fairly uncomplicated procedure. There is no quarantine and you do not have to apply for an import permit. However, several veterinary documents are required.

Stricter import requirements apply to other animals, in particular to birds and all exotic animals, but also to rabbits, guinea pigs, turtles and other smaller animals. Please contact a knowledgeable veterinarian in Russia before attempting to ship any pet other than a cat or a dog to Russia so that he/she can advise you on the corresponding import regulations.

1. Exporting your Cat/Dog from your Origin Country

Please contact your veterinarian to find out which documents are necessary to export your cat/dog from your origin country. Normally you will need proof of a valid rabies vaccination and canine/feline infectious diseases as well as a health certificate from your veterinarian or a veterinarian agency in your origin country. In rare instances additional documents, blood tests and/or additional vaccinations may be required. You might also have to make special travel arrangements for your pet (e.g., a cargo shipment if required by regulations in your origin country). If you are traveling from your origin country to Russia via a third country, remember to find out what - if any - transit documents may be required.

Important Notes for dogs and cats traveling to Russia from the United States:

a. as excess baggage or in the cabin: Some airlines flying out of the United States now require an international health certificate (i.e., a health certificate issued by a local vet may not be enough). If that is the case, please contact your vet to find out where and how you can obtain such a certificate.

b. as cargo:An international health certificate will be required in ALL cases.

Important Notes for dogs and cats traveling to Russia VIA a European airport (this applies to pets traveling as cargo, excess baggage, and in the cabin!):

a.For all cats and dogs traveling to Russia via a European airport, you most provide written proof of tick and de-worming treatment; treatment must be administered two days prior to the animal’s departure from the origin country. This is a requirement of the European Union - not the Russian Federation.

2. Russian Federation Import Regulations for Cats and Dogs

a. Note on Microchips: Microchips for cats/dogs are not yet mandatory in Russia, but most other countries (including all EU countries) now require that pets entering their territory be fitted with a microchip. As your cat/dog might have to travel through another country before entering Russia and/or you might want to travel with your pet to a country requiring microchips after your arrival in Russia, we highly recommend that you have your cat/dog fitted with an ISO Standard microchip in your origin country. ISO Standard microchips are now also available in Moscow.

b. Rabies Vaccination and Vaccinations against Feline/Canine Infectious Diseases. In order to import your cat/dog to the Russian Federation, you must be in the possession of a veterinary document for your dog or cat with proof of vaccination against rabies and feline/canine infectious diseases 1) / 2). Your cat/dog must have been vaccinated within the last twelve (12) months and preferably at least one (1) month prior to its arrival in Russia. Please check with your vet in your origin country on how much in advance of your cat’s/dog’s departure from your origin country the animal must be vaccinated – regulations on this vary from one country to the other.

Time permitting, we also recommend you obtain a rabies antibody blood test for your cat/dog in your origin country. While this blood test is not required by Russian Federation customs, it is required by most EU countries. If you plan to travel with your pet after your arrival in Russia, it will be helpful to have the blood test results on hand. Note: these blood tests can now also be carried out in Moscow (but not in any other city in Russia).

1) Good veterinary clinics/veterinarians in Russia provide pet owners with pet passports that look very similar to passports for people. These passports are bi-lingual (Russian and English) or tri-lingual (Russian, English, and French) and contain information on your cat/dog and all administered vaccinations. There is also space for a photo of your pet. EU countries issue so-called EU passports for pets, while other countries may issue different documents verifying your pet’s vaccination status. The form of the document is not important, as long as it clearly shows when your cat/dog was vaccinated and which vaccine was used.

2) Your cat/dog should be de-wormed at least ten days before receiving its rabies (or any other) vaccination. Your vet can provide you with the necessary de-worming medication, which normally comes in the form of a tablet. The dosage will depend on the weight, age, and overall state of health of your cat/dog. If your cat/dog is difficult to handle and/or does not like taking/swallowing tablets, your vet can help you administer the medication.

Note on Rabies Vaccinations for Cats and Dogs coming from the United States. Veterinarians in the United States sometimes use rabies vaccines that are valid for three (3) years. If a cat/dog was vaccinated with such a vaccine in the United States more than twelve (12) months ago, the vaccination will not be considered valid in Russia. In such a case the cat/dog must be re-vaccinated with a rabies vaccine that is valid for one (1) year prior to bringing it to Russia. The re-vaccination is not harmful to the animal. If a cat/dog with such a three-year rabies vaccination is imported to Russia within the required 12-month timeframe, the animal should be re-vaccinated in Russia after those 12 months are over - despite the fact that the original vaccination is still valid - in order to keep up the animal’s annual vaccination schedule (as is standard in most countries). Rabies does exist in Russia, and proof of a valid rabies vaccination will be required for re-exporting your pet from Russia.

c. Health Certificate: In order to export your cat/dog from your origin country and import it to the Russian Federation, you will need a health certificate from your veterinarian or a veterinary agency in your origin country. In some countries veterinarians issue these certificates; in others you might have to present your pet to a governmental veterinary agency in order to obtain this certificate. The health certificate should be issued no more than ten (10) to three (3) days before your pet’s departure from your origin country and its arrival in the Russian Federation. The time frame for the issuing of the health certificate will depend on regulations in your origin country.

d. Document Languages: If the above documents (your pet’s vaccination records and the health certificate) are not issued in English, they should be translated into English and/or Russian and the translation should be notarized. Documents issued in English are perfectly acceptable for Russian customs.

e. Note on Traveling with Pregnant Cats/Dogs and Young Kittens/Puppies: If you are planning to move/travel with a pregnant cat/dog or a young kitten/puppy, please contact your vet as soon as possible to discuss all issues involved in relocating such a pet. Pregnant cats and dogs can only be transported up to a certain stage of their pregnancy and airlines might not accept young kittens/puppies and/or those that have not been weaned. In some cases you might be permitted to take the animal on board the plane with you. Other countries require that all pets leaving their territory by air be shipped as cargo. Transporting pregnant or very young animals as cargo can be problematic and dangerous to the health of the cat/dog or kitten/puppy. Cargo might also not be an option in general during summer or winter months when ground temperatures in your origin country and/or in Russia can be incompatible with pet cargo shipments. Therefore, please discuss these issues with your veterinarian and airline/travel agent before making the travel arrangements for your pet. Kittens/puppies that are less than three months old can be de-wormed but cannot be vaccinated against rabies yet. Some countries may allow you to import kittens and puppies that are less than three months old if your vet provides you with a document stating that the kitten/puppy has not been vaccinated because of its age; others might not.

f. Travel Arrangements: If at all possible, you should travel to Moscow on the same flight as your cat/dog and should either take the cat/dog on board the plane with you or ship the animal as accompanied luggage (also referred to as “excess baggage”).

If at all possible avoid having your pet shipped to Moscow as cargo. Please note that this can happen even if the animal travels on the same flight as its owner! When traveling with your pet and checking in at the airport, make it very clear to the airline that you wish your pet to be shipped as accompanied luggage/excess baggage and not as cargo.

Pets arriving in Moscow as cargo – whether accompanied or unaccompanied – will be unloaded at the corresponding cargo airport (i.e., not the passenger terminal), and clearing them through customs is a long and difficult process that you will not be able to handle on your own. Various document fees are also applicable for cargo import customs clearance.

g. Import Registration of Your Pet at the Airport’s Veterinary Customs Station: Upon your arrival at the airport in Moscow (depending on the airline you are using you will arrive either at Sheremetievo 2 or Domodedovo Airport), you may be asked by Russian customs to register your cat/dog at the airport’s veterinary station (“pagraneechnee vetereenarnee poonkt”) 3). If asked to do so, you must proceed to the veterinary station with your pet. In most cases you will be asked to leave your luggage behind at customs until you return with the documents from the airport vet to prove that you have registered your pet. The airport vet will stamp your pet’s health certificate and will put a date on it, thereby officially admitting your pet into the Russian Federation. In Moscow the registration costs ca. 400 Rubles per animal (payable in cash in Russian Rubles only).

3) The veterinary station at Moscow’s Sheremetievo 2 Airport is located in the Departures Hall on the second floor in the left wing and is open 24 hours a day. Domodedovo airport has a similar veterinary station; please ask the airport staff for directions. Other airports in Russia that serve international destinations should have similar veterinary stations. Please note that the airport officials do not necessarily speak English.

Note that the information in section g. above only applies to pets that are brought into Russia as accompanied luggage. The procedure for pets arriving as cargo is different to the one described here and more complicated as the animal will be unloaded at either Sheremetievo 2’s or Domodedovo’s cargo airport (i.e., not the passenger terminal) and will have to be cleared through Russian customs. More information on the different shipping options is provided on the Moving with Pets page.

3. Having a Vet Meet You and/or Your Pet at the Airport in Moscow

Vets Yuri & Valeria can meet you at the airport when you arrive with your pet, help you clear your pet through customs, and register it with airport authorities. If you are unable to travel on the same flight as your pet, e.g., because of pet travel restrictions during summer months, Yuri and Valeria can meet your pet and handle cargo customs import formalities at Moscow’s Sheremetievo 2 and Domodedovo cargo airports for you. This is a complicated and time-consuming procedure you should not attempt to handle on your own. They can also deliver your pet to your residence in Moscow for an additional fee.

If you are not yet going to be in Moscow at the time your pet will arrive in the country or if you have arrived but have not yet moved into your new apartment and your hotel or landlord of your temporary apartment does not allow pets, Yuri and Valeria can arrange for the temporary boarding of your cat or dog in Moscow.

Required Information. If you would like Yuri & Valeria to meet you and/or your pet at the airport in Moscow, they will need the following information from you:

1. Arrival date.
2. Airport of arrival in Moscow (Moscow has two large international airports – Sheremetievo 2 and Domodedovo).

3. Airline and flight number.
4. Estimated time of arrival of the flight in Moscow.
5. Breed, age, color, and name of your pet. For pet cargo shipments, please include other instructions such as health information and information on the character of your pet
6. Your address and contact phone numbers in Moscow (or those of a contact person in Moscow, e.g. someone at your office or embassy) and at origin (if you’re not traveling together with your pet).
7. In addition for pet cargo shipments they will need a clear copy of the Air Waybill issued by your airline as well as copies of your pet’s vaccination records and health certificate and possibly a Power of Attorney (plus two notarized copies), a copy of your passport and Russian visa.

Consignment Instructions for Pet Cargo Shipment. If your pet will be arriving in Moscow as unaccompanied cargo, you must obtain detailed consignment instructions for Valeria (her passport details, address and phone numbers) - either directly from Valeria or from Moscow Animals Moscow. Your airline will need this information in order to correctly issue the Air Waybill. If the pet is consigned to you, you must personally clear it through customs!

For more information on Yuri & Valeria's services, please contact Valeria directly by phone. Please do not send e-mails for Valeria to Moscow Animals, she does not have access to them, and we will not be able to forward messages to her. Valeria speaks fluent English and will be more than happy to answer any questions you might have.

Here are Valeria's contact details:

Tel.: 694 03 88 (home when calling from within Moscow)
Tel.: 495 694 03 88 (home when calling from another Russian city)
Tel.: +7 495 694 03 88 (home when calling from abroad)
Tel.: 8 901 539 39 56 (mobile when calling from within Russia) or
Tel.: +7 901 539 39 56 (mobile when calling from abroad)

IMPORTANT: Please note that Yuri and Valeria are the only English-speaking vets we know of that offer pet travel and pet boarding services in Moscow.

They have a large number of very loyal customers who use their services each time they leave/arrive in Moscow with their pet/s and Moscow Animals Moscow also makes extensive use of their pet travel and boarding services for our customers.

As Yuri and Valeria cannot normally handle more than one airport arrival/departure per day and can only arrange to board a limited number of dogs and cats at any point in time, please make sure you book these services as much in advance as possible - particularly during summer months, before Christmas and around New Year's, all of which are high season for moving and traveling in Moscow.

DISCLAIMER

Russian Federation legislation concerning the import of pets changes constantly and often without prior warning. The information in the preceding section has been obtained from sources believed reliable and is a brief summary of regulations applicable to the import of pets to the Russian Federation. It is being provided for general guidance only. Moscow Animals cannot be held liable for any problems, costs, delays, or other detrimental events resulting from non-compliance with Russian Federation regulations or legislation alleged to have been caused directly or indirectly by the information provided here. It is your responsibility to independently confirm the accuracy and completeness of this information and to comply with all regulations and legislation.

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II. Export of Cats & Dogs from the Russian Federation

The export of cats and dogs from the Russian Federation is a fairly uncomplicated procedure.

More difficult regulations apply to other animals - particularly to birds and all exotic animals. Please ask your veterinarian before attempting to ship any pet other than a cat or a dog so that he/she can advise you on the export regulations and possible export restrictions that might apply well in advance of your moving date. In many instances, import regulations in your destination country for these animals will also be stricter than those for cats and dogs and, in some cases, the import of such animals may be prohibited.

1. Russian Federation Export Regulations for Cats and Dogs

a. As soon as you know that you are moving, please contact your vet, your moving company and/or the embassy or consulate of the country you are moving to in order to find out what the import regulations for your pet are in your destination country.

b. Have your pet microchipped. Most countries now require that pets entering their territory be fitted with a microchip. Please make sure that the microchip conforms to ISO Standards; otherwise airport authorities and vets in your destination country might not be able to read it. Information on a veterinary clinic that provides ISO Standard microchips in Moscow is provided further down on this page.

c. You must be in the possession of an international veterinary document/pet travel passport 1) for your cat/dog with proof of vaccination against rabies and feline/canine infectious diseases. The cat/dog must have been vaccinated within the last twelve (12) months and at least one (1) month prior to its departure from Russia 2), 3), 4). Please make sure that you keep your cat’s/dog’s vaccination records up to date (dogs and cats must be vaccinated regularly once a year); if you don’t, you will run into problems when attempting to export your pet from Russia.

1) Good veterinary clinics/veterinarians in Russia will provide you with pet passports that look very similar to passports for people. These passports are bi-lingual (Russian and English) or tri-lingual (Russian, English, and French) and contain information on your cat/dog and all administered vaccinations. There is also space for a photo of your pet. If you imported your pet to Russia from an EU country, you should already be in the possession of an EU passport and should continue to use it for all vaccinations administered in Russia.

2) Your cat/dog should be de-wormed at least ten days before receiving its rabies (or any other) vaccination. Your vet can provide you with the necessary de-worming medication, which normally comes in the form of a tablet. The dosage will depend on the weight, age, and overall state of health of your cat/dog. If your cat/dog is difficult to handle and/or does not like taking/swallowing tablets, your vet can help you administer the medication.

3)IMPORTANT: Russia is part of the UK’s PETS TRAVEL SCHEME under which cats and dogs may be imported to the United Kingdom from Russia without having to undergo the formerly mandatory six-months of quarantine. However, a rigid preparation/vaccination schedule must be followed and a rabies antibody blood test is required in order for pets to qualify. All in all the preparations for moving pets to the UK take a minimum of seven months. If you are intending to move your pet to the UK, please visit Defras’s website at http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/quarantine/pets/.

4) Several European Union countries (and Japan) have requirements similar to those of the UK, which may include rabies antibody tests. This test can be carried out at an EU-approved laboratory in Moscow (but not in any other cities in Russia)

d. In addition to the vaccination documents you must also obtain a health certificate from a state-licensed Russian vet that states that your cat/dog is healthy and fit to travel. This certificate must be issued no more than three (3) days before the animal is due to be exported from the Russian Federation. At the airport, this (Russian) health certificate must be exchanged for an international health certificate, which you will need in order to import your cat/dog to your destination country. To obtain the international certificate you must visit the airport’s veterinary station (“pagraneechnee vetereenarnee poonkt”) 5) with your pet before departure from Russia. In Moscow the certificate costs ca. 500 Rubles per animal (payable in cash in Russian Rubles only).

5) The veterinary station at Moscow’s Sheremetievo 2 Airport is located in the Departures Hall on the second floor in the left wing and is open 24 hours a day. Domodedovo airport has a similar veterinary station; please ask the airport staff for directions. Other airports in Russia that serve international destinations should have similar veterinary stations

e. Some countries require written proof of tick and de-worming treatment that must be administered a certain number of days prior to the pet’s departure from Russia.

f. Note on Traveling with Pregnant Cats/Dogs and Young Kittens/Puppies: If you are planning to move/travel with a pregnant cat/dog or a young kitten/puppy, please contact your vet as soon as possible to discuss all issues involved in relocating such a pet. Pregnant cats and dogs can only be transported up to a certain stage of their pregnancy and airlines might not accept young kittens/puppies and/or those that have not been weaned. In some cases you might be permitted to take the animal on board the plane with you. Other countries (including the United Kingdom and South Africa) require that all pets entering their territory by air must be shipped as cargo. TTransporting pregnant or very young animals as cargo can be problematic and dangerous to the health of the cat/dog or kitten/puppy. Cargo might also not be an option in general during summer or winter months when ground temperatures in Russia and/or your destination country can be incompatible with pet cargo shipments. Therefore please discuss these issues with your veterinarian and airline/travel agent before making the travel arrangements for your pet. Kittens/puppies that are less than three months old can be de-wormed but cannot be vaccinated against rabies yet. Some countries may allow you to import kittens and puppies that are less than three months old if your vet provides you with a document stating that the kitten/puppy has not been vaccinated because of its age; others (including the UK and Japan) will not.

2. Veterinary Assistance

Vets Yuri & Valeria can: fit your pet with a microchip; come to your home to vaccinate your pet in familiar settings; provide you with all necessary export documents for your cat/dog (including an international pet passport and health certificate); carry out most required blood tests; help you complete import permit applications required by your destination country, etc.

Valeria can provide you with advice on making the best travel arrangements for your pet. She can accompany you to the airport in order to facilitate export customs clearance and ensure that your four-legged friend is as safe and happy as possible during its journey.

Yuri and Valeria can also ship your cat/dog for you if it has to be shipped as cargo, and they can board your cat/dog until the departure date.

If a cargo shipment is required and you will not be attending the airport with the vets, you must provide Valeria with a Power of Attorney, which must be notarized by a Russian notary (one original and two notarized copies of this document will be required). Unless you speak fluent Russian you must bring a certified interpreter to the notary's office; that person must bring his/her original interpreter's diploma (or an official, notarized copy of the same).

For more information on Yuri & Valeria's services, please contact Valeria directly by phone. Please do not send e-mails for Valeria to Moscow Animals, she does not have access to them, and we will not be able to forward messages to her. Valeria speaks fluent English and will be more than happy to answer any questions you might have.

FHere are Valeria's contact details:

Tel.: 694 03 88 (home when calling from within Moscow)
Tel.: 495 694 03 88 (home when calling from another Russian city)
Tel.: +7 495 694 03 88 (home when calling from abroad)
Tel.: 8 901 539 39 56 (mobile when calling from within Russia) or
Tel.: +7 901 539 39 56 (mobile when calling from abroad)

3. Importing your Cat/Dog to your Destination Country

Please contact your veterinarian, your moving company, the Embassy/Consulate of your destination country and your airline or travel agent to find out what the import regulations for your pet are in your destination country. If you are traveling from Russia to your destination country via a third country, remember to find out what - if any - transit documents may be required.

You should do this as far in advance of your anticipated move dates as possible. Import restrictions (including import permits and/or possible quarantine) may apply in some countries; additional vaccinations, blood tests and/or treatment against ticks or fleas might also be required and special travel arrangements (e.g. a cargo shipment) might be required.

Russia is now part of the UK’s PETS Travel Scheme under which cats and dogs coming from the Russian Federation may enter the United Kingdom without having to undergo the formerly mandatory six-month quarantine period. The process for preparing your pet for PETS/travel to the UK takes a minimum of seven months and is complicated. For more information please request visit Defra’s website at http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/pets/travel/pets/index.htm

Several countries, including Australia and New Zealand, prohibit the direct import of pets from the Russian Federation.

DISCLAIMER

Russian Federation legislation concerning the export of pets changes constantly and often without prior warning. The information in the preceding section has been obtained from sources believed reliable and is a brief summary of regulations applicable to the export of pets from the Russian Federation. It is being provided for general guidance only. Moscow Animals cannot be held liable for any problems, costs, delays, or other detrimental events resulting from non-compliance with Russian Federation regulations or legislation alleged to have been caused directly or indirectly by the information provided here. It is your responsibility to independently confirm the accuracy and completeness of this information and to comply with all regulations and legislation.

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