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MOVING TO FRANCE

Paperwork and shots: How to bring a pet to France from the USA

Animal-loving Americans may wonder if they can bring their beloved pets with them when they travel to France - whether to live permanently or to stay for an extended period.

Dog
Your pet will need his or her paperwork in order to travel to France. Photo: Thomas Coex/AFP

The short answer is: Yes, you can.

The longer answer is: Yes, you can – but there’s rules and paperwork. 

Anyone bringing an animal into France from outside the EU faces paperwork and veterinary checks – travel within the Bloc is much simpler thanks to the EU Pet Passport scheme – but the exact rules vary from country to country.

Here are the requirements if you’re bringing an animal from the USA. 

What animals are allowed

First of all there’s the question of what a pet actually is. 

The USDA and EU authorities, including France, define a pet as a privately-owned companion animal not intended for research or resale and includes the following animal groups only: dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, rodents, hedgehog/tenrecs, reptiles, amphibians and pet birds (non-poultry). 

If your animal is not one of the types listed above or considered poultry, it does not qualify as a pet, and is subject to different rules

Meanwhile, the following breeds of dog are forbidden for travel into France unless they are registered by the American Kennel Club under special rules: Staffordshire terrier, American Staffordshire terrier (pitbulls), mastiff (boerbulls), rottweilers, and tosa.

The rules

The following requirements are necessary for travel into France with your pet (up to a maximum of five animals per family):

  • The animal must be at least 12 weeks old
  • Your pet must be identified by a microchip (standard ISO 11784 or annex A ISO standard 11785) or a tattoo. In case of identification with a tattoo, the tattoo must be clearly readable and applied before July 2011
  • Your pet must have a valid rabies vaccination. If it is a first vaccination against the virus, you must wait 21 days between the last shot of the vaccination and departure.
  • You must get a health certificate from your veterinarian and endorsed by USDA;
  • The official health certificate will be issued by an USDA accredited veterinarian and endorsed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).
  • You can find a State-by-State list of USDA offices here
  • USDA endorsement is required for all certificates except those issued by military veterinarians for dogs, cats and ferrets.

How long is the certificate valid?

The official health certificate will be valid for 10 days, from the date of endorsement until the date of arrival in France – or any EU port of entry. For maritime travel, the 10-day window is extended for a period equal to the duration of the voyage. 

This certificate continues to be valid for the purpose of further movements within the EU for up to four months from its date of issue.

Quarantine 

Pets do not need to be quarantined as long as all entry requirements are met.

The paperwork

The application form required for entry into France with a domestic pet, is available here as a pdf document.

Heading back to America

Remember, too, if your stay in France has a definitive end date, you’ll need to take your pet back to the US from France – and there’s rules and paperwork involved there, too.

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For members

TRAVEL NEWS

‘Book now’ – rental cars set to be scarce and expensive in France this summer

Thinking about a French road trip this summer? You'll want to plan in advance, as hire cars are getting harder and harder to find and prices are skyrocketing.

'Book now' - rental cars set to be scarce and expensive in France this summer

With life returning to near-normal, pre-Covid conditions, tourism is booming. France is set to be a popular holiday destination this summer – but renting a vehicle could cost you a lot of money. 

Why the price hike?

The quick answer is that demand is high.

At the Bordeaux-Mérignac airport, Michel Reillat, the CEO of rental company Loca’Malin told FranceInfo that “In July and August, there is no possibility of renting cars, since they are all booked.”

He explained that “reservations began very early, from February, with 30 to 40 percent of the cars already rented for the summer.” Reillat said he ordered about fifty additional cars, but even if this will be insufficient to meet the high demand.

However, rising demand is not the only answer.

During the pandemic, several rental companies sold large portions of their stock (up to 40 percent in some cases) to compensate for the loss brought on by Covid-19. This means that many rental companies are currently operating with shortages.

Are prices high everywhere?

Prices have seen the highest increases in places like the Basque coast, the South-West, and Corsica. Biarritz, for instance, where a weekly car rental is now on average €505 per week, has seen its average rates increase by 96 percent, according to car rental comparison website Carigami. 

The website published a list ranking cities based on affordability for car rentals, and it also allows you to compare which parts of the country are the cheapest for renting cars.

Where can I get affordable prices?

Based on the Carigami list, heading North is your best bet to avoid breaking the bank. A week’s rental in Lille will cost you €292 on average, according to the site. Though this still represents an increase from last year, it’s only 12.7 percent (small in comparison to Biarritz).

Two other cities that might allow you to book a vehicle for less than €300 a week are Clermont-Ferrand and Mulhouse.

If you want to go further south, Valence is a good compromise, Aix-en-Provence, and Marseille are better options than Nice (which is averaging at €496 per week). 

Finally, the other cities listed for having “reasonable” pricing are Rennes, Brest, Lyon and Nantes. Even so these cities, Brest in particular, have still seen significant increases from years past.

The other key thing is not to leave it to the last minute, as prices will only rise.

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