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MOVING TO SPAIN

Can I bring my pet from the USA into Spain?

Americans pet owners travelling to Spain may want to know if they can bring their beloved pets with them, whether it's for a permanent move or an extended period of time in Spain. Read on to find out what you need.

Travel with your pets
Bringing your pet from USA into Spain. Photo: StockSnap / Pixabay

The short answer is yes, you can bring your pet from the US into Spain, however you must be prepared for a lot of different rules and paperwork.

Anyone bringing an animal into Spain from outside the EU faces lots of different documents to fill out, as well as several veterinary checks, vaccination and health certificates to get. Once you’re in the EU however, 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 to Spain. 

What type of animals are allowed?

Not all animals are considered to be pets, whether they live with you as one or not.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and EU authorities, including Spain, 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 is considered poultry, it does not qualify as a pet, and is subject to different rules.

Note, that if you own one of the following breeds, they must be registered by the American Kennel Club under special rules. They must also be registered within three months of entering Spain on the Spanish side and must wear a muzzle to pass through security. These are Staffordshire terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Pit Bull Terrier, Dogo Argentino, Brazilian Mastiff, Rottweilers, Tosa Inu and Akita Inu.

The rules

The following requirements are necessary for travel into Spain with your pet. Be aware, you can only travel with a maximum of five pets.

  • The animal must be at least 12 weeks old as this is the age at which a rabies vaccine can be given.
  • 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 their first vaccination against the virus, you must wait 21 days between the last shot of the vaccination before entering Spain.
  • You must get a health certificate from your veterinarian, which is endorsed by USDA.
  • The official health certificate will be issued by an USDA accredited veterinarian and endorsed by the 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.

Find out how you can bring your dog into Spain. Photo: Iakovos Hatzistavrou / AFP

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 Spain – 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.

Entering Spain

Accompanied pets entering Spain by air from the United States must do so at Border Inspection posts at international airports in Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga, Valencia or Tenerife de Sur only.

If arriving by boat, the ports approved for the import of pets are Algeciras, Almería and Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Pets can travel in the cabin, as checked baggage or air cargo, however you must check the rules with your individual airlines as some may vary.

Quarantine 

Pets do not need to quarantine, as long as all entry requirements are met.

Other pets

If your pet is not one of the usual pets such as a dog, cat or ferret and is something such as a turtle or a parrot, you may need to verify that it is not protected under the Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). If it is, you may need an extra permit.

If you are travelling to Spain with a bird then there are additional rules, as well as the ones above on health certificates.

  • You must also have an Owner’s Declaration certificate
  • Your bird must have undergone isolation for 30 days prior to travel
  • Or it must have two vaccine doses against avian flu between 60 days and six months prior to entering Spain
  • Or it must have undergone 10 days of isolation and have been tested for the H5N1 virus
  • Or it must be quarantined upon arrival in Spain in a registered facility

The paperwork

The application and declaration form required for entry into Spain can be downloaded here.

Heading back to America

Remember, that if you’re staying in Spain temporarily, you’ll need to take your pet back into the US from Spain – and there are several rules and documents to fill out there too.

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For members

TAXES

What’s the inheritance tax in each region of Spain?

Inheritance tax varies greatly in Spain depending on what region you or your relations live in. Find out what the rates are in your area in 2022.

What's the inheritance tax in each region of Spain?

Spain’s inheritance or succession tax, known as ‘impuesto de sucesiones‘ is both complex and controversial, but it’s important to understand how it works in order to avoid any unfortunate financial surprises when a loved one with a connection to Spain passes away. 

Spanish inheritance tax is decided by the Spanish State but all of the country’s 17 regions have the right to change these rules to make them more beneficial or detrimental to heirs, luckily the general trend is towards the former. 

The succession tax rates will differ depending on how much is inherited, ranging from 7.65 percent on the first €7,933 up to 34 percent on €797,555+. 

There are many factors to consider, such as which category heirs and other beneficiaries fall into, or the fact that in Spain the spouse of the deceased is also subject to inheritance tax, which is not the case in the UK and many other countries.

What are the different groups of heirs in Spain?

As mentioned above, there are several categories or groups that heirs can fall into and this will depend on how much allowance they can benefit from. The groups are the following:

Group 1: Children under 21 years of age

Group 2: Children over 21 years of age, spouses and parents

Group 3: Siblings, nieces, nephews, as well as aunts and uncles

Group 4: Cousins or more distant relations

EXPLAINED: How choosing the right region in Spain can save you thousands in inheritance tax

What are the inheritance rates in my region?

Andalusia

In Andalusia, the inheritance tax rate varies between 7 percent and 36 percent, depending on the value of the inheritance. However, recently the Andalusian government approved, through a Royal Decree, a reduction of 99 percent, both for inheritance and gift tax for those who are included in groups 1 and 2.

Aragón

In Aragón there is 100 percent discount on the tax base, with a limit of €3,000,000 for descendants under the age of 21 or for those that have a disability. In addition, the spouse, parents or descendants of the deceased may also benefit from a reduction of 100 percent of the tax base.

Asturias

In Asturias there is an allowance of €300,000 for those groups 1 and 2. For all other groups, it establishes various reductions included in the state regulations. In addition, in case of inheriting a home, the bonus will be between 95 and 99 percent, depending on its value.

Balearic Islands

In the Balearic Islands, for those in groups 1 and 2, deductions of €25,000 are applied, plus €6,250 per year that the taxpayer is under the age of 21, up to a maximum of €50,000. For those in group 3, a deduction of €8,000 is applied and for those in group 4, it’s €1,000. An allowance of €48,000 will also be made for those with disabilities.

Basque Country

For those in groups 1 and 2 in the Basque Country, inheritances with an amount less than €400,000 are not required to pay taxes. When the amount is greater than €400,000, a tax rate of 1.5 percent will be applied.

READ ALSO: Why you should move to this region in Spain if you want to pay less tax

Canary Islands
Those in group 1 get an allowance of €47,859, while those in group 2 get an allowance of €15,957. Those in group 3 will get €7,993, while those in group 4 get no allowance at all. After the deduction, inheritance tax rates are calculated on the remaining balance which range between 7.65 percent and 34 percent on anything above €797,555.

Cantabria

For those in group 1, there is a reduction of €50,000 plus €5,000 for each year the taxpayer is under 21. For those in group 2, it’s also €50,000 and for those in group 3, it’s €25,000.

Castilla La-Mancha

In Castilla La-Mancha those in groups 1 and 2 will benefit from discounts ranging from 80 percent to 100 percent, depending on the amount of the payable base.

Castilla y León

Castilla y León allows reductions for children spouses and parents. Those in groups 1 and 2 will benefit from an allowance of €60,000. An additional reduction of €6,000 will be applied for each year the taxpayer is under the age of 21. A variable reduction will also be applied, which is calculated as the difference between €400,000, plus the sum of the previous amounts and the state deductions.

Catalonia

In Catalonia, spouses will receive a bonus of 99 percent and the rest of the heirs in groups 1 and 2 may apply a bonus that varies between 57 percent and 99 percent, depending on the tax base.

Extremadura

A bonus of 99 percent is applied for amounts of up to €300,000 euros between parents, children and spouses.  

Galicia

In Galicia, heirs in group 1 have an allowance on amounts up to €1,000,000, plus there is a reduction of €100,000 for each year the beneficiary is younger than 21, with a limit of €1,500,000. For those in group 2, the reduction varies between €900,000 and €400,000, depending on the taxpayer’s age. In the cases of groups 3 and 4, the bonus will be €16,000 or €8,000. The applicable rate in Galicia stands at between 5 and 18 percent, which is well below the rest of the regions. 

La Rioja

Those who inherit in La Rioja benefit from a deduction of 99 percent of the tax quota if the tax base is less than or equal to €500,000. The deduction will be 98 percent for amounts that exceed €500,000.

Madrid

Madrid applies a discount of 99 percent of the tax quota for taxpayers included in groups 1 and 2. In addition, for the heirs included in group 3, it establishes a discount of 15 percent or 10 percent, depending on what relation they are to the deceased.

Murcia

In the region of Murcia, the law includes a deduction of 99 percent for those in groups 1 and 2. Likewise, for the rest of the heirs, it also recognises different reductions depending when the money is inherited and the amount to be received.

Navarre

In Navarre no discounts are applied, but how much tax varies according to what group you fall under. Spouses for example have a rate of 0 percent up to €250,000, and 0.80 percent from there upwards. In the case of descents and parents, the applicable rate varies between 2 percent and 16 percent.

Valencia

In Valencia discounts of 75 percent are applied for those in group 1 or 50 percent for those in group 2. In case the of those with disabilities, the taxpayer will also receive a bonus of 75 percent.

Case study example

For example, in the case of a 30-year-old son who inherits assets worth €800,000 euros, the most amount of tax would be paid in Asturias, with at €103,135.48; followed by Castilla y León €81,018.76; Valencian €63,193.76; Aragon €55,466.81; La Rioja €32,342.86; Castilla-La Mancha €31,759.23 and the Canary Islands €31,748.63. 

These regions would be followed by Navarre €17,000; Catalonia €9,796.89; the Balearic Islands €5,950; the Basque Country €3,150; Murcia €1,640.49; Extremadura €1,587.96 and Madrid €1,586.04). Andalusia, Cantabria and Galicia have a net quota of 0.

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