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Export of animals

When exporting animals from Iceland, the conditions depend on the country of import. It is important that the exporter gathers information regarding  requirements in a timely manner to prevent problems during the exportation. In some cases an official endorsement of documents is required.

Export of cats and dogs to EU/EEA countries

The same requirements apply to the importation of cats and dogs from Iceland to all EU/EEA member states.

  • Microchip: the animal must be microchipped before being vaccinated
  • Rabies vaccination: vaccination against rabies must be carried out when the pet is over 12 weeks of age. It is necessary to wait at least 21 days after the Rabies vaccination before export.  Contact a practising veterinarian well in advance to order the vaccine.
  • Anti-Echinococcus treatment: 1-5 days (24-120 hours) prior to entering the destination country, i.e. should not be performed during the last 24 hours. Required for export to Malta, Ireland, Finland, UK, Norway.
  • Official veterinary certificate: a special certificate form issued by the EU is to be used in this purpose. The certificate must be completed and signed by an authorised veterinarian and endorsed by the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST). The certificate cannot be issued until at least 21 days after the pet was vaccinated against rabies.

Export of cats and dogs to other countries

Pet owners should familiarise themselves with each country's rules on import of animals. These rules are generally made available on the internet by the competent authority in each country, for example:

Export of horses

Every year hundreds of Icelandic horses are exported, mostly to countries within the EU.  This is practised under the law 27/2011 on the export of horses.

  •  General requirements regarding the export horses: The required age span of exported horses is 4 months to 15 years. It is prohibited to export pregnant mares of more than 7 months gestation
  • Examination in the port of export: Horses should be examined and cleared for export by a Veterinary Officer in the port of export.  The horses’ markings/microchip should be validated, and their fulfilment of requirements in the destination country confirmed.  All exported horses should be microchipped or freeze marked.  They should furthermore be accompanied by a horse passport issued by the Icelandic Farmers’ Association, confirming the origin and ownership of the horse.
  • Horse passport: The horse passport is an official document confirming the identity of the horse for travelling purposes as well as identity checks at equestrian events, vaccinations and other medicinal information. The horse passport contains a description of the horse, detailed enough so that it clearly is issued on this horse.  Using an international system, various individual identifying attributes are carefully written and drawn in the passport. The passport is issued singularly and accompanies the horse for the rest of its life.  The passport may only be issued by a veterinarian authorised in the country of origin.  The exporter of the horse should have a practising veterinarian fills in the individual identifying attributes, which are then endorsed by a Veterinary Officer in the port of export.  If the appearance of the horse changes for some reason, a replacement passport should be issued by authorities in the country of origin, in this case by sending the original passport to the Icelandi Farmers’ Association, which will then issue a new one and destroy the original one.
  • Fees: Fees covering the export examination and the issuing of export certificates are payable to Matvælastofnun and are based on regulation 220/2018.
Updated 09.01.2020
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