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Import of live animals

Follow these instructions to import a cat or dog to Iceland. If you have any questions, contact us through our live chat at the bottom right of this page (visible Mon-Fri 9-12 & 13-15 GMT) or you can send us an e-mail to

Importation of pets must comply with the MAST import conditions. Importers must apply for an import permit to MAST and the pets must fulfill health requirements (vaccinations and testing) in addition to staying in quarantine for 2 weeks upon arrival. Please refer to the below instruction guides to help you understand the requirements relating to the different categories of approved countries.

ATTN. Cabin ban from April 11th 2024

Dogs and cats can not be imported to Iceland in cabin

From April 11th it will no longer be permitted to transport dogs and cats to Iceland in aircraft passenger compartments. This does not apply to certified service dogs and pets that are transiting in Keflavik airport. This change is in accordance to amendment regulation no. 332/2024.

Recently there have been cases of illegal importation of dogs that were transported in this manner. Their owners brought them along in the cabin and into the country. This is considered illegal importation.

Dogs and cats that have been granted import permits and are destined for quarantine in Iceland are usually transported to the country as cargo or luggage, or about 85% of the animals. Therefore, this change does not affect a large portion of dog and cat imports.


Approved exporting countries

Dogs and cats can only be imported to Iceland from approved exporting countries

Approved exporting countries are divided into two categories with regard to rabies. Category 1 countries are rabies-free countries. Category 2 countries are countries where rabies is present but well controlled. Dogs and cats that are to be imported to Iceland shall have remained in an approved exporting country for the last 6 months prior to importation (or from birth) or in another exporting country that is in the same category with regard to rabies.

  • Category 1 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway (excluding Svalbard), Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom.

  • Category 2 countries: Bosnia, Canada, Greenland, Herzegovina, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Taiwan, Turkey, USA.

If a country from which an importer intends to import a dog or a cat is not on the list, the importer can apply for the country to be assessed by MAST as to whether that country can be considered an approved exporting country. The approved country list is revised twice a year by MAST.

However MAST may authorize the import of a dog or a cat from a non-approved country of export, when the following conditions are met:

  • The pet has been owned and cared for by the importer in the country of export for at least six months prior to importation, and
  • The owner/importer is a resident in the country of export and is moving to Iceland and bringing the pet with him/her.
  • The ownership of the pet and the residency in the country of export must be confirmed with valid documents submitted to MAST along with this application form.
  • A dog/cat that is imported to Iceland on these grounds must meet the health conditions according to country category 2 (including vaccination against canine influenza).
  • Application for an import permit for a dog/cat from a non-approved country.

Guidance notes for importing dogs and cats to Iceland

We at Matvælastofnun have been notified that there can be a delay in receiving results from the rabies antibody test as a result of the invasion of Russia into Ukraine. Instead of a waiting time of 2-3 weeks, it can take 4-8 weeks to receive the results, although that is not always the case. We therefore encourage importers to do the rabies vaccination and antibody test in a timely manner.

Certificate of health and origin for import of dogs and cats


Most common reasons for non-compliant submissions (declined import)

  • Incomplete health certificates – ALL input boxes must be completed.
  • Submission missing either the health certificate or one or more laboratory reports.
  • Vaccinations done less than 14 days prior to import.
  • Rabies titer done less than 30 days after vaccination (day of vaccination is day zero).
  • Rabies titer < 0,5 IU/ml
  • For Category 2 countries: Rabies titer done less than 90 days before import.
  • Incorrect vaccination protocol (mainly with the leptospirosis vaccination)
  • Laboratory reports
    • POSITIVE results for Brucella/leishmania/A.vasorum
    • No sampling date and/or microchip number on the report
    • Reports NOT IN ENGLISH
  • Incorrect treatment used against A.vasorum
  • Incorrect internal and external parasite treatments used – using products that do not cover all required parasites (see for dogs here, for cats here).
  • Paperwork submitted less than 5 days prior to import and later than 12 pm on the previous Friday.
  • Non approved arrival hours/date

Pet import planner

Preparing for import requires several visits to a veterinarian in the exporting country. The pet import planner creates a calendar that takes into account the country category and the date of arrival of the cat/dog.

We at Matvælastofnun have been notified that there can be a delay in receiving results from the rabies antibody test as a result of the invasion of Russia into Ukraine. Instead of a waiting time of 2-3 weeks, it can take 4-8 weeks to receive the results, although that is not always the case. We therefore encourage importers to do the rabies vaccination and antibody test in a timely manner and not to trust the calculator below blindly, as it only shows the last possible dates to do the rabies vaccination and antibody test, but both of those can be done earlier in the process (as long as the pet is old enough).

Calculator for pet import to Iceland 

Approved quarantine stations for dogs and cats in Iceland

Import permit applications

Transit permits - Keflavik Airport and Ferry Ports

Service dogs

  • For transit in Keflavik airport with a service animal you must have a MAST transit permit.
  • A transit permit application must be submitted to MAST at least 48 hours (two business days) prior to departure. Applications are processed during office hours Mondays to Fridays.
  • You must comply with airline regulation regarding the eligibility of service dogs.

The following applies to service dogs in Keflavik airport

  • You and your service dog will be escorted by airport staff directly to your new boarding gate.
  • In case of delays, you and your service dog must wait in a designated area, as advised by the ground staff. If your service dog needs to relieve itself, there is a specific transit facility for pet animals in the building, where the dog can be taken to. This facility can also be used as a waiting area for your service dog in the event of delays.
  • Your service dog may under no circumstances leave the airport and enter the country. This will be considered illegal importation.
  • Your service dog must be treated with a veterinary medicinal product licensed for the treatment of fleas and other external parasites no more than 120 hours and no less than 24 hours before the flight to Iceland. This treatment must be registered in your service dog's vaccination booklet/passport and submitted to customs or airport staff upon request.
Travelling pets (non-service animals)

  • No permits are required for transiting animals. Your pet will be transported by ground staff at the airport, from one plane to the next.

Transiting In Iceland by ferry or private aircraft

Animals on board carriers (vessels/aircrafts) that dock or transit in Iceland, are not, under any circumstances, allowed to leave the carrier.

The following declaration must be completed and submitted to


Guidance notes and certificates for pets other than dogs and cats

Frequently Asked Questions

We have collected frequently asked questions to help you with your import preparation. If you still have enquiries regarding importation of pets you can contact MAST, office of import and export; tel: +354 530 4800 / e-mail: 

Importing dog semen to Iceland (deep frozen / chilled)

  • The importer must obtain an import permit issued by the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST) before importing dog semen.
  • The importer shall ensure that the importation complies with all import conditions.
  • Failure to comply with the import conditions may result in rejection of the importation.
  • An authorised veterinarian in the country of export must perform all veterinary procedures.
  • Only certificate forms DS1 (category 1 countries) and DS2 (category 2 countries) are valid for this purpose.
  • The signed certificate must be sent to MAST for approval no later than 10 days after semen collection.

Guidance notes and certificates for dog semen

Updated 12.04.2024
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