Moving to Belgium with your pet

traveling pet
Updated 2021-12-20 12:52

If you're moving to Belgium and you've got a pet, you probably want to take them with you. Here are the rules that apply when traveling to Belgium with a pet. For the purposes of this article, the term “pet” applies to dogs, cats, and ferrets.

Two specific cases

Belgium lets people bring their pets (dogs, cats, ferrets), provided some formalities and conditions.

Here are the two cases:

  • You come from the EU
  • You come from a third country

Pets traveling from EU Member States

Pets need to have microchip technology HDX or FDX-B and conform to ISO 11784/11785 standard. The microchip is read by a machine based on that standard. If your pet isn't microchipping to this standard, you have the option of bringing your own compatible scanner.

For pets tattooed before July 3, 2011, a microchip isn't necessary.

Pets need a European passport, delivered by their vet.

They need to be vaccinated against rabies, respecting the protocol. Once vaccinated, they need to be controlled by a certified EU lab. The vaccine has to be administered after the pet gets a microchip.

Pets traveling from third countries

Regarding the microchip, the same conditions apply to animals coming from countries outside the EU.

Additionally, they need to be vaccinated against rabies. If it's a primo vaccination (first time), respecting the protocol cited above, it has to be done at least 21 to 30 days before traveling. Again, the vaccination should be done after getting the microchip. Because of these regulations, your pest must be at 15 weeks old at the earliest before they're able to travel to Belgium.

If your pet's already vaccinated against rabies, but you're coming from a country with a high incidence rate of this disease, your pet must have a blood titer test done. Otherwise, they'll have to go into quarantine upon arrival.

A vet has to deliver a sanitary certificate, issued no more than 10 days before moving to Belgium. It's valid for 4 months.

If you're from the US or Canada, a USDA/CFIA-accredited vet needs to fill out a form for you: the EU998 Veterinary Certificate.

Flying to Belgium with pets

For animals traveling from outside the EU, they can enter Belgium at:

  • Brussels National Airport
  • Liege Airport
  • Ostende Airport
  • Charleroi Airport

Make sure you have all the right paperwork for not only entering Belgium, but all the countries you pass through while on the way to Belgium.

If you're flying for under 10 hours, many airlines allow you to bring your small pet in the cabin. The exceptions are flights to the UK or Hong Kong. Do note that only one pet is allowed per person, and only two pets are allowed per cabin, so if many people are flying with pets, you might not be able to with yours.

Your pet must fit in an IATA-compliant crate and the crate must go under the seat in front of you. While it's possible to fit two of the same animals in one crate (if they're the same species and under 14 kg), we recommend just fitting one per crate for maximum comfort.

Registering your dog in the country

Once you're in Belgium, you'll have to register your pet. More specifically, you'll have to register your dog with the Association Belge d'Identification et d'Enregistrement Canins (ABIEC) or Belgische Vereniging voor Identificatie en Registratie van Honden (BVIRH), which are the French and Dutch names for the Belgian Association of Canine Identification and Registration. If your dog is ever lost, then this registration allows them to be traced back to you more easily. This is done through microchipping or tattooing.

Useful link:

Federal Public Service for Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.