The difference between commercial and non-commercial travelling

Published 12.10.2012     Modified 31.05.2016

The import and export rules vary depending on the type of animal, whether the animal is travelling with its owner, whether or not the purpose is onward trading, whether the importation to Norway is from an EU/EEA country or from a country outside the EU/EEA, i.e. a non-member country, and not least whether the species is protected or threatened with extinction.

Be aware that there are also infectious diseases that are not subject to regulation during importation. Surely you do not wish to be responsible for importing new diseases and parasites into Norway?

Importation of stray dogs

Every border crossing with an animal from another country into Norway is regarded as importation. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority's responsibility is to ensure good animal and human health in the country and the authority is  concerned about the importation of dogs whose health status is unknown, e.g. stray dogs from Eastern Europe.

There is no guarantee that dogs are free from diseases or parasites even though the regulatory framework regarding import of dogs is complied with.

Non-commercial importation

Non-commercial importation is defined as an import of up to 5 of your own pets, when the animals are travelling with you.  The purpose with the import is not sale, and the animals are not meant to be passed on to others.

If you travel with six or more animals that belong to you - for example sledge dogs - the import will be regulated as commercial import.

Non-commercial movement of more than 5 dogs, cats or ferrets, and commercial importation of these species will only be permitted from third countries listed in these documents:

Commercial importation

This applies when the animal is ment to be passed on/sold, or when the animal travels "alone" as freight, i.e. it is not travelling as a part of a passenger's luggage.

If you import an animal/pet from another country

Alternative 1 - Commercial importation

The takeover may take place in Norway (the purchase is completed when you have received the dog). It does not matter whether the animal is sent alone or as freight, or with an escort.

Alternative 2 - Non-commercial importation

The purchase/takeover takes place and is concluded in the country of dispatch. The importation must be related to your travel, i.e you must pick up the animal yourself.

The animal can not normally be sent as freight. If the animal is sent as freight, the owner is obliged to:

  • declare that the importation is non-commercial (the animal is not to be sold)
  • state in the declaration who is responsible for the animal during transport
  • provide travel documents that verify that the animal is on the same journey as the owner.

You must also ensure:

  • that the animal has with it a valid EU pet passport, stating your name and signature as the owner
  • that the animal has a valid ID marking, valid rabies vaccination and that dogs are treated against fox dwarf tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis)
  • the pet passport must state you as the owner of the animal. You must also be able to confirm that the animal will not be passed on to another person.

If you are not stated as the owner on the pet passport and the passport is signed by you, the importation will be regarded as commercial, see under Alternative 1.

The meaning of sporting animals and pets is:

  • horses
  • dogs
  • cats
  • ferrets
  • caged birds
  • rodents
  • rabbits
  • exotic animals

A special permit from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority is required to import, tortoises. All application forms for importation of animals are now available on the Norwegian Food Safety Authority's web page.

Forms for import of animals

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