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Health requirements for the import and trade of animals in the EU

This summary has been archived and will not be updated. See 'The EU’s Animal Health Law' for an updated information about the subject.

Health requirements for the import and trade of animals in the EU


Directive 92/65/EEC: animal health requirements for trade in and imports into the EU of animals, semen, ova and embryos not subject to other specific rules



  • It lays down detailed animal health requirements for the trade in animals, semen, ova and embryos in the EU, including import rules.
  • Specific rules apply to particular groups of animals, with some of them covered by previous legislation or in amendments to this directive.



  • Animals covered by the directive include:
    • zoo animals;
    • hoofed animals;
    • birds;
    • camels;
    • bees;
    • rabbits, hares, minks and foxes;
    • cats, dogs and ferrets.
  • Different sets of detailed rules apply for different categories of animals. The directive outlines requirements in the following areas, depending on the species:
    • the need for animals to be identified;
    • regular and timely veterinary examination;
    • notifiable diseases to be reported;
    • disease control measures put in place by EU countries;
    • quarantine measures in certain circumstances;
    • health certification and the need for animals to be free from disease; and
    • animal welfare issues.

Directive 2004/68/EC updates the rules applying to the import of hoofed animals, in particular to take into account the evolving nature of the risk of disease.

Circus animals are specifically covered in Commission Regulation (EC) No 1739/2005.

The need for a veterinary examination is relaxed to 48 hours (previously 24 hours) prior to movement in updated rules for pets (for example, dogs, cats and ferrets) traded or imported non-commercially under Regulation (EU) No 576/2013.

The directive also contains detailed rules for the trade in semen, ova and embryos of certain animals not already covered by legislation, such as horses, donkeys, sheep and goats.


It entered into force on 29 July 1992. EU countries had to incorporate it into their national law by 1 January 1994.


Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/466 of 30 March 2020 on temporary measures to contain risks to human, animal and plant health and animal welfare during certain serious disruptions of Member States’ control systems due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19)


Council Directive 92/65/EEC of 13 July 1992 laying down animal health requirements governing trade in and imports into the Community of animals, semen, ova and embryos not subject to animal health requirements laid down in specific Community rules referred to in Annex A (I) to Directive 90/425/EEC (OJ L 268, 14.9.1992, pp. 54-72)

Successive amendments and changes to Directive 92/65/EEC have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.


Regulation (EU) No 576/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 June 2013 on the non-commercial movement of pet animals and repealing Regulation (EC) No 998/2003 (OJ L 178, 28.06.2013, pp. 1-26)

Commission Regulation (EU) No 206/2010 of 12 March 2010 laying down lists of third countries, territories or parts thereof authorised for the introduction into the European Union of certain animals and fresh meat and the veterinary certification requirements (OJ L 73, 20.3.2010, pp. 1-121). See consolidated version.

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1739/2005 of 21 October 2005 laying down animal health requirements for the movement of circus animals between Member States (OJ L 279, 22.10.2005, pp. 47-62)

last update 04.05.2020