Bringing a pet to Turkey – from a country in the Pet Passport Scheme
The Pet Passport Scheme (PPS), officially known as the Pet Travel Scheme, was introduced to provide a uniform set of rules for people travelling with certain types of pet within the EU. It has since been adopted by other countries.
The rules apply to dogs, cats and… ferrets.
There will be no quarantine imposed on your pet when entering Turkey as long as the following requirements are met
Your pet must first be microchipped with an ISO 11784 pet microchip that is a 15 digit and non-encrypted device. If your pet’s microchip is not ISO 11784 compliant, you can bring your own microchip scanner for use by the authorities.
Rabies vaccination and titer test
Your pet cat or dog must be vaccinated against rabies between 30 days and 12 months prior to its entry into Turkey. An original rabies certificate reflecting all of your pet’s rabies vaccinations should accompany your pet.
In order to avoid three months of home quarantine, no sooner than 30 days after the rabies vaccination is given, your pet should have a rabies titer (blood) test, with the sample processed in an EU-approved laboratory at least 90 days prior to entering Turkey. If your pet has not received a rabies titer test or 90 days have not passed since the date the blood was drawn for the titer test, your pet will be subject to home quarantine for the duration of the 90 day period.
- Although Turkish regulations clearly state that a blood titer test or other proof of anti-rabies titer level is required, presently, enforcement of this requirement appears inconsistent.
- You should consider your travel needs when making your decision as to whether to have the test performed, but entering with valid rabies titer test results will ease and speed customs clearance and may alleviate the requirement for home quarantine.
- The titer test is valid for travel to the European Union from Turkey as well as to other countries as long as the sample is processed in an EU approved lab and your pet’s rabies vaccinations do not expire.
- Traveling with a titer test is the ultimate proof to customs officials that your pet is free of rabies, but it appears that currently, the requirement is, in effect, ‘optional’ when entering Turkey
Veterinary Certificate for Turkey
Within the ten days before travel, an accredited vet must complete the Veterinary Certificate for Turkey for endorsement by the Governing Authority of your country responsible for the import and export of animals. The vet should have access to the appropriate paperwork.
All domestic dogs and cats must be free of evidence of disease communicable to humans when examined at the port of entry to Turkey. If your dog or cat is not in apparent good health, further examination by a licensed veterinarian may be required – of course, at your expense. Your pet should arrive at customs by 11:30AM for same day customs clearance.
Accompanying your pet
Two pets per person can enter tax-free as long as they don’t arrive unaccompanied. The owner must be present at customs clearance or have issued their representative with both a Power of Attorney and either their original passport or a notarized copy, indicating that they arrived in Turkey within 30 days of their pet.
Puppies and kittens
Puppies and kittens under three months of age can enter Turkey with their mother, provided that she meets the requirements above or if they come from a state in which rabies is known to be controlled, with a document which states where the puppy or kitten was born and reared and that it is an environment where it has not been in contact with wild animals. Additionally, an endorsed veterinary certificate and health declaration stating that your pet is healthy enough to travel, is free of diseases communicable to humans and is free of internal and external parasites is required. Prior permission from the Ministry is required. The owner’s passport should be available at the time the import is processed.
Bringing Horses to Turkey
Turkey has adopted the EU Equine Passport Regulation for the importation of horses from the EU. For imports from non-EU countries, other rules apply. They are a little complex and are beyond the scope of this guide. Contact one of the big international horse transport companies for more details.
Bringing other animals to Turkey
Birds are permitted entry with an import permit.
Invertebrates, tropical fish, reptiles, amphibia, and mammals such as rodents and rabbits are not subject to the requirements of rabies vaccination, but may have to meet other requirements and should have a health certificate to enter Turkey.
Pet owners are strongly advised to seek further information from the relevant authority of their country and/or, if they are leaving Turkey, the authority of the country of destination.
If your pet is not a dog, cat or ferret, and especially if it is a turtle or parrot, you should verify that it is not protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). You will need to apply for additional permits if this is the case. Over 180 countries participate and enforce CITES regulations.