The PETS Scheme
As a member of the European Union, Greece adheres to the legislation laid down for transporting pets across member states. You must obtain a passport from a registered vet for each pet you wish to bring to the Greek Islands. You must also have your pets are micro chipped, are of a good standard of health and disease free. Make sure that the chip can be read and that it is correctly noted in their pet passport. Then they will have to be vaccinated against rabies at least thirty days prior to travel but not less than 12 months before and this has to be followed by a blood test to ensure that the animal has enough immunity from the rabies vaccine. You will be given a certificate to prove this from an approved EU testing laboratory and you should check that it carries the correct micro chip number. If you are bringing young animals into the country they will have to have had all of their immunity injections and be at least three moths old.
If you fly to Greece they must be transported by an authorised carrier like the national flag carrier Olympic Airways or another International scheduled airline. If you choose to send them by air you will need a cage that they can stand up in – your airline will advise on this matter. You may choose to take them in your own car in which case make sure that you make plenty of roadside stops to exercise them and to allow them to feed and go to the toilet.
If your animal is being transported by courier you will also need an export licence 48 hours prior to travel.
Shipping Pets from the Mainland to your Greek IslandThere is no problem travelling with your pets on the Greek ferries to the islands and pets actually travel free in specially designed pet cabins. There are also places for pet hygiene. You need to book your pets accommodation in advance. You will not be allowed to have your pet in your cabin or any of the public areas like the bars and restaurants for reasons pertaining to public hygiene. You will be allowed to exercise them on the deck but they will have to wear a lead and a muzzle. All pets must be accompanied by their owner or a guardian and you will be required to present their pet passport even though you have already cleared customs on the mainland.
When you arrive on your Greek Island, you need to register with a local vet known as a 'ktiniatros.' Ensure that you get his emergency telephone number as sadly the poisoning of animals occurs occasionally. If you believe your pet has swallowed poison you must contact the vet at once to get an intravenous drug to cancel out the results caused by the poison. You will also need to keep your pets passport up-to-date on an annual basis and this means that they will also have to have an annual rabies jab.
Other AnimalsYou cannot import parrots, unless they come from a country that is free from psittacosis and in this case you may only import two at the most. They must also have their own pet passports and be declared free of disease. Ferrets are subject to the same regulations as dogs and cats.
Shipping Pets from GreeceIf you are leaving the Greek Isles with your pets then they will need to have a pet passport, micro chip and rabies inoculation. There is a 21 day wait before your pet can enter other EU countries and your pet may not enter the UK under PETS until six calendar months have passed from the date that your vet took their blood sample and gave a satisfactory test result. Once the vet has issued the PETS documentation and that six month period has passed, the PETS documentation is valid for your pet to enter the UK. Your pet must be treated against ticks and tapeworms not less than 24 hours and not more than 48 hours before it is checked in with an approved transport company for its journey into the UK.
If you are travelling to countries outside of the EU, you must present your pet passport to the Greek Ministry of Agriculture for a Certificate of Health and Transportation; this service costs 30 euro. This has to be presented to border guards when exiting the country. Some countries outside of the EU also require up to six months of quarantine, which is traumatic for both the pet and the owner. Animals who do not meet the above conditions are liable to be subject to 6 months quarantine.
Checklist1. Get your pet a passport
2. Get them micro-chipped
3. Get your pet vaccinated against rabies
4. Arrange for their blood to be tested
5. Get your animal treated for ticks and tapeworms
6. Get your pet passport updated ensuring sections 1 to 7 have been filled out correctly
7. Organise appropriate travel with an authorised carrier on an approved route.
For UK pet owners, more information can be found at the DEFRA Website http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/quarantine/pets/regulation/eu_reg.htm or if you are in the UK call the PETS Helpline on 0870 241 1710 .