Registration Rules for Dogs from Abroad

Last checked on:
16 June 2023
Published on:
24 December 2021

Are you bringing over a dog from abroad as a one-off? Or are you travelling to the Netherlands with your dog? Maybe for work or a holiday? In these cases, registration rules may apply to you.

Importing a dog from abroad

Bringing over a dog from abroad for yourself is called an import. You are the first keeper of the dog in the Netherlands. That is why you must register the dog. Follow these steps to do this:

  1. Request a unique business number (Uniek Bedrijfsnummer, or UBN).
  2. Within 14 days of your dog arriving in the Netherlands, take your dog to a vet.
  3. The vet will register the dog under your UBN.

Import regulations will also apply to you. For example, your dog must get a rabies vaccination. See the website of the national information centre for companion animals (Landelijk InformatieCentrum Gezelschapsdieren) for the import requirements per country.

A UBN costs €19. You will not receive the invoice immediately. You will receive this by post in the year following your UBN application. You only pay when you receive your invoice.

Fleeing from the war zone Ukraine

Lots of people are fleeing from the war zone. Some of them will be taking their pets with them. Registration rules for dogs apply in the European Union (EU). You are bringing your dog in from a non-EU nation. This means an increased risk of rabies. Rabies can be dangerous for humans too. Due to the war, there were less strict import requirements for pets traveling with their Ukrainian refugees.

The flexible approach to the import requirements for pets Ukraine expires on 15 June 2023

From 15 June 2023, pets traveling with their owners from Ukraine must meet the general import requirements for pets from third countries. Third countries are countries outside the EU. More import requirements and information about taking your pet(s) to the Netherlands can be found on the website of the Nederlandse Voedsel en Warenauthoriteit (NVWA).

Bringing your dog when you come to the Netherlands to work

The registration requirements for dogs may apply to you. This depends on how long you will stay in the Netherlands to work.

Less than 3 months

Is your stay in the Netherlands less than 3 months? And are you not selling your dog while you are here? Then you do not need to register with us. You also do not need to apply for a UBN. However, other rules may apply. Go to the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) website for information on travelling with pets.

4 months or more

Everyone who comes to the Netherlands to work for 4 months or more must register. Once you have registered, you must request a UBN for your dog.

You must register yourself with the Personal Records Database. A citizen service number (burgerservicenummer, BSN) will be issued to you. You can use this to request a UBN. For information on registering, please see the BRP website. These are the steps to complete:

  1. Register with the BRP. You will receive a BSN.
  2. Use your BSN to request a DigiD. The DigiD website explains how to do this.
  3. Register with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency by logging in with your DigiD.
  4. Request a UBN from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.

Once you have received your UBN, take your dog to a vet. The vet will complete the import registration for your dog. They will also issue an EU pet passport.

Bringing a dog to the Netherlands on holiday

If you are coming to the Netherlands for a holiday stay of 4 months or more, the registration rules for dogs apply. The steps you must complete are the same as when you work in the Netherlands for 4 months or more. Is your holiday stay in the Netherlands 3 months or less? Then the registration rules do not apply to you.

Would you like to know more?

Read the general guidance on registration rules for dogs. See the website of the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority for a step-by-step guide. By following these steps, you will know what other rules apply to you.

Commissioned by:
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food Security and Nature
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