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Commercial Vs Non-Commercial Pet Transport - Things You Should Know!

Pet ownership comes with many responsibilities; one crucial aspect is transporting their pets. Whether you're moving to a new city, going on vacation, or need to transport your pet for any reason, understanding the differences between commercial and non-commercial pet transport is vital. Fortunately, the process of travelling with pets has become less complicated than in the past. 

If your pet is destined for the European Union, it's crucial to grasp the distinction between these two classifications before finalising your travel arrangements. Here's everything you need to know about commercial and non-commercial pet transport to the European Union.

What Are the Conditions for Commercial Pet Transport to the European Union?

Commercial pet transport service is often the go-to option for pet owners looking for convenience and a streamlined process. These services are typically offered by specialised companies equipped with the experience and resources to handle various aspects of pet transportation. Commercial imports of pets can occur under various circumstances:

  • Transfer of ownership after importation, including both purchases and adoptions, without a profit motive.

  • Pet owners who are travelling with more than 5 dogs/cats.

  • Pets' journeys that cannot coincide within 5 days before or after the owner's travels.

Beyond the specified import conditions related to identification, vaccination, blood tests, and health certificates, additional requirements must be fulfilled:

  • Pets must travel via cargo.

  • A specific health certificate, as per the model outlined in Regulation (EU) 2021/403, Annex II, Chapter 38 (model CANIS-FELIS-FERRETS), must be obtained from an official veterinarian within 10 days before the pet's departure.

  • An official veterinarian in a non-EU country must examine the pet within 48 hours before departure, certifying the animal's health and fitness for transport.

  • The border control post (BCP) should be notified of the pet's arrival via the TRACES application at least one working day in advance.

  • Upon arrival, the pet must undergo a veterinary import check at the border control post.

  • Irrespective of the reason for travel, every pet must have a microchip and be vaccinated for rabies. The microchip facilitates accurate identification, while the rabies vaccination protects against the transmission of the disease. A waiting period of 21 days from rabies vaccination is mandatory before your pet can enter the EU safely.

Why Hire Commercial Pet Transport Companies?

Hiring commercial pet transport companies can be beneficial for various reasons, especially when moving your pet over long distances or internationally. Here are some key reasons why individuals and families choose to hire commercial pet transport services: 

Professional Expertise

Commercial pet transport companies have trained professionals who understand the intricacies of transporting pets safely. From proper crate sizing to compliance with roadway regulations, these experts ensure that your pet's journey is as stress-free as possible.

Logistical Support

Planning a pet's journey involves more than just buying a ticket. Commercial pet transport service manages logistics, including flight bookings and ground transportation, and ensures all necessary paperwork is in order. This can be particularly helpful for international travel, where strict regulations often apply.

Safety Measures

Commercial pet transport prioritises safety. These companies are experienced in handling different breeds and sizes of animals, ensuring that your pet is securely created and monitored throughout the journey. They may also provide real-time updates to keep pet owners informed and at ease.

What Are the Conditions for Non-Commercial Pet Transport to the European Union?

Non-commercial pet transport involves personally handling your pet's transportation arrangements. While it may require more effort on your part, this approach has unique advantages.

If you bring your dog or cat to any European Union country, they will likely be considered non-commercial transport. To ensure compliance with non-commercial movement, the following conditions must be adhered to:

  • The pet must be accompanied by its owner or an authorised person during the journey.

  • If the pet is travelling without its owner, the pet owner must arrive at the destination either five days before or five days after the pet's transport.

  • Upon reaching the destination country, the pet (dog or cat) should not be intended for sale or transfer to another owner.

  • The animal possesses a valid EU pet passport with your name and signature, as the owner clearly stated.

  • The animal bears a valid ID marking, up-to-date rabies vaccination, and, for dogs, treatment against fox dwarf tapeworm.

  • The pet passport must unequivocally identify you as the owner, and you should be able to verify that the animal will not be transferred to another individual.

  • The total number of pets during a single movement must not exceed five. However, an exception is made if the travel is for participation in a show, competition, or sporting event. In such cases, the pet parent is required to provide written evidence supporting this claim.

  • Additionally, the pet must meet all other criteria specified by the destination country for pet importation to enter successfully.

Why Hire Non-Commercial Pet Transport Companies?

There are several reasons why individuals may choose to hire non-commercial pet transport companies rather than relying on commercial options:

Personal Involvement

Non-commercial pet transport lets you be directly involved in every step of your pet's journey. From choosing the mode of transportation to handling paperwork, you have complete control and can tailor the experience to your pet's specific needs.

Cost Considerations

Non-commercial pet transport may be a more cost-effective option for those considering the budget. While it requires more time and effort, handling the logistics yourself can help save money compared to hiring a professional service.


Non-commercial pet transport offers greater flexibility in terms of travel arrangements. You can choose routes and transportation modes and even adjust plans on the fly based on your pet's comfort and well-being.


Choosing between commercial and non-commercial pet transport services to the European Union involves weighing convenience, professional expertise, and personal involvement. Compliance with strict regulations is managed, and real-time updates provide peace of mind. On the other hand, non-commercial transport grants pet owners control over the journey, allowing for cost savings and greater flexibility. 

Exec Pets offers a streamlined process with trained professionals ensuring safety for your pets during travels. Our pet transporters are always ready to help pet owners throughout the EU and UK. Contact Us Today!


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