Export of animals and animal products to the EU

The certificates required for exports of animals and animal products (not including food) to the EU are issued by the cantonal enforcement authorities. The latter also answer questions regarding exports to the EU.

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There is an Agreement between Switzerland and the European Union (EU) on trade in agricultural products. For this reason, Swiss legislation on animals and animal products generally corresponds to that of the EU. This facilitates the export of animals, animal products and other agricultural products into the EU. It is the exporter’s responsibility to check the exact requirements with the authorities of the country of destination (and of transit countries) and to report them to the competent cantonal authorities. This enables the latter to draw up the necessary health certificates or permits.

Export of animals

Anyone wishing to export animals must note the following:

  • Travel is stressful for animals. Transportation should therefore be as humane as possible and comply with all statutory requirements
  • Where appropriate, the conditions for (re-)import into Switzerland should be observed before departure (see Travelling with pets for private individuals or Import)
  • Commercial cross-border transportation of vertebrates by land requires a permit from the cantonal veterinary office (see "More information > Contact")
  • For transport by air, the provisions of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) must be followed
  • For some species, the veterinary regulations for “international movements” are laid down in the bilateral agreement; other species are subject to “national regulations”. In cases of doubt, the requirements that actually apply must be clarified in advance with the competent authority in the country of destination
  • The cantonal veterinary office issues the necessary health certificates and reports the sending of the animals to the competent veterinary authority of the country of destination via the electronic TRACES system. It can also provide information on specific requirements for exports of horses, poultry or live fish. Questions in this regard are answered by the official veterinarian or the official veterinary office
  • Exports of protected animal species require an export permit from the FSVO (see Export of animals and animal products)

Special provisions for certain animals

The requirements for the following animals are set forth in the Ordinance on the Import, Transit and Export of Animals and Animal Products in Trade with EU member States, Iceland and Norway (ITEO-EU-FDHA).

  • Horses and (domestic) cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, "other cloven-hoofed animals" (e.g. New World camelids)
  • Dogs, cats and ferrets
  • Lagomorphs
  • Poultry (hatching eggs, day-old chicks and older chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl, ducks, geese, quails, pheasants, partridges, ostriches - pigeons only if kept for the production of meat)
  • Fish, bees
  • Animals from "approved centres" (e.g. certain zoos) 

For more information, see under "More information > In detail".

The cantonal veterinary office is available to answer any questions.

Export of animal products  

Examples of animal products are animal semen, ova and embryos, and animal by-products.

Animal by-products according to Ordinance on Animal By-products

Exports of animal by-products require an operating licence from the cantonal veterinary office based on the Ordinance on Animal By-products (VTNP). The FSVO publishes the list of approved establishments (see "More information").

Exports of most animal by-products in category 3 (see Disposal of animal by-products) to the EU require only a commercial document in the prescribed form (see "More information > Commercial document for animal by-products EC 142/2011").

By-products and derivatives in categories 1 and 2 and processed animal protein (“meals” in category 3) require a TRACES notification and prior authorisation from the EU country of destination (Article 48 of Regulation EC 1069/2009). The TRACES notification is produced by the cantonal veterinary service.

Exports of certain animal by-products require a permit from the FSVO (see "More information > In detail > Export application for animal by-products").

Animal semen, ova and embryos  

These products must come from approved centres, stores or collection teams (see "More information > List of establishments"). Exports of semen and embryos of horses, domestic cattle, domestic sheep and domestic goats, domestic pigs and animals from approved bodies (within the meaning of Directive 92/65/EEC, e.g. certain zoos) require a health certificate drawn up by an official veterinarian. The competent cantonal veterinary office provides further assistance in cases of doubt and reports the shipment to the veterinary authorities of the country of destination via the electronic TRACES system.

For other gene products, or products from other species, the conditions are less clearly staded in the bilateral Swiss/EU agreement. The competent veterinary office in the country of destination can provide further assistance if you have any questions.

Export of protected animals and animal products

Exports of protected animals and animal products require an export permit from the FSVO (see Export of animals and animal products.

More information

Last modification 09.06.2020

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