Travelling with animals
It is important that animals travelling across borders are not carrying infectious diseases. It is also important that you help to combat illegal trade.
The rules applying to the importation of live animals vary depending on whether or not the animals are pets. Rules also vary depending on where the animals are coming from.
The Swedish Board of Agriculture, which is the authority responsible for rules on the importation of animals to Sweden, has more detailed information. Swedish Customs carries out border checks on behalf of the Swedish Board of Agriculture.
Travelling with dogs or cats
When you want to bring your dog or cat into Sweden, you must notify Swedish Customs of this. Notification can be submitted via the internet before you arrive in Sweden. You can also give notification on arrival at the border. To do this, choose the red lane in the surveillance area at one of our border inspection posts. Failure to do this may be a crime against Sweden’s Act on Penalties for Smuggling. The animal must also fulfil the Swedish Board of Agriculture’s requirements for importation or exportation.
You do not have to give notification of dogs, cats and ferrets that you are bringing in from Norway if the animals: are ID marked; have pet passports; and, were not brought into Norway in contravention of Norwegian law.
Buying dogs or cats in a country outside the EU
- Give Swedish Customs notification of your animals. If you buy in Norway, you only have to give notification if the value is above SEK 3,300.
- If you are travelling to Sweden on a commercial flight or ferry, you must pay VAT and any other import charges if the value of your goods (animals included therein) exceeds SEK 4,700.
- If you are travelling to Sweden by car or train, you must pay VAT and any other import charges if the value of your goods (animals included therein) exceeds SEK 3,300.
All goods that you buy in a country outside the EU are included in the sum that you may bring in free of charge. If you are travelling to Sweden on a commercial flight or ferry, you may bring in, free of charge, goods to a value of SEK 4,300. The figure if you are travelling by car or train is SEK 3,000. This includes dogs or cats that you have bought abroad. The limit is not per animal, but the total value of the goods you have bought outside the EU.
Note that there are special rules for alcohol and tobacco.
Remember that, in addition to this, the normal rules for travel with dogs or cats also apply.
Travelling with horses
If you are travelling with horses from a country outside the EU, you must give Swedish Customs notification of this when you cross Sweden’s border. Notification must be given at one of the following: Arlanda Airport, Landvetter Airport, Norrköping Airport or one of the Swedish-Norwegian border inspection posts (e.g. Svinesund or Hån). You give notification by choosing the red lane in the surveillance area and contacting a customs officer.
If there is no customs officer on duty, you are to give notification in any of the following ways:
- Use the telephone in the red lane of the surveillance area.
- Ring the telephone number stated on a poster in the red lane of the surveillance area.
- Go to the nearest customs clearance office.
Buying horses in a country outside the EU
If you buy a horse from a country outside the EU and are going to bring it into Sweden, you must notify Swedish Customs of the horse and pay VAT and any import charges. Remember that, in addition to this, the normal rules for travel with horses also apply (read paragraph above: Travelling with horses).
Special authorisation for endangered animals and plants
Bringing endangered animals and plants across the border is prohibited without special authorisation. The same applies to products made from endangered animals or plants.
This is regulated in the Washington Convention, also known as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The convention is an international agreement between several countries. It aims to save certain animals and plants from extinction.
Anyone found guilty of breaching the convention may be fined or imprisoned.
Last updated: 2020-11-03
What is updated: Quality assured