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Travelling back to Greece from San Francisco with 2 cats!! Help!!

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  • Travelling back to Greece from San Francisco with 2 cats!! Help!!

    I am travelling with Lufthansa on 19 October back to Thessaloniki, Greece from San Francisco. I will be accompanied by my 2 cats who are travelling cargo (as they did on their journey to the US on 13 August 2014 (8 weeks ago). We entered the US using an EU passport for each animal which shows all their innoculations etc which are all up to date and do not need redone until 2015. I would like to know the procedure for returning as I do not want any hiccups at the airport. I understand that I should have a veterinarian check them over to make sure they are fit to fly but my question is this - Does the veterinarian stamp the page in the EU passport saying that he certifies they are ok to travel or is there some other documentation that I need. Logic tells me that the EU passport was introduced to make travelling easier and it certainly was on coming to the US but is it the same on the return? No one seems to know. I have tried Lufthansa, Immigration, Consulates and everyone passes me on to someone else!! I cannot be the only European trying to leave the US with animals that were accepted into the country 8 weeks ago. There must be a procedure! Can anyone out there advise??? Much appreciated!!!

  • #2
    Re: Travelling back to Greece from San Francisco with 2 cats!! Help!!

    Elaine - your cats can travel back to Greece with a health certificate and an EU pet passport as long as your cats' vaccinations have not expired or they have not been in a high-rabies country since leaving the EU. The US vet does not need to stamp the EU pet passport. You should get an APHIS 7001 or equivalent health certificate for the airlines. (checking on endorsement requirements) If the cats were vaccinated in the US, then an Annex II form would be required.
    Susan

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    • #3
      Re: Travelling back to Greece from San Francisco with 2 cats!! Help!!

      Hi Susan! Thank you for your help. The cats flew directly to US from Greece and will return via Munich (2hour stopoff) so have not been in a high-rabies country. The cats were vaccinated in Greece and these vaccinations will not expire until 2015 (April). You say that the US vet does not "need" to stamp the EU pet passport. Could he, though? There is a specific page for certifying the health of the animal for travelling to its destination. My vet in Greece stamped this page. Couldn't the US vet just do the same or is there some legal problem here? What is an APHIS 7001 and where do I get these forms, if required? Sorry to be a nuisance but I have been trying to figure this out for quite some time!

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      • #4
        Re: Travelling back to Greece from San Francisco with 2 cats!! Help!!

        I guess the USDA vet could stamp the passport. There have been problems of late with US vets entering vaccination information in EU pet passports, and we have learned that this is a definite no-no for the EU. (which is why I asked whether your cats' vaccinations have expired.) The APHIS form can be obtained at an US vet and it is only for the airlines, as many of them do not like the EU passport when used as a health certificate. Our approach is to make sure you have more than you need so there are no problems. The best thing to do may be to call your airline and ask them what they will accept as a health certficate. You should not need USDA endorsement as your pets are not registered in the US. You are not a nuisance. We are here to assist traveling pet owners and have been doing that since 1998. Gotta love it to do it that long. )
        Susan

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        • #5
          Re: Travelling back to Greece from San Francisco with 2 cats!! Help!!

          You appear to be the only person who understands the system!!
          Originally posted by admin View Post
          I guess the USDA vet could stamp the passport. There have been problems of late with US vets entering vaccination information in EU pet passports, and we have learned that this is a definite no-no for the EU. (which is why I asked whether your cats' vaccinations have expired.) The APHIS form can be obtained at an US vet and it is only for the airlines, as many of them do not like the EU passport when used as a health certificate. Our approach is to make sure you have more than you need so there are no problems. The best thing to do may be to call your airline and ask them what they will accept as a health certficate. You should not need USDA endorsement as your pets are not registered in the US. You are not a nuisance. We are here to assist traveling pet owners and have been doing that since 1998. Gotta love it to do it that long. )
          Susan

          Hi Susan!! thank you for your time and patience. I have taken your advice and phoned Lufthansa (3rd time!!) and asked your question."what would Lufthansa accept as a Health Certificate?" This time they confirmed that a US vet could stamp the EU passport in the section that is for Certification of Health for travel since the animals are from another country and all vaccinations are in order and that they wouldn't require any USDA or APHIS forms. Now why couldn't they have told me this from the beginning, I really don't know!!! Let's hope the vet will now agree to sign the Passport!! Once again thanks a lot!! Great site, great people!!!!!

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