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What Documentation do I Need for my Tortoises to Travel?

By: Hsin-Yi Cohen BSc, MA, MSt - Updated: 18 Apr 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Import Reptiles France Pet Reptile

Q.I am moving abroad to France and I am going to be taking my 2 Mediteranian Spurr Thigh Tortoises with me. From what I have read on various websites these tortoises come under the endangered list, and I understand that I will need documentation to transport them across to France. What documentation do I need and where do I get it from?

(Mr Andy Marr, 24 September 2008)

A.

France allows private individuals to import a maximum of 5 pet reptiles, per family – provided that they are not put up for sale or sold, under any circumstances and that they are accompanied by a health certificate which has the signature of an authorised veterinarian from the country of export. The reptiles will be examined on arrival and must be shown to be free of any evidence of disease, especially of lesions in the skin.

The health certificate should be issued by a “local veterinary inspector” or a private veterinary surgeon who is authorised to issue certificates for the importation and exportation of pets. This Certificate of Good Health should be in both languages and should testify that your pet reptile shows now signs of a contagious disease of the species. It should also be issued between 1 and 5 days before your pet arrives in France. (To find an authorised veterinary surgeon, contact DEFRA)

In addition, the owner of the reptile must declare that “He/She is the owner of the animal that he/she is accompanying and he/she will not sell it on" - and the reptile must travel with an approved pet travel company, although in some instances, you may be allowed to travel with your pet.

These are the general rules which apply to any pet reptile being imported into France. If the reptile is of a species which belongs to the Endangered list, then additional requirements will apply. France is party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. This means that it is unlawful to import species listed by the Convention – including wild birds, reptiles, crustaceans, fish as well as any part or product (such as skins, feathers, eggs) and products and articles manufactured from wildlife and fish - unless authorised by permit.

Therefore, as these tortoises are members of a species covered by the Convention on Endangered Species - in order to take these tortoises into France, the owner will need to acquire a CITES permit, which will proved authorisation for the import.

For more information, contact CITES (http://www.cites.org/) or

Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

1A Page Street

London, England SW1 4PQ

Tel: +44 (0) 207 904 6222

Fax: +44 (0) 207 904 6834

Website: www.defra.gov.uk

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Saffron - 18-Apr-17 @ 5:03 PM
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Our Response:
You would have to take information from the article and contact DEFRA in the UK, and you would have to do some research from your end, as we are only familiar with taking tortoises out of the UK.
ReptileExpert - 18-Aug-16 @ 10:51 AM
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Polly P - Your Question:
I am going to Greece on holiday in April,and wish to import to the uk a tortoise. What paperwork will l need to comply with UK legislation? And will the airline allow me to take it on the plane ,albeit in the hold perhaps? The airline will be Ryanair. Thanks

Our Response:
As a result, in February 1999, wild-caught specimens of a further 18 species were banned from import into the EU.Only captive-bred tortoises or those imported before the ban of these 18 species are now allowed in commercial trade. The Tortoise Protection Group aims to inform the general public of the licensing requirements which we believe will help stop the illegal trade continuing and hopefully reduce the taking of tortoises from their natural environment and thus depleting the number of tortoises in the wild - please see link here which will highlight your options.
ReptileExpert - 5-Apr-16 @ 2:55 PM
I am going to Greece on holiday in April,and wish to import to the uk a tortoise. What paperwork will l need to comply with UKlegislation? And will the airline allow me to take it on the plane ,albeit in the hold perhaps? The airline will be Ryanair. Thanks
Polly P - 5-Apr-16 @ 12:47 AM
How did you get on taking your tortoises to France?
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Our Response:
I have included a gov.uk link: 'importing non-native animals - what you need to know' here. The leaflet describes the rules that you must follow before you import any non-native animal into Great Britain. I hope this helps.
ReptileExpert - 16-Dec-15 @ 11:53 AM
Hi I am moving to Ireland from Japan and I have two Testudo graeca tortoises that I have had for a few years now, I want to bring them with me. How would I go about this and what documents and requirements will I need to have?
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Our Response:
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Our Response:
I have included a gov.uk link: 'importing non-native animals - what you need to know' here. The leaflet describes the rules that you must follow before you import any non-native animal into Great Britain. I hope this helps.
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aurora - 25-Aug-15 @ 4:25 PM
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cleodie - 1-Apr-15 @ 8:26 PM
@Staceybwood- I think it is a matter of applying the guidelines in the article which would apply as similarly in Gibralter as France and getting in touch with the contacts given should you need any further advice.
ReptileExpert - 14-Jan-15 @ 11:27 AM
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Staceybwood - 13-Jan-15 @ 6:32 PM
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