Hobby-birds

Please note! You can find Finnish national legislation at Finlex and EU legislation at EUR-Lex links on the right margin. Guidance for searching decisions of the EU legislation you can find here.

N.B. The import conditions for Iceland, Switzerland, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Croatia, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and the Vatican are the same as for EU countries.

The import conditions for commercial and non-commercial imports are different. The import conditions for hobby birds, i.e. the conditions for commercial imports of birds, apply to birds if the bird or birds travel alone, there are 6 birds or more or they are intended for sale or mediation.

If a bird is transported by air to Finland or another EU country without an accompanying person, it must meet the conditions for a commercial import. The model of health certificate is different - refer to the link on the right. Imports are also considered non-commercial if the pet and the accompanying person are in the same means of transport (generally an aeroplane), even if the pet's shipping box travels in the hold. The import conditions for hobby birds do not apply, for example, to poultry or birds intended for zoos, circuses or amusement parks or to racing pigeons. A more precise definition of the scope is given in Commission Regulation (EC) No 318/2007.

Enquiries for advice on imports of hobby birds from non-EU countries should be sent by e-mail to: lentoasema at-merkki.gif : 1Kb evira.fi 

The Decree 867/2008 of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on the animal disease requirements relating to imports of poultry and other birds and their hatching eggs from certain countries outside of the European Community of poultry and other birds contains the import conditions for hobby birds.

1. Countries approved for imports

The country of origin must be approved for imports of birds to the EU. These countries are third countries or parts thereof listed in columns 1 and 3 in part 1 of Annex I of Commission Decision 798/2008 or Annex I of Commission Regulation (EC) No. 318/2007.

All the hobby-bird species approved for import are the ones thats veterinary certificate is mentioned in column 4, part 1 of Annex 1. 

Imports are also restricted by Commission safeguard measures.

2. Health certificate

Birds must be accompanied by an original health certificate issued by an official veterinarian of the country of origin and in accordance with Annex III of Commission Regulation (EC) No. 318/2007, which includes the requirement of a clinical examination not later than 48 hours prior to dispatch. When planning imports you should note that the other requirements in section II.1 and the requirements relating to transport of the birds in section II.2 of the model of health certificate must also be met. The health certificate must be completed in the official language of the MemberState through which the birds enter the Community.

Imports of birds are only permissible if the birds meet the following conditions :

  1. The birds are captive bred birds;
  2. The birds are introduced from approved breeding establishments which meet the conditions laid down in Article 4 of Commission Regulation (EC) No. 318/2007;
  3. The birds were subject to a laboratory virus detection test 7 – 14 days prior to shipment with negative results for any avian influenza and Newcastle disease virus;
  4. The birds have not been vaccinated against avian influenza;
  5. The birds are identified with an individual identification number by means of a uniquely marked seamlessly closed leg-ring or a microchip in accordance with Article 66(2) of Commission Regulation (EC) No. 865/2006 [7];
  6. The individual identification number of leg-rings or microchips provided for in point 5 must bear at least the following information:
    - the ISO code of the exporting third country performing the identification
    - a unique serial number;
  7. The individual identification number provided for in point 5 must be registered on the animal health certificate;
  8. The birds are transported in new containers which are individually identified externally with an identification number that must correspond with the identification number indicated on the animal health certificate.´

3. Approved quarantine facilities and centres

A list of approved quarantine facilities and centres is provided in Annex V of Regulation (EC) No. 318/2007. There are no approved quarantine facilities or centres in Finland, therefore it is not possible to import hobby birds directly to Finland. The birds must be kept at an approved quarantine facility or centre in another MemberState for at least 30 days before their arrival in Finland.

Official quarantine facilities are available in the following EU countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and the United Kingdom (please notice, that the situation might change).

4. Approved points of entry

Hobby birds may not be imported directly to Finland. A bird or birds may only be imported to the EU from a non-EU country via a border crossing point where there is a veterinary border inspection post approved for the inspection of birds. Therefore at present it is no permissible, for example, to commercially import birds to Finland on a direct flight from a non-EU country. The birds must first be brought to another EU country (generally to an airport) where there is a veterinary border inspection post approved for the inspection of birds, and an approved quarantine facility or centre no more than nine hours away.

At the veterinary border inspection post the birds are subject to a veterinary border inspection as laid down in MAF`s Decree 398/2004 (Eb 6) of Finnish veterinary legislation.

The Commission’s website gives the contact details of border inspection posts in EU countries. Border inspection posts approved for the inspection of birds are identified with the letter O in column 6. Well before the date of import, importers should contact the border inspection post in the relevant EU country (where in principle the same rules apply as in Finland) to ensure that it is approved for the inspection of birds and that there is space in the quarantine facility.

Importers must make prior notification of the arrival of the birds to the veterinary border inspection post at the latest on the working day preceding the date of import using the web-based TRACES system (link on the right). However, it is worthwhile acquainting yourself with the TRACES system in good time - two weeks prior to importation is advisable. Importers should contact the veterinary border inspection post where the inspection is to be performed well before the date of importation, and the time of inspection must always be agreed in advance. A fee is charged for the veterinary border inspection. Fees vary depending on the EU Member State and the border inspection post. Importers are also responsible for all quarantine fees, so it is also advisable to check these in advance.

If importing rare or endangered animals, such as certain parrots, the CITES Convention must also be respected. CITES (the Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) requires export and import licences or an import declaration for certain animal species. Further information on permits for the species covered by CITES is available from Finnish Customs and the Finnish Environment Institute: citesymparisto.fi.

5. Certificate of granting of quarantine

Importers must present a written certificate in the official language of the MemberState through which the birds enter the Community signed by the person responsible for the quarantine facility or centre proving that the birds have been granted quarantine.

The certificate:

a) must clearly state the name and address and approval number of the quarantine facility or centre;
b) should be e-mailed or faxed to the border inspection post prior to the arrival of the consignment at the border inspection post, or the importer or the importer’s representative must present it before the birds are released from the border inspection post.

6. What if an animal imported from a non-EU country does not meet the above requirements?

a) the animal is returned to the country of origin, or
b) the animal is isolated under official supervision and at the expense of the animal’s importer until it meets the health requirements, or
c) as a last resort, if the animal cannot be returned or isolated in quarantine, it is put down.

(18018ENU)

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