When I recently moved to Norway, I knew I wasn’t going to make the trip without my dog.
Prior to moving, the most difficult part of the move wasn’t going to be packing up my things or selling my life away…it was actually, in fact, getting my dog here without any issues. It’s funny because now that I am settled here and looking for work I laugh at how easy the process ended up actually being.
First off, I recommend starting the process at least 3 months prior to moving here. And, the animal must be up-to-date on their rabies shots, but, one of the required tests can only be done 4 months after having the rabies shot. So, if you know you are moving here, I would suggest getting the rabies shot (if outdated or will become outdated soon) 6-7 months prior to moving to Norway. I also want to mention that Norway does not currently require quarantines for animals moving here.
Once the rabies shot meets qualifications, the dog must be micro-chipped. This has to be done before any other procedures are done because Norway uses this chip number as identification on other paperwork. Also, make sure the micro-chip is internationally capable. I kind of had a scare by someone who had previously moved to Norway about this, as they had issues upon arrival to Norway a few years back. However, after doing more research on it, I learned most microchips are internationally capable… but I would check on yours just to be sure.
2-3 months prior to the move
Once the animal is micro-chipped, the dog must have its blood taken for a titer/titration test. This is a KEY factor in moving here and it is crucial to have it done 2-3 months prior. This test is sent to a lab (mine was sent to Europe) to be tested and they say it takes around 25 days. And it really does take this long. If the test results do not come back in time for your move, too bad…the animal can not move with at the time. This test will check the rabies vaccination to ensure it worked, hence why you must have the dog up-to-date on its rabies vaccination.
10 days prior to the move
All tests and shots at this point should be up-to-date and your
results from the titer test are back. Now you can get your dog the tapeworm treatment. After this is administered, your dog is cleared for international travel! You must also at this time have the vet fill out the veterinary certificate. The vet does not have to be a state official, just your normal vet (as long as they are legit of course). If dogs move from Europe, they will have to have a separate passport, but dogs moving from the United States just need this vet paperwork. You can download this vet certificate HERE (it is in Norwegian and English).
48 hours prior to departure
At this time, you must contact the food authority in Norway (do this over phone). Be sure you have your flight number and detailed information about your arrival time, etc, handy to give the officials. I would also ensure you keep their contact information on you throughout the duration of the trip in case of delays and emergencies. Someone from the food authority will be sending out a person to check and approve the animal at the airport…that is why they need this information.
Arrival in Norway
I will be doing a completely separate post soon about how to travel with an animal, in particular when they are too big to go as a carry-on, but have to travel with luggage. Once arriving in Norway, you will not see your dog right away. You will need to go through customs and you will be meeting your dog in baggage claim. You may have to wait a bit, but the food authority personnel will be bringing your dog into baggage claim themselves.
Once you see the dog arrive in baggage claim with the authorities, they will simply just need to check your paperwork to ensure everything is done correctly and they will also test the microchip. The dog will not be allowed out of its cage, however… so it may take a bit for them to find the microchip. Once they approve, you will take the dog through the “green” portion where you do not declare it. Simple…you’re done! Well, almost…
Within 7 days of your arrival
You must find a local vet and administer part 2 of the tapeworm vaccination. The vet paperwork you have will indicate the exact information. And you’re done!
I never received a bill from the food authorities here in Norway although I suspected I would.
My opinion on the process was that it was stressful as it began, but the Norwegian authorities made it so easy once I was in land. I was relieved because my dog had been flying for over 24 hours and they made it their priority to get him out of his cage as soon as possible since he was so scared. I can only speak for Bergen Flesland, but I can’t imagine it would be any worse at other airports within Norway. They really had sympathy for him after such a long flight and were very pleasant to work with.