The Governor wants to have an overview of all dogs on Svalbard. We therefore request that everyone gives notice when dogs change owners, die or move to the mainland. Email firmapost@sysselmannen.no

Svalbard is not covered by the EEA agreement. This means that sending or bringing animals or animal products from Svalbard to the mainland is strictly regulated. There is also rabies on Svalbard, while the mainland is rabies-free.

There is a prohibition on importing live mammals and birds to Svalbard, but the Food Safety Authority may give permission to import dogs. The regulations governing these imports to Svalbard is called "Regulations concerning the prohibition on importing animals to Svalbard" ("Forskrift om forbud mot innførsel av dyr til Svalbard"). Read the regulations here (Norwegian only)

The export of pets from Svalbard to the mainland is regulated by the "Regulations concerning non-commercial movement of pets" ("Forskrift om ikke-kommersiell forflytning av kjæledyr"). Read the regulations here (Norwegian only).

Dogs to Svalbard

In order to bring a dog to Svalbard, a permit from the Food Safety Authority is required. The case processing time is expected to be three weeks, and the Food Safety Authority must have the application in hand no later than four weeks before your departure in order for you to be ensured a response by departure. Send the application with a copy of the dog passport with vaccinations and blood tests to postmottak@mattilsynet.no

The following requirements must be fulfilled in order for you to bring your dog to Svalbard:

  • The dog must be accompanied by a dog passport or health certificate.
  • The dog must have a microchip identity marker. A tattoo is acceptable if it is easily readable and was made before 3 July 2011. The dog must be ID marked before it receives the rabies vaccine. The identity number must be given in veterinarian certificates and all original documents.
  • The dog must be vaccinated against rabies in accordance with the recommendations of the vaccine producer. The vaccination against rabies must be given when the dog is at least 12 weeks old. For dogs present in areas of heightened risk of rabies infections, a vaccination may be recommended before the dog is 12 weeks old. This does not replace the vaccine that must be given after the dog is 12 weeks old. The dog cannot be transferred to Svalbard until the vaccine is valid after 21 days.
  • For dogs that will be travelling between the mainland and Svalbard, blood tests are required. You must ensure that a blood test is done for your dog in order to document adequate protection against rabies before travel to Svalbard if the dog is to return to the mainland before three months have passed. If a blood test is done after arrival in Svalbard, a waiting period of 90 days from the time the blood test showed a satisfactory level of antibodies is required before the dog can travel to the mainland again. Blood tests can be taken 30 days after the base vaccine was given.
  • The Food Safety Authority also requires that the dog has a valid vaccine against canine distemper and that it has been treated for ectoparasites (fleas, ticks and lice) before transfer to Svalbard. The parasite treatment must be carried out 1-21 days before the transfer and must be certified by a veterinarian. These requirements are imposed to ensure that any dispensation given from the prohibition on bringing animals to Svalbard does not increase animal health risks. This risk is both to the animals already on Svalbard and to those on the mainland at the time your dog may be transferred back there.
  • The dog, passport/health certificate and import permit must be presented at Svalbard airport on arrival. Widerøe Ground Handling AS carries out the control. Contact the service centre and have your documents ready.
  • If you arrive by boat. you must go to the Governor's office for the control. Bring your dog, dog passport and import permit.

Dog from Svalbard

A written permit is not required to bring a dog from Svalbard to the mainland, but all dogs must be checked before entering the Schengen area.Travellers from Svalbard may arrive on the mainland via Tromsø Airport or Oslo Airport. It is also possible to arrive on the mainland by boat at the ports in Tromsø or Bodø. On arrival, the dog must be controlled by Norwegian Customs or the Food Safety Authority. As the owner, you must present your dog and the passport/certificate without being asked. You must document that:

  • The dog has an identity marking.
  • The dog has its base vaccine and any boosters against rabies in accordance with the recommendations of the producer of the vaccine.
  • The dog has had a blood test taken at the earliest 30 days after the vaccine against rabies was given (and 365 days at the latest). An analysis from an approved laboratory must at minimum show a level of antibodies against the rabies virus of 0.5 IE/ml. Puppies must be 12 weeks or older when the vaccine that forms the basis for the testing is given.
  • Documentation of satisfactory blood tests. An authorised veterinarian must document a blood test that shows a satisfactory level of antibodies in the dog's passport. If the blood test is done on Svalbard, there is a 90-day waiting period after a positive test before the dog may be brought to the mainland
  • The dog must be treated for echinococcosis (e.g. Echinococcus multilocularis) 24-120 hours (1-5 days) before departure, and the treatment must be confirmed in the passport by an authorised veterinarian.
  • Dogs born on Svalbard that do not have a dog passport need to have a health certificate issued by the Food Safety Authority 10 days before departure at the earliest.

Note that airlines may have their own rules for bringing pets on board. Contact the airline for more information.

Note:

On arrival on the mainland, you must exit through Red to go through customs and present your dog and its passport/health certificate to Customs or the Food Safety Authority on your own initiative.

If you are going to Tromsø Airport or arriving by boat, you should notify the Food Safety Authority 48 hours in advance to avoid unnecessary wait times. Ring +47 22 40 00 00 or send a message to postmottak@mattilsynet.no

No advance notice is necessary for arrival at Oslo Airport.

Cats and ferrets

No permit is issued for bringing cats or ferrets to Svalbard.

Caged birds, rabbits and rodents

No special permit is needed to bring caged birds, rabbits or rodents from Norway and Sweden, or for caged birds brought from Finland. However, these animals must have identification documents issued by an authorised veterinarian in the sending country.

Violating the terms for importing animals to Svalbard will have consequences for you and your animal.

The rules are there to protect both humans and animals from serious contagious diseases. The requirements are absolute. If you violate them, the Food Safety Authority will consider reporting you to the police. If you have brought an animal to Svalbard without the necessary permits, the Food Safety Authority will also require the animal to leave Svalbard as soon as possible. This may be done through:

  • An immediate return, without the animal ever leaving the airport terminal. In this case, the animal may return to the mainland without any restrictions.
  • A return after a brief stay on Svalbard. In this case, the animal must be quarantined for four months on the mainland. In Norway, there is a quarantine station at Airpet quarantine station at Oslo Airport.
  • Euthanasia.

Keeping dogs on Svalbard

  • The dog must not be tied up outside without continuous monitoring, but must be kept in a dog pen or family home.
  • The Animal Welfare Act applies in Svalbard and dogs must be cared for in accordance with the requirements in the Act.