Pet Travel to Martinique

Please refer to the France pet travel page for guidelines and protocol.


  • Your pet must have a working microchip (also called a “transponder”) before getting its rabies vaccination for travel to the EU, and your veterinarian must always scan the microchip before giving your pet a rabies vaccination.
  • If your pet does not yet have a microchip or has a microchip that doesn’t work, ask your veterinarian to implant an ISO-compliant* microchip.
  • If your pet has a working microchip, but it is not ISO compliant,* you will need to travel with your own scanner that can read the microchip OR have a second microchip implanted that is ISO compliant.* Make sure both microchips are listed on the health certificate!

*ISO-compliant microchip numbers are usually 15 digits long and meet specific international standards (ISO 11784 and ISO 11785). You can check ISO-compliance with the microchip manufacturer.

Rabies Vaccination

“Primary” Rabies Vaccination:

  • The first rabies vaccination your pet gets after its microchip or after any lapse in coverage is a “primary” rabies vaccination according to EU rules.
  • For all pets vaccinated in the United States, a “primary” rabies vaccination is only valid for 1 year. Even if your pet is an adult animal and receives a three-year vaccine, if it is a “primary” rabies vaccination according to EU rules, it is only valid for 1 year.
  • If your pet does not receive another rabies vaccination within 1 year of a “primary” rabies vaccination, it means the vaccination coverage lapsed and you must start over. Even if the vaccination coverage only lapses by a day, the next rabies vaccination is again considered a “primary” rabies vaccination, and it is only valid for 1 year.

“Booster” Rabies Vaccination:

  • If your pet does get its next rabies vaccination within 1 year of a “primary” rabies vaccination, this “booster” rabies vaccination can be valid for 1-3 years, according to the vaccine manufacturer’s instructions.

Note: If your pet’s most recent rabies vaccination before traveling to the EU is a “booster” rabies vaccination (rather than “primary”), you are responsible for providing all relevant rabies vaccination certificates to prove there was no lapse in coverage since the “primary” rabies vaccination.

Reminder! Rabies Vaccinations do NOT count according to EU rules if:

  • Your pet got the vaccination before it had a microchip; or
  • Your pet got the vaccination without first having its microchip scanned.

Your pet should travel with all relevant rabies vaccination certificate(s), and it is strongly recommended the microchip number is recorded on all rabies vaccination certificate(s).

21-Day Waiting Period

After any “primary” rabies vaccination, your pet must wait 21 days before traveling to the EU. Your pet can travel to the EU less than 21 days after a “booster” rabies vaccination, but then the previous rabies vaccination must also be included on the health certificate.

Want to simplify your paperwork?
Ask your veterinarian to give your pet a 1-year rabies vaccination (after scanning the microchip) at least 21 days before your travel to the EU but less than one year before your travel date (for example, 3-6 months before travel date). That way, no matter the rabies vaccination history, you only have to keep up with one vaccination certificate instead of several! Doing it this way also makes it easier for the USDA endorsement office to review, which means you get your endorsed certificate back faster.

If your pet is less than 16 weeks old and cannot meet the above requirements, click here.