Dogs with QR code tags on their collars

Identification & Registration at eu level

What legislation exists for identification & registration of companion animals in the EU?


There is no EU requirement for the mandatory identification & registration of cats, dogs, and ferrets, meaning that the legal framework for I&R varies from member state to member state.

Regulation (EU) No 576/2013 requires identification of animals that cross country borders. This is necessary because when crossing borders, national authorities need to be able to match the information on the microchip with the information in the accompanying documents that include the vaccination status of the animal. The Regulation does not foresee a system to validate health and ownership data through the establishment of a common database, yet a Commission Statement at the end of it stresses that if deemed appropriate, in the future (…) “the Commission will consider appropriate options for the protection of human and animal health, including proposing to the European Parliament and to the Council appropriate adaptations to current Union legislation on trade in dogs and cats, including the introduction of compatible systems for their registration accessible across Member States. In light of the above, the Commission will assess the feasibility and appropriateness of an extension of such registration systems to dogs and cats marked and identified in accordance with Union legislation on non-commercial movements of pet animals.”

Based on Articles 109(20) and 118 of The Animal Health Law (Regulation (EU) 2016/429), the Commission could introduce a proposal for detailed, EU-wide, compatible systems for the I&R of cats and dogs, setting a minimum level of required information to be included in I&R databases for individual animal identification, and establishing rules for the exchange of electronic data between databases in the Member States, which should be interconnected. Until now the Commission does not see the need to introduce the registration requirement for animals that are moved either for trade or for non-commercial purposes. This means that EU law remains as it is, only requiring microchipping without registration at a database in a reliable, identity-verified and fraud-proof way that would help bring about accountability of all stakeholders throughout the animal’s lifespan.

two puppies with their passports