The Dreaded USDA Form

This information is specifically generated for pet import/export for FRANCE.  For more information on traveling with your dog to France, please visit our France Resources page.

If you are traveling to France for surgery with your dog, you will either have to make the trip to the USDA's office for your pet's USDA travel certificate or send the documents via courier.  This post includes examples to assist you in this process.  

The most important pages are one and six.  In this example, the owner had two microchips implanted in his dog:  an old ten-digit chip and a new fifteen-digit ISO standard chip.  On page one, fill out the full details of your fifteen digit chip and if you also have an old ten digit chip, fill out only the chip number and the transponder option, otherwise they will think you have two separate animals traveling.

PAGE 1 OF 7

PAGE 1 OF 7

Page 2 gets left blank per the USDA.

PAGE 2 OF 7

PAGE 2 OF 7

Page 3 is filled out by the vet and includes all valid vaccinations.

PAGE 3 OF 7

PAGE 3 OF 7

Page 4 is left blank per the USDA.

PAGE 4 OF 7

PAGE 4 OF 7

Page 5 is left blank per the USDA.

PAGE 5 OF 7

PAGE 5 OF 7

Page six is where your accredited USDA veterinarian fills out their listed USDA name and number as well as signs the document (signature should preferably be an ink color other than black).  If any wrong name is listed or the document is a copy, the USDA's office will not accept the document.  You must use original ink signatures.

PAGE 6 OF 7

PAGE 6 OF 7

Page 7

PAGE 7 OF 7

PAGE 7 OF 7

Your vet should be doing this all for you.  These examples are to ensure your registered USDA vet fills out the paperwork correctly and you aren't delayed.

Helpful Tips:

>> Before completing the health certificate, contact your local USDA office to confirm that your veterinarian is listed as active and accredited in their system, and confirm the amount of time it takes your local office to process a health certificate submission.

>> The USDA forms are invalid if they are completed more than 10 days prior to arriving in France. Remember to build in time for delayed or cancelled flights and/or delayed return shipment of your endorsed health certificate.

>> Fill out as much of the USDA form as possible prior to your veterinarian visit. The health certificate must be completed, reviewed, and signed by a USDA accredited veterinarian.

>> Prepare two copies of the health certificate and ask your veterinarian to complete them both so you have a back-up copy in case your forms are delayed or lost in shipment.

>> Your USDA office will not accept copies of the forms, only originals.

>> Many USDA offices will offer to check your forms via fax or email for accuracy and completion prior to you submitting the forms. Call your local office to arrange support.

>> Where possible, it is highly recommended that you drive your health certificate and supporting documentation to your local USDA office and have them certified in person. The overnight shipment method is not always effective and can cause a lot of stress leading up to travel.

>> If you choose to ship your documents to your local USDA office, make sure you retain one set of originals for your records, and send the second set of originals along with the application fee and pre-paid overnight return labele via an overnight express carrier with tracking capability.

>> If you plan to go to your local USDA office in person, please check with the office to see if walk-ins are accepted or if an appointment is needed. Plan well in advance if an appointment is needed, there could be limited availability.

>> USDA no longer waives the application fee if you have an ESA letter. The current fee is $38.