• Scope / conditions 

    The import provisions apply to all circus animals.

    The term "circus" covers travelling shows or fairs involving one or more animals. These import provisions apply by analogy to dressage animals as well.

    These import provisions apply to temporary import for touring purposes.

    The circus must apply for registration to the competent authority in the country in which the circus is legally domiciled at least 40 days prior to exporting the animals. The circus then receives a unique circus registration number.

    Provided that the animal health regulations are satisfied, the competent authority will issue an animal register and a venue register.

    An animal passport must be issued for each circus animal.

    • A collective passport in conformity with the model laid down in Annex IV of Regulation 1739/2005/EG must be issued for birds and rodents.
    • A pet passport must be issued for dogs, cats and ferrets, and the standard provisions for the import of dogs, cats and ferrets from the EU apply.
    • An official horse passport must be issued for horses and other equidae. For all other animals, an animal passport in conformity with the model laid down in Annex III of Regulation 1739/2005/EC must be issued.

    When the circus animals are imported, they are monitored by the Veterinary Office in accordance with the instructions issued by the Cantonal Veterinary Office, and this monitoring must be continued at each venue. The conditions applicable to this monitoring are adapted to the circumstances. Since, in particular, biungulates and birds imported as circus animals do not (have to) have the same health status as Swiss (livestock) animals, suitable measures must be taken as a primary way of preventing contact with this latter group.

    A circus may only move on to its next venue with the approval of the veterinary officer in the consigning country. To this end, the veterinary officer must check whether the animal register and the animal passports of all the circus animals are up to date. In addition, the venue of departure must not be subject to restrictions as a result of diseases to which animals in the circus are susceptible. The circus may not move on until the veterinary officer has recorded the inspection of the documents in the venue register and signed it. 

    Health certificate / TRACES 

    The veterinary officer in the country of origin must send an electronic TRACES notification. The cantonal authority must record the establishment of destination in Switzerland in the TRACES electronic system before the first import takes place. 

    The current animal register that was checked by the veterinary officer in the country of origin before the circus moved on, the current animal passports and the venue register must be present when the border is crossed. They must be available for inspection by the authorities at any time on request. 

    Additional conditions 

    Bluetongue disease: The additional requirements stipulated in Regulation (EC) 1266/2007 apply to transport between restricted zones.

    Authorisation from the Cantonal Veterinary Office is required for advertising with animals or for animal shows, small animal markets and circuses.

    All the authorisations required from communes and/or cantons for the entire tour must be applied for in good time before entering Switzerland. The animal welfare authorisation (in conformity with Article 41 ff of the Animal Protection Ordinance) is issued by the canton in which the circus or travelling animal show will give its first performance.

    Overarching protective measures 

    The protective measures in force on the day of import apply in all cases. 

    Inspection on entry into the country 

    Please note that it is not possible to import all categories of animals and goods into Switzerland at all border crossing points. The customs authorities have full autonomy in determining the responsibilities of each customs post. 


    Certain animal species are additionally subject to species conservation regulations. Please check the conservation status in the CITES species list (see "Further information") and select the corresponding category using the detailed query option.