Bringing pets to Germany just got more expensive

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Bringing your pets into Germany is about to get a bit more expensive for those flying into Ramstein Air Base.

A new fee for required pet examinations will kick in Friday at Ramstein, which handles the bulk of U.S. personnel arriving in Germany.

Local officials will levy a flat 55-euro fee to cover the examination of up to five animals belonging to the same owner, said Dr. Georgia Matt-Haen, a spokeswoman for Landkreis Kaiserslautern.

To ward against introducing animals with rabies, EU regulations have required the exams since 2004, according to Matt-Haen. At Ramstein, the inspections have been carried out by a veterinarian on the Landkreis Kaiserslautern payroll.

A new law requires that pet owners themselves cover the cost of the inspections, she said, and “for providing the service, we are forced to take some fee.”

The fees, due on arrival, are payable only by credit card and cannot be claimed for reimbursement, according to Army and Air Force news releases.

Similar fees are already levied at Frankfurt Airport, according to Maik Rothe, who works at the airport’s veterinary border inspection office.

At Frankfurt, it costs 35 euros on weekdays to inspect each animal accompanied by its owner, Rothe said, and 50 percent more on weekends and national holidays. Inspections for unaccompanied animals cost 55 euros on weekdays and 50 percent more on weekends and holidays.

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