Transport of live animals

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Do you transport live (vertebrate) animals (in Dutch)? You need a carrier’s license and the required certifications. Your vehicle must also meet certain requirements. These regulations apply to carriers, livestock farmers, and collection centres.

Carrier’s licence

Do you transport animals over a distance of more than 65 kilometres? You need a carrier’s licence. You apply for a carrier’s licence (in Dutch) to the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (Nederlandse Voedsel- en Warenautoriteit, NVWA). The duration of the transport determines what type of carrier’s licence you need:

  • a licence for transports of less than 8 hours including loading and unloading (vergunning type I, in Dutch), or
  • a licence for transports longer than 8 hours (vergunning type II, in Dutch)

A carrier’s license is valid for 5 years. You cannot extend the carrier’s license. You have to apply for a new carrier’s license 6 weeks before your current licence expires.

You do not need a carrier’s license if the distance of the transport is less than 65 kilometres.


Drivers who transport live animals must hold a valid certificate of competence. This also applies to anyone handling the animals in a professional capacity during transport:

A certificate is valid for 5 years. After that, you must renew your certificate.

You do not need a certificate if the distance of the transport is less than 65 kilometres.

Vehicle certification

Does your transport take longer than 8 hours? Your vehicle must be inspected by the Netherlands Vehicle Authority (RDW) in order to obtain a VLD certificate (in Dutch).

Your vehicle must meet general requirements for means of transport. Your vehicle must also meet requirements for long duration transport of live animals. There are also specific requirements for transport per animal species.

If you modify your vehicle or start transporting other animals, your VLD-certificate is no longer valid. You must have your vehicle re-inspected.

You do not need a certificate if the distance of the transport is less than 65 kilometres.

Transport documentation

If you transport poultry or livestock, (cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, or horses), you will need a transport document. You must carry this document on the vehicle during the transport.

You can use the standard transport document (in Dutch) from the NVWA for the transport of:

  • poultry
  • horses
  • cattle (you can also use an example from your sector association)

For the transport of sheep and goats you can download the transport document (pdf, in Dutch) from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).

For the transport of pigs 2 databases are assigned for authorising transports and registering movements. Apply for the transport document (in Dutch) at 1 of these databases.