United Kingdom Pet Passport & Import Regulations
Unless otherwise stated, the regulations below apply to domestic dogs, cats and ferrets including service and emotional support dogs and cats. Owners of other pets should refer to item 12.
A tattoo is an acceptable form of identification as long as it was given prior to July 3, 2011, is clearly visible and your pet's current rabies vaccination was administered after the tattoo was applied
If your pet is entering the United Kingdom from a rabies-free (click here) or rabies-controlled country (click here), it will need a rabies vaccination after the microchip is implanted and more than 21 days prior to entry but not more than the expiration date of the manufacturer of the vaccine.
If your dog, cat or ferret has a current rabies vaccination but no microchip, it will have to be vaccinated again after the microchip is implanted and wait 21 days before travel
The United Kingdom does honor the 2 and 3 year rabies vaccines.
Once you have entered the United Kingdom, a 21 day waiting period is not required for subsequent visits, provided rabies boosters are kept up to date, and the other entry requirements are met.
Rabies Titer Test
If your pet is entering the United Kingdom from a high-rabies country (click here), your pet must be microchipped, then vaccinated for rabies (in that order). After waiting 30 days, a rabies titer test (FAVN) must be administered. (Have your veterinarian scan your pet's microchip prior to the titer test.) Samples must be processed at approved laboratories. Assuming test results within acceptable limits, your pet can enter the United Kingdom no sooner than 3 calendar months after the date the blood was drawn and avoid quarantine. This step is not required unless entering the United Kingdom from a high-rabies country (click here). If you do not have 3 calendar months before traveling, your pet will be quarantined for the balance of time required to fulfill the 3 months.
Tapeworm Treatment - Dogs Only
Before your dog can enter the United Kingdom, it must be treated against certain tapeworms one to five days prior to entering the country unless your pet is entering directly from Finland, Ireland, Malta or Norway.
Here is where the rules differ and depend on whether or not you or a legal representative of yours is traveling within 5 days of your pet's transport.
The owner or a legal representative of the owner is traveling with or within 5 days of the pet. If this is correct, then your pet will travel under non-commercial regulations as follows:
Traveling to the United Kingdom from a country outside of the EU:
- Regulations in steps 1 and 2 apply. If traveling to the United Kingdom from a high-rabies country, step 3 will apply.
- A licensed veterinarian in the originating country must complete the non-commercial EU health certificate for the United Kingdom within 10 days of travel. If your pet is traveling from the United States or Canada, the veterinarian must be accredited by the USDA or CFIA respectively and the non-commercial EU health certificate must be endorsed by the local USDA (United States) or CFIA (Canada) office. If you are traveling from another country to the UK, the government agency responsible for the import and export of live animals must endorse the form.
This form is good for transports of 5 or less animals. (see item 5 if you are traveling with more than 5 pets.)
You or your representative must sign a Declaration of Non-Commercial Transport stating that your pet's transport does not involve the sale or transfer of ownership of your pet.
Traveling to the United Kingdom from another EU Member State:
- Regulations in steps 1 and 2 apply.
- Have your veterinarian update an EU Pet Passport for your pet. A non-commercial EU health certificate is not required for pets traveling to the United Kingdom from another EU Member State unless a rabies booster was administered by a veterinarian outside of the EU at any time after your pet received its microchip.
The owner or a legal representative of the owner is not traveling with or within 5 days of the pet OR the purpose of the transport involves a sale or transfer of ownership. If either of these is correct, then your pet will travel under commercial regulations as follows:
Traveling to the United Kingdom from a rabies-free or rabies-controlled country outside the EU:
- Regulations in steps 1 and 2 apply.
- A licensed veterinarian in the originating country must complete the commercial EU health certificate within 48 hours of travel. If your pet is traveling from the United States or Canada, the veterinarian must be accredited by the USDA or CFIA respectively and the commercial EU health certificate must be endorsed by the local USDA (United States) or CFIA (Canada) office. If you are traveling from another country to the UK, the government agency responsible for the import and export of live animals must endorse the form.
This form is good for transports of 5 or less animals. (see item 6 for transports of more than 5 pets.)
- Your pet must enter through an approved Border Inspection Post (BIP) at an international airport in London Heathrow, Gatwick or Edinburgh. Notice must be given 24 hours prior to arrival.
- All dogs, cats and ferrets may enter the United Kingdom commercially from a rabies-free or rabies-controlled countries. Dogs, cats and ferrets may only enter the United Kingdom commercially from these high-rabies countries and must have a titer test according to step #3 above.
Traveling to the United Kingdom from another EU Member State:
- Regulations in steps 1 and 2 apply.
- If your pet is traveling to the United Kingdom alone from another EU country, it must travel from a licensed premises which is registered with the governing authority in your EU country responsible for the import and export of pets. Your veterinarian must obtain and update an EU Pet Passport for your pet. Your pet's transport must be accompanied by an Intratrade health certificate completed within 48 hours of entry.
Entering the United Kingdom from Malaysia & Australia
If your pet is entering the United Kingdom from peninsular Malaysia, the following conditions must be met:
1. Your pet has had no contact with pigs during at least the past 60 days prior to export.
2. Your pet has not lived in a place where cases of Nipah disease have been confirmed during the past 60 days.
3. Your pet has been tested with negative a result to an IgG capture ELISA test carried out in a laboratory approved for testing for Nipah disease viruses within 10 days of export.
Cats may only enter the United Kingdom from Australia under the condition that they have not lived in areas where cases of Hendra disease have been confirmed during the past 60 days.
Traveling with more than 5 pets
If you are traveling with more than 5 pets that are 6 months or older, unless you are going to a show or competition, your pets must meet the requirements as listed above (Annex I instead of Annex IV form), and have endorsement from the government agency that regulates the import and export of animals. The transport must be handled by a licensed agent. If you are entering the United Kingdom from a non-EU rabies-controlled or rabies-free country, you will need to enter through an approved Border Inspection Post and give 24 hours notice of arrival.
Entering the United Kingdom by Air
Due to regulations set by commercial airlines approved to fly animals to the UK, pets must arrive as manifest cargo on an approved airline unless they are medically certified service animals or documented emotional support animals and your airline has a program that supports the transport of these animals in the cabin.
Pets traveling non-commercially entering by air from outside the UK must do so on an approved airline at Border Inspection Posts of London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London Manchester, Edinburg, Glasgow or Dublin. Pets traveling commercially must enter the United Kingdom at London Heathrow, Gatwick or Edinburgh Airports.
Pets should enter the United Kingdom directly or transit through another EU Member State. If your pet transits through a high-rabies country, then a Transit Declaration will be required stating that your pet has had no contact with rabies-carrying animals and remained secured within the airplane or airport.
All domestic dogs and cats must be free of evidence of disease communicable to humans when examined at the port of entry to the United Kingdom. If your dog or cat is not in apparent good health, further examination by a licensed veterinarian may be required at your expense.
Puppies and Kittens
Unvaccinated puppies and kittens nder 12 weeks of age are not permitted to enter the UK. Puppies and kittens must be microchipped, then vaccinated for rabies no sooner than 12 weeks of age. All regulations in steps 1-5 will apply.
The following breeds or their mixes are not permitted to enter or transit the UK: Brazilian Fila, Dogo Argentino, Japanese Tosa Inu or American Staffordshire Pit Bull Terrier. Also some kinds of American Bulldogs have been found to be Pit Bulls. It is illegal to enter or transit the UK with any of these breeds or their mixes.
Dogs can only be considered for exemption from UK Dangerous Dog Laws through the courts. Pet owners cannot apply fo exemption when importing their dogs.Only dogs that are returning to the UK after being placed on the exemption list can enter.
Please note that the ban also applies to dogs that spend time in Great Britain during transit to other countries.
If you have a wolf hybrid or Savannah cat, then you must seek advice from the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency before you travel.
Exporting Pets Living in the United Kingdom
All dogs, cats and ferrets leaving the UK must be microchipped, vaccinated for rabies (in that order) and wait 21 days before leaving the country. You should also ask your veterinarian for an EU Pet Passport if you intend to return to the UK.
If you are planning to take your pet on a trip to a country with a high incidence of rabies, your veterinarian should administer a Blood Titer Test before you leave the country if you intend to return to the EU. You don’t have to wait 90 days before traveling if your pet has an EU pet passport and its vaccination and blood test were done in the EU and recorded in the pet passport.
You don’t have to wait 3 months if your pet has an EU pet passport and its vaccination and blood test were done in the EU and recorded in the pet passport.
Export certificates are required for exporting unaccompanied dogs and cats to the following countries: Anguilla, Antigua/Barbuda, Argentina, Ascension Island, Australia, the Bahamas, Bahrian, Bangladesh (GB only), Bermuda, Bolivia, Boznia Herzogovina, Botswana, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Cameroon, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus (northern), Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Falkand Islands, Faroe Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Gambia (dogs only), Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guam, Guatemala, Guyana, Hawaii, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libia, Macau, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia (peninsula), Mauritius, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Soloman Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, St Kitts and Nevis, St Helena, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Syria, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga (dogs only), Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turks & Caicos, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Uzebekistan (dogs only), Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Wallace and Futuna Islands, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
There are no rabies requirements for other species of rodents, rabbits, birds, ornamental fish, intervebrates, amphibians and reptiles (except red-eared sliders) imported to the UK from other EU Member States as well as Andorra, Switzerland, Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway and San Marino. However, pet rabbits and rodents imported to the UK will be quarantined for 4 months unless they have lived in an EU Member state for at least 4 months prior to import. Red-eared sliders are banned in the United Kingdom.
Bird owners or their representative are permitted to enter the UK from certain countries with their birds under the following conditions:
- Application for a Licence to Import Pet Birds, health certificate and owner's declaration must accompany your bird.
- Your bird must reside in an OIE member country.
- You are not importing more than 5 birds.
- Your bird must have undergone isolation for 30 days prior to export OR
- Two vaccinations against avian influenza with the H5 vaccine between 60 days and 6 months of import OR
- 10 days of isolation and undergone a test to detect the H5N1antigen or genome OR
- 30 days of quarantine in a registered premesis in the United Kingdom or other EU countries.
- All permits must accompany birds that are covered by CITES.
- Export permits may be required by the wildlife authority in the exporting country.
Invertebrates, tropical fish, reptiles, amphibia, mammals such as rodents and rabbits should have a health certificate to enter United Kingdom from another EU country. When entering from a rabies-controlled country outside of the EU, rabbits and other small mammals will be quarantined for 4 months when entering the UK. Pet owners are strongly advised to seek further information from the relevant authority of their country and/or that of the destination country.
If your pet is not a dog, cat or ferret, and especially if it is a turtle or parrot, you should verify that it is not protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). You will need to apply for additional permits if this is the case. Over 180 countries participate and enforce CITES regulations. .
Need More Assistance?
To the best of our ability, we ensure that recommendations given on PetTravel.com reflect the current regulations. We cannot predict how a given country may enforce these regulations. Noncompliance may result in the need to make arrangements to put your pet into quarantine at your expense, return your pet to the country of origin, or euthanize your pet. We suggest that you minimize the disruptions that may occur by following the rules of the country you are visiting.
Further detail on import permits, costs, tests and procedures are available at minimal cost at PetTravelStore.com. We also stock all the equipment and accessories you will need for traveling with your pet. Same day shipping Monday through Friday until 4:00 PM EST.
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