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Northern Ireland Pet Passport & Import Regulations

Flag of Northern Ireland
After January 1, 2021 Northern Ireland will remain under the jurisdiction of the Pet Travel Scheme as other EU Member States. EU Pet Passports issued in other EU Member States will be honored to enter Northern Ireland; however, UK Pet Passports will not. Pets entering Northern Ireland from the other members of the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man and Jersey Channel Islands) will need to have an EU Health Certificate issued within 10 days of transport. Dogs will need a tapeworm treatment administered by a licensed veterinrian between one and five days of entry. Pets will also need to conform to regulations stated below (microchipping, rabies vaccination, etc.)

 

Until further notice, there are no checks for pets entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain. Brexit negotiations continue.

There will be no quarantine imposed on your pet when entering Northern Ireland as long as the following requirements are met. Unless otherwise stated, the regulations below apply to domestic dogs, cats and ferrets only. Owners of other pets should refer to item 11.

 

1.

Pet Microchip

pet microchip

The first step to prepare your dog, cat or ferret to enter Northern Ireland is to have your pet microchipped with an ISO 11784/11785 compliant 15 digit pet microchip.

If your pet currently has a microchip that is not ISO 11784/11785 compliant, then you have 3 choices:

  • You can bring your own microchip scanner.
  • You can contact the officials at the Border Inspection Post where you will enter the UK and inquire as to whether they have scanners that can read your pet's chip.
  • If your pet's current microchip can still be read, your veterinarian can implant compliant chip. The number and implant dates of both microchips must be documented on the EU Health Certificate (see step #5).
  • 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 was vaccinated for rabies after the tattoo was applied.

Crates, carriers, passports, microchips and more at PetTravelStore.com

 

More information on pet transport to Northern Ireland

 

2.

Vaccinations  

pet rabies vaccination

All dogs, cats and ferrets must have proof of a current rabies vaccination administered after a microchip was implanted to enter Northern Ireland.

The first rabies vaccination after the microchip is implanted is called the primary vaccination and it should be a one year vaccine unless manufacturer specifications permit its use as a primary vaccination. If your pet's previous rabies vaccination had expired before being revaccinated, the next vaccination becomes the primary vaccination.

All vaccinations that are administered after the primary vaccination are called booster vaccinations.

If your pet is entering Northern Ireland from a rabies-free (click here) or rabies-controlled country (click here), the primary rabies vaccination must be administered no sooner than 21 days before entering Northern Ireland.

There is no waiting period after booster vaccinations as long as:

  • the previous vaccination was administered after a microchip was implanted AND
  • the booster vaccination was administered before the previous vaccination had expired.

Northern Ireland does honor the 3 year rabies vaccination for dogs, cats and ferrets; however, it should only be administered as a booster, not as a primary vaccination. You can speak to your veterinarian about this.

Once your pet has entered Northern Ireland, 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.

If your pet is entering Northern Ireland from a high-rabies country, it must wait for a minimum of 30 days after the primary or booster vaccination before receiving a rabies titer test (see step #3).

Pet Travel Transport can help get your pet there safely.

 

3.

Rabies Titer Test

Rabies Titer Test

If your pet is entering Northern Ireland from a high-rabies country (click here), your pet must be microchipped, then vaccinated for rabies (in that order). After waiting a minimum of 30 days after the primary or booster vaccination, 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 Northern Ireland no sooner than 3 calendar months after the date the blood was drawn and avoid quarantine. This step is not required unless entering Northern Ireland from a high-rabies country. 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.

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4.

Tapeworm Treatment - Dogs Only

tapeworm treatment for dogs

Before your dog can enter Northern Ireland, it must be treated against certain tapeworms between one and five days prior to entering the country unless your pet is entering directly from Finland, Ireland, Malta or Norway.

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Pet passports - other countries

 

5.

Health Certificate

pet health certificate

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:
Non-commercial Transport to Northern Ireland from a country outside of the EU:

Regulations in steps 1 and 2 apply. f traveling to Northern Ireland 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 Northern Ireland. Endorsement by a government veterinarian must occur within 10 days of arrival.

If your pet is traveling from the United States, the veterinarian must be accredited by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the health certificate must be endorsed by a State USDA office unless the certificate is completed by a military Veterinary Corps Officer or GS-0701 series civilian government veterinarian employed by the military.

If your pet is traveling from Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency must endorse forms issued by Canadian veterinarians.

If your pet is traveling to Northern Ireland from any other country, the agency responsible for the import and export of live animals will endorse the form.

This form is good for transports of 5 or less dogs, cats or ferrets. (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.

Non-comemrcial Transport to Northern Ireland 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 Northern Ireland 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 which is not entered in its EU Pet Passport. Exception: checks on pet travel between Northern Ireland and the UK have been suspended indefinitely.

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:
Commercial Transport to Northern Ireland from a rabies-free or rabies-controlled country outside the EU:

All dogs, cats and ferrets may enter Northern Ireland commercially from EU countries, rabies-free or rabies-controlled countries. Dogs, cats and ferrets from other countries may only enter Northern Ireland with or within 5 days of their owners or their owner's representative. In this case, non-commercial regulations will apply.

Regulations in steps 1 and 2 apply.

A licensed veterinarian in the originating country must complete the commercial EU health certificate for Northern Ireland. The certificate must be issued and endorsed within 48 hours of travel.

If your pet is traveling from the United States, the certificate must be endorsed by the local USDA office unless the certificate is completed by a military Veterinary Corps Officer or GS-0701 series civilian government veterinarian employed by the military.

If your pet is traveling from Canada, the form must be endorsed by the local CFIA office.

If your pet is traveling to Northern Ireland from any other country, the agency responsible for the import and export of live animals will endorse the form.

This form is good for transports of 5 or less dogs, cats or ferrets. (see step 7 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 or Gatwick. Notice must be given 24 hours prior to arrival.

All dogs, cats and ferrets may enter Northern Ireland commercially from a rabies-free or rabies-controlled countries. Dogs, cats and ferrets may only enter Northern Ireland commercially from these high-rabies countries and must have a titer test according to step #3 above.

Commercial Transport to Northern Ireland from another EU Member State:

Regulations in steps 1 and 2 apply.

If your pet is traveling to Northern Ireland 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 and entered into the TRACES system.

All dogs must be vaccinated against distemper.

You must send an Importer Notification form to the local DAERA office in your destination more than 24 hours in advance of import.

6.

Entering Northern Ireland from Malaysia & Australia

Malaysia

If your pet is entering Northern Ireland 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 Northern Ireland 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.

7.

Traveling with more than 5 pets

exporting more than 5 dogs or cats from Germany

If you are traveling with 6 or more cats, dogs or ferrets, in order to transport them under non-commercial regulations, they must be 6 months or older and attending or training for a competition, show or sporting event. If this is not the case, your pets must meet the requirements for commercial transport. (see step #5)

8.

Entering Northern Ireland by Air

airplane

All live animals entering Northern Ireland must do so at Belfast Airport, Belfast Port or Larne Harbor.

Pets whose final destination is Northern Ireland must file an import applicationn with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs at least 28 days prior to entry.

Owners who travel directly into Northern Ireland must do so under an Import Authorisation issued by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs. An Import Authorization must be completed at least 10 days before your pet enters Northern Ireland. You must also engage the services of an approved quarantine establishment to facilitate the checking of accompanying paperwork as there are not facilities at the airport to do this. There is a charge for this service.

Pets should enter Northern Ireland 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. If your dog or cat is not in apparent good health, further examination by a licensed veterinarian may be required at your expense.

9.

Puppies and Kittens

Importing a puppy or kitten to Northern Ireland

Unvaccinated puppies and kittens under 12 weeks of age are not permitted to enter Northern Ireland. 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.

10.

Banned Breeds

Dogs Banned in Northern Ireland

The following breeds are not permitted to enter Northern Ireland: Brazilian Fila, Dogo Argentino, Japanese Tosa Inu or American Staffordshire Pit Bull Terrier. 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.

11.

Exporting Pets Living in Northern Ireland

Export pets from Northern Ireland

All dogs, cats and ferrets leaving Northern Ireland for another EU Member State must be microchipped, vaccinated for rabies (in that order) and wait 21 days before leaving the country.  Have your veterinarian issue an EU pet passport if you intend to return to the EU.

If you are planning to take your pet on a trip to a high-rabies country, your veterinarian should administer a rabies titer test before you leave Northern Ireland if you intend to return to the EU.

Export certificates are required for exporting resident dogs and cats commercially (see step #5 for definition of commercial transport). The form must be filed at least 28 days prior to export.

12.

Other Animals

rabbits turtles other animals

There are no rabies requirements for other species of rodents, rabbits, birds, ornamental fish, intervebrates, amphibians and reptiles (except red-eared sliders) imported to Northern Ireland 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 Northern Ireland from any other non-EU rabies-controlled country will be quarantined for 4 months. Red-eared sliders have been banned in the United Kingdom.

Birds, invertebrates, tropical fish, reptiles, amphibia, mammals such as rodents and rabbits should have a health certificate to enter Northern Ireland. Pet owners are strongly advised to seek further information from the relevant authority of their country and/or that of the destination country.

13.

CITES

CITES endangered turtle

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. .

14.

Need More Assistance?

Have a question about traveling with your pet?

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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