03 December 2018

Knowing how to transport your pet!

Belle Ayr Ltd is a registered www.gov.uk Licenced Exporter/Importer, for IPAFFS & Export Health Certificates.

Many have found that the UK is not the easiest place to import pets into, based on the fact that the information is wildly spread across different governmental sites (listed below) and they don't always match up. Owners now with BREXIT are challenged traveling with their pets abroad on holiday.

Also, not all Breeders or new owners know what they are doing or how to ensure their pets should travel with the required documentation, even with DEFRA licensed Pet Couriers, mistakes happen and it's easily done - the system is open to abuse. But it's the new owners that have to shoulder the cost of the oversights if the paperwork is incorrect and it can amount to several thousand with their pet taken into quarantine by APHA. 



Taking your pet on a UK trip can be a convenient and exciting way to holiday. Many places offer pet-friendly accommodation, at Gocompare, they've put together a pet travel checklist to help make your pet’s UK trip comfortable.

They also provide a range of services for UK owners traveling with their pets abroad, click this link for UK owners traveling with their pets abroad.

Always contact APHA - Centre for International Trade - Carlisle 
The movement requirements for dogs, cats and ferrets are set out in Import Information Note (IIN) BLLV/5b.

How to prepare a pet for export to the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), including listed countries, documentary requirements and approved routes and carriers. EU/ Listed/ Unlisted countries

Now the UK has moved out of the EU, the EU pet passport travel scheme no longer applies.
The movement requirements for cats are set out in Import Information Note (IIN) BLLV/5b

Importing cats from the EU 
You need the cats breeder to have a vet that will complete the INTRA TRADE CERTIFICATION ITAHC certificate (export health certificate). You will also need the IPAFF forms completed by the courier/ travel company who's moving your pet.
This form includes who is the courier and they need to be DEFRA approved and licensed. Then 24hrs before the pet enters into the UK, the INTRA TRADE CERTIFICATION is sent by email back to your ANIMAL HEALTH OFFICE - APHA. Contact IMPORT APHA to find which email to use depending on the region you live in. e: Imports@apha.gov.uk

EU Pet passport, microchip 
Link to EU Countries

For Non- EU member states - It's all a bit different

Importing cats from Listed Countries
Veterinarian Certificate
Pet Passport & microchip
Link to Listed Countries

Importing cats from Un-Listed Countries / Third Countries / non-EU countries
Pet cats, dogs and ferrets may enter (or return to) the UK from unlisted non-EU countries without quarantine, by use of the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). In such cases the following procedures must be carried out in the stated order:

1). The animal is micro-chipped, then

2). It is vaccinated against rabies; (the pet must be at least 12 weeks old before it can be vaccinated against rabies for the purposes of Pet Travel)

3) A blood sample is taken and sent to a European Union (EU) approved laboratory for testing. The blood sample must be drawn at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination is administered. If the required level of antibodies is reached, (A satisfactory blood test result must show the rabies antibody titre was equal to or greater than 0.5 IU/ml) then the animal may enter the UK 3 calendar months after the date that the sample was drawn, assuming that all other rules of the scheme are met.

When calculating the waiting periods between vaccination and blood test, and between blood test and entry into the UK, the date that the vaccination or blood test was carried out is counted as day 0 and not day 1.

Approved Rabies Laboratories 

You also need Pet PassportAnimal health certificate: pet travel from non-EU countries. 

If a pet does not have a valid pet passport:
The document required is a third-country official veterinary certificate. Your vet may need to contact their local authorities’ office to obtain the certificate and the required official endorsement. Annex IV is used for movements of less than 5 accompanied pets, or more than 5 pets moving for a show/competition.

In addition, pet owners travelling from outside the EU will also need to complete a declaration (Annex IV Part 3 Section A) confirming that they do not intend to sell or transfer ownership of their pet as a consequence of their movement.

The certificate is valid for entry into the EU for 10 days from the date of endorsement and remains valid for a total of four months from the date of issue for further movement into other EU member states.

In addition to the certificate, a certified copy (signed and stamped by the veterinarian) of the following documents are required:-

·         Identification of the animal (microchip certificate or letter from vet confirming microchip details)
·         Vaccination record
·         A copy of the official report from the approved laboratory on the results of the rabies antibody tests.

These documents must be attached to the certificate.

The pet must move within 5 days of the owner’s movement, or the movement of a person the owner has authorised in writing to be responsible for their pet. If you can’t meet this requirement then the pet will have to travel under the rules of the commercial trade and import regime.

Link to Un-Listed Countries / Third Countries:
Paragraph seven of Commission Implementing Decision 2013/519/EU states that the imports cats into the Union are authorized only from territories and third countries listed in one of the following:
- Annex I to Decision 2004/211/EC 
- in Part 1 of Annex II to Regulation (EU) No 206/2010 
- or in Annex II to Implementing Regulation (EU) No 577/2013

Cats from countries not listed in accordance with Decision 2013/519/EU are not allowed to be imported into the EU.

Exporting your pet abroad is relatively easy if within the EU. 

If a pet is successfully blood tested and issued with an EU pet passport before it leaves the UK or other EU country to go to a Third country, the passport may be used to return to the EU up to the date the rabies vaccination in the passport expires. The three month waiting period, following the blood test, before returning to the UK will not apply (but all other rules still apply, including the requirement for the blood sample to be taken at least 30 days after vaccination).

Please note that vaccination details and blood tests cannot be entered in the pet passport by a non-EU vet. Pet owners must obtain a Third Country veterinary certificate if they are returning to GB after the rabies vaccination recorded in the pet passport has expired or if their pet was not blood tested prior to leaving the EU.

If a pet does not have a valid pet passport, the document required is a third country official veterinary certificate. Your vet may need to contact their local authorities’ office to obtain the certificate and the required official endorsement. Annex IV is used for movements of less than 5 accompanied pets, or more than 5 pets moving for a show/competition.

Outside the EU each country has its own requirements and it's not always easy to find out what they are. However, the export health certificate (EHC) is always required.

Unlisted countries you must follow certain rules after having your pet vaccinated if they are travelling to the UK from an unlisted country.
Your pet must have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination. Your vet must send the blood sample to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory from either inside the EU or outside the EU.  The results of the blood test must show that the vaccination was successful (rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml).

You must wait 3 months from the date the blood sample was taken before your pet travels - (you do not need to wait if your pet was vaccinated, blood tested and given a pet passport in the EU before traveling to an unlisted country). The vet must give you a copy of the test results and enter the day the blood sample was taken in a third-country official veterinary certificate. The blood test will continue to be valid for 4 months within which it can travel or as long as your pet’s rabies vaccinations are kept up to date.

Cats from countries not listed in accordance with Decision 2013/519/EU are not allowed to be imported into the EU. 

For more information regarding exporting to the EU read - Export live animals: special rules

Currently, all cats traveling into the UK by air travel must fly as manifest cargo. To arrange pet flights we use Pet Air Scotland, Extraordinaire run by specialist vets & FLY my Pet, via the Animal Reception Centre (ARC) at the UK airport of landing (if applicable).

Entry into the UK must be via an authorized airline (from any airport, in any country) into UK airports on the airline’s existing RMOPs (Required Method of Operation), an approved ferry company or Eurotunnel Shuttle Service. Approved routes

If your pet is travelling without its owner - for a show you will need to complete the appropriate declaration.

If you want to check if a courier is DEFRA licenced contact your APHA Head office
e: WIT@APHA.gsi.gov.uk

Taking your pet abroad  APHA the official line
Importing animals and animal products GOING INTO UK
Pet travel to Europe after Brexit UK GOING TO EU
At Gocompare, Pet travel checklist

Where to find the information: