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How to get a UK Pet Passport [2021 Guide]

Whether you are planning on traveling with a pet to or from the UK, there are strict rules that apply.

Getting a UK Pet Passport to import pets to the UK in 2021 is easy and will just take 4 simple steps:

    1. Research – entry requirements can vary depending on your pet’s species, age and breed. There are different entry regulations for different pet species. It’s important to ensure that your pet is permitted. If you are flying, you need to ensure your fly into an airport that allows the import of pets. Furthermore, you will need additional paperwork if your pet is an endangered species.
    2. First vet visit – dogs, cats and ferrets need a microchip and rabies vaccinations, and all pets need a general health check and health certificate at minimum.
  1. For more information, check the section below on microchipping, rabies vaccinations and health certificates.
  2. Second vet visit (if required) – this only applies if you are traveling to the UK from a high-risk rabies country. If this is the case, your dog, cat or ferret will need a rabies titer test, also known as a rabies blood test. For more information, check the section below on rabies titer test.
  3. Apply for permits and licenses (if required) – if you need a UK Pet Passport for commercial transport, you will need to provide pre-notification in IPAFFS (Import of Products, Animals, Food & Feed System) at least 1 day in advance of transport. Alternatively, if you are traveling with pets other than dogs, cats and ferrets, you will likely need to apply for an import permit. For more information, check the section below on permits and licenses.

Getting a Pet Passport to export pets from the UK in 2021 may be a little more complicated as entry requirements for different countries vary.

In this article we will discuss the requirements to get a UK Pet Passport in 2021.


What is a UK Pet Passport?

UK Pet Passport is a term used to describe the documents that are required to travel to the UK with a pet. Customs officials will need to see these documents in order to clear your pet. Essentially, a pet passport demonstrates that your pet is fit and healthy to travel. With a Pet Passport for the UK, in most circumstances, your pet will not have to face a lengthly quarantine period.

Generally, for a UK Pet Passport, your pet will require a microchip, rabies vaccination, parasite treatment and health certificate. However, if you are traveling from a country the UK considers to be high-risk for rabies, your dog, cat or ferret will also need a rabies titer test. If you are bringing pets to the UK for commercial reasons, or if you are traveling to the UK with a pet other than a dog, cat or ferret, you will need an import permit.

To export pets from the UK, you may require additional vaccinations and documents, as each country has different import requirements.


What does a UK Pet Passport contain?

A UK Pet Passport contains all the documents required to enter the UK with your pet. Essentially, it will prove that your pet is fit and healthy enough to travel. Pet Passports are required to ensure imported pets don’t pose as a health threat to other animals.

A Pet Passport UK can contain any of the following information:

  1. Details of ownership (name, address, passport number, telephone, etc.)
  2. Description of the animal (name, species, breed, date of birth, etc.)
  3. Official veterinarian’s details
  4. Rabies vaccination certificate
  5. Microchip details
  6. Health certificate
  7. Parasite treatment records
  8. Additional vaccinations recorded and treatment records
  9. An optional photo
  10. Rabies antibody titer test results
  11. Anti-echinococcus treatment record

UK pet passport for dogs, cats and ferrets will contain those listed 1-6 at minimum. Those listed 7-11 are potential requirements that your pet may need, whether you are traveling into the UK with another pet species, or if you are traveling outside of the country. We will go into more detail below.

All records must be signed and stamped by your official veterinarian with official stickers from the medication used.


How do I get a UK Pet Passport?

RESEARCH

TRAVELING TO THE UK

Find out entry requirements for your pet’s species.

There are specific requirements for different species entering the UK. Generally, dogs, cats and ferrets will require the following:

  • Microchip
  • Rabies vaccination
  • Additional vaccines
  • Parasite treatment (dogs only)
  • Health certificate
  • Import permit (commercial travel only)

For detailed information on the requirements of bringing pets to the UK, check the requirements section below.

For more details on specific requirements for different species skip to the ‘What are species-specific requirements for a UK Pet Passport?‘ section.

TRAVELING FROM THE UK TO ANOTHER COUNTRY

All dogs, cats and ferrets leaving the UK must be microchipped and vaccinated for rabies. You must also check the entry requirements for your destination country and pet species. 

If you are traveling to an EU country or Northern Ireland, you must have an EU health certificate issued within 10 days of travel. Dogs traveling to Northern Ireland, Ireland, Malta, Finland or Norway must have a tapeworm treatment administered by a veterinarian between one and five days of entry.

Many countries have additional requirements, including the following:

  • Additional vaccinations, i.e. parainfluenza, leptospirosis, parvovirus, bordetella, hepatitis and distemper
  • Import permits / licenses
  • Government endorsement

If traveling outside of the UK, find out the requirements of your destination country before visiting the vet. You will also need to check whether there are any requirements to return to your home country.

We will discuss the requirements in detail below.

VISIT YOUR VET

When booking the appointment, inform your vet where you and your pet are heading to, so they can prepare your pet’s vaccinations. If you are traveling outside of the UK, they may need to prepare additional vaccinations and treatments.

TRAVELING TO THE UK

Dogs, cats and ferrets will need a microchip and rabies vaccination. All pets will also require a health certificate. If you are traveling from a rabies-free country, you will only need one vet visit. 

Whether your pet needs vaccinations depends on its species. Only dogs and cats require a vaccinations, including rabies vaccination.  Other pet’s such as rabbits, rodents and birds do not require vaccinations.

At your appointment, your vet will complete any vaccinations, if required, and perform a basic health examination to ensure your pet is well enough to travel.

Once the veterinarian is happy your pet is ready for travel, they will review and stamp all your paperwork. The appointment should take no longer than half an hour.

For more detailed information on the requirements skip to ‘What are the requirements for a Pet Passport UK?‘.

TRAVELING FROM THE UK

If you are traveling from the UK with a pet, your pet will likely need additional treatments. At minimum your pet will need a microchip, a rabies vaccination and health check. Once your vet is happy that your pet is healthy enough for travel, they will review and stamp your paperwork.

Some countries also require that pets have a rabies titer test or rabies blood test, before entry. If your destination country requires a blood test then your vet will need to take a blood sample from your pet, before sending it off to a laboratory for testing.

We will discuss entry requirements for a Pet Passport UK in more detail below. Skip ahead here.

SECOND VET VISIT

TRAVELING TO THE UK

You will need a second visit to the vet to obtain your pet’s health certificate as this must be done within 10 days of entering the UK. You will also need a rabies titer test if you are traveling to the UK from a high-risk rabies country, with a dog, cat or ferret. 

You will need a non-commercial health certificate issued within 10 days of entering the UK, or a commercial health certificate issued within 48 hours of shipment.

If traveling from a country that the UK considers high-risk, your dog, ferret or cat will need a rabies titer test. You will need to wait 30 days after your pet’s primary or booster vaccination in order to have a rabies titer test. Once your pet has passed the test, they can enter the UK no sooner than 3 months after the date the blood was drawn.

We will go into more detail in the rabies titer test section below.

The following countries are considered high-risk of rabies by the UK:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Angola, Anguilla, Antarctica, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Balearic Islands, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Borneo, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cabrera, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Ceuta, Chad, China, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Cook Islands, Corsica, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Turkish Republic of (Northern), Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Easter Island, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fatuna, Formentera, Galapagos Islands, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea (North and South), Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Macau, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Margarita Islands, Martinique, Mauritania, Melilla, Miquelon, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Northern Cyprus, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Samoa, Saint Barthelemy, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Siberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sudan, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tibet, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Western Sahara, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe

TRAVELING FROM THE UK

You may need a rabies titer test if you are leaving the UK and traveling to a country that requires a rabies titer test. This shouldn’t be the case, generally, as the UK is considered rabies-free to many other countries. However, it is always safe to check.

APPLY FOR LICENSING & PERMITS

TRAVELING TO THE UK

Not all pets will require an import permit. Dogs, cats and ferrets traveling with their owners, for non-commercial reasons will not require any permits. However, any pets traveling for commercial reasons, or pets other than cats, dogs and ferrets will require licensing.

Commercial travel

If your pet is traveling to the United Kingdom under commercial regulations from another EU Member State, a licensed agent registered in the origination country to enter transports into Import of Products, Animals, Food & Feed System (IPAFFS) must handle the transport.

Pre-notification in IPAFFS  must be provided at least 1 day in advance of transport.

For more information on the permits and licensing you need, check the Permit and Licenses section below.

Traveling with rabbits, rodents and birds

Rabbits and rodents traveling into the UK should travel with a current health certificate and an import license.

Birds are permitted to enter the UK only from OIE member countries, and must be accompanied by a license to import pet birds.

TRAVELING FROM THE UK

You may require an import permit, depending on where you are exporting your pet to. Different countries have different entry requirements, many of them require an import permit. You will need to check the specific requirements for the country you are visiting.


How long does it take to get a Pet Passport UK?

It will take roughly between 1 month and 4 months to get a UK pet passport to import a pet into the UK. The time depends on where you are traveling from, and the species of your pet.

If traveling to the UK with a dog, cat or ferret from a rabies-free country, you will just need a quick visit to the vet. In this case, your pet will just require a microchip, rabies vaccination and health certificate. Dogs will also require a tapeworm treatment administered by a vet, between 1 and 5 days prior to entering the UK. Health certificates must be obtained within 10 days of entering the UK, and must be endorsed if traveling from the US and Canada.

However, if you are traveling from a country the UK deems as high-risk of rabies, it will take 3 months longer. This is because your dog, cat or ferret will require a rabies titer test to ensure their rabies vaccination was successful. Firstly, you must wait 30 days after your pet’s primary or booster rabies vaccination before taking the rabies titer test. Secondly, you must wait for your pet’s results. Lastly, if your pet passes the rabies titer test, you must wait at least 3 months before entering the UK.

To save time, when making an appointment be sure to advise the veterinarian staff that you want to get a pet passport. This will ensure that they have everything required in stock and will allow them time to prepare.


What are the requirements for a UK Pet Passport?

Depending on your pet’s species, age and where you are traveling from/to, the requirements for a Pet Passport UK can be any of the following:

  1. Microchip
  2. Rabies vaccination
  3. Health certificate
  4. Parasite treatments
  5. Rabies titer test
  6. Permits & licenses

MICROCHIPPING

TRAVELING TO THE UK

Dogs, cats and ferrets must be microchipped in order to obtain a pet passport UK. It is also a requirement for entering most countries. Other pet species do not require microchipping. 

A microchip is a permanent method of electronic identification. The chip is around the size of a grain of rice – and is implanted just under your pet’s skin between its shoulder blades. Each chip has a unique number that is detected using a microchip scanner.

Not only is it a requirement to enter the UK with a dog, cat or ferret, it is highly recommended your pet is microchipped. This is because if you were to lose your pet while, a microchip makes it far more likely that you will be reunited.

We recommend that microchipping your pet is the first step in the process of obtaining a UK pet passport. This is because your pet’s rabies vaccination won’t be valid unless your pet is microchipped first.

TRAVELING FROM THE UK

Dogs, cats and ferrets require a microchip in order to leave the UK. Additionally, they are generally required when entering most countries.

RABIES VACCINATION

TRAVELING TO THE UK

All dogs, cats and ferrets must have proof of a current rabies vaccination, administered after a microchip was implanted. The timing of your pet’s rabies vaccination depends on where you are traveling from. Other pet species do not require rabies vaccinations. 

Your pet’s first rabies vaccination is called their primary vaccination and should be a 1 year vaccine unless the manufacturer specifies it as a primary vaccine. if your pet’s primary vaccination expired before you had a chance to apply a booster vaccine, their next vaccine will act as the primary.

Booster vaccines are all vaccines applied after the primary vaccine, as long as it is still valid.

The UK does honour 3 year rabies vaccinations, but only as a booster vaccine and not a primary.

Traveling from a rabies-controlled country

The UK considers the following countries to be rabies-controlled:

American Samoa, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Ascension Island, Azores, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Belarus, Bermuda, Bonair, Bosnia-Herzegovina, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Canada, Canary Islands, Cayman Islands, Chile, Croatia, Curacao, Cyprus (South of Buffer Zone only), Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Fiji, Finland, France, French Guiana, French Polynesia, Germany, Gibralter, Greece, Greenland, Grenadines, Guadeloupe (St Barthelemy and French part of St Martin), Guam, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jamaica (does not participate in Pet Travel Scheme – quarantine required), Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madiera, Malaysia, Malta, Martinique, Mauritus, Mayotte, Mexico, Monaco, Montserrat, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Reunion, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Eustatius, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Helena, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Scotland, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Al Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Al Fujairah), United Kingdom (Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, Malta), United States of America, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Virgin Islands – US, Virgin Islands -British and Wallis and Futuna.

In order to obtain a UK Pet Passport, dogs, cats and ferrets will need their primary vaccination administered no sooner than 21 days before entering the UK. However, 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.

Once your pet has entered the UK, a 21 waiting period is not required for any subsequent visits, as long as your pet’s rabies vaccinations are up to date.

Traveling from a high-risk country

You will need to wait 30 days after your dog, cat or ferret’s rabies vaccination, and do a rabies titer test. Please check the rabies titer test section below for more information.

TRAVELING FROM THE UK

Not only is a rabies vaccination a requirement to export a pet from the UK, most countries require a rabies vaccination before pet importation.

HEALTH CERTIFICATE

TRAVELING TO THE UK

In order to obtain a Pet Passport to import your pet to the UK, you will need a health certificate. This applies to all pet species, no matter where you are traveling from. However, the type of health certificate may differs.

The type of health certificate required for your pet depends on:

  • whether or not your pet’s transport is accompanied, OR
  • it involves a purchase, sale or transfer of ownership, OR
  • more than 5 dogs, cats or ferrets are traveling with or without their owner.

Non-commercial transport: These regulations apply if you are traveling with your pet (or within 5 days) and the transport doesn’t involve purchase, sale or transfer of ownership, and you are traveling with less 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.

Commercial transport: These regulations apply if you are not traveling with your pet (or within 5 days), or if the purpose of your travel involves a sale or transfer of ownership. It also applies if you are traveling with more than 5 dogs, cats or ferrets, with or without their owner. 

Non-Commercial Transport (from EU Member State or listed country)

If your pet resides in one of the following countries and your veterinarian has issued your pet a pet passport, the UK will accept it in lieu of an EU Health Certificate as long as it is updated with all rabies vaccinations and the tapeworm treatment:

Austria, Azores, Balearic Islands, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Ceuta, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Guadeloupe, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta *, Matinique, Melilla, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Reunion, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden

Andorra, Azores and Madeira, Canary Islands, French Guiana, Gibraltar, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, Guadeloupe, Iceland, Liechtenstein. Martinique, Monaco, Norway, Reunion, San Marino, Switzerland and Vatican City.

Non-Commercial Transport (from unlisted country)

You must obtain a non-commercial UK health certificate for the UK completed by a licensed veterinarian. It must be issued within 10 days of entering the UK.

Your health certificate must be endorsed by the government agency in your country that is responsible for the import and export of animals. Thus, if your pet is traveling from the United States, the veterinarian must be accredited by the USDA and the health certificate must be endorsed by the State USDA office. If you are traveling from Canada, you must have your health certificate endorsed by the CFIA.

The health certificate is valid for transports of 5 or less dogs, cats or ferrets and for 4 months of travel within the European Union as long as the rabies vaccination documented on it does not expire.

Commercial Transport (from EU Member State)

A licensed agent registered in your origination country must handle the transport of the animal(s). Pre-notification in IPAFFS (Import of Products, Animals, Food & Feed System) must be provided at least 24 hours in advance of transport.

Your veterinarian should obtain and update an official Pet Passport for your pet, especially if your pet will be returning to the EU after visiting the UK.

Your pet must have a health check within 48 hours of transport and your veterinarian must complete a commercial UK health certificate.

If you and your pet are flying in the UK, you must enter through an approved Border Inspection Post (BIP) at an international airport in London Heathrow, Gatwick or Edinburgh. You must give notice to the border post at least 48 hours prior to arrival.

Commercial Transport (from rabies-controlled non-EU Member State)

A licensed veterinarian in your home country must complete your pet’s commercial UK health certificate within 48 hours of travel.

Your health certificate must be endorsed by the government agency in your country that is responsible for the import and export of animals. Thus, if your pet is traveling from the United States, the veterinarian must be accredited by the USDA and the health certificate must be endorsed by the State USDA office. If you are traveling from Canada, you must have your health certificate endorsed by the CFIA.

The health certificate is valid for transports of 5 or less dogs, cats or ferrets and for 4 months of travel within the European Union as long as the rabies vaccination documented on it does not expire.

Your pet must enter through an approved Border Inspection Post (BIP) at an international airport in London Heathrow, Gatwick or Edinburgh. You must give the border at least 48 hours notice, prior to your arrival in the UK. Ferry companies will not permit the boarding of pets entering the UK under commercial regulations.

All dogs must be vaccinated against distemper.

Commercial Transport (from high-risk non-EU Member State)

Dogs, cats and ferrets can only enter the United Kingdom from the following high-rabies countries:

Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Ascention Island, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bonaire, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Gibraltar, Greenland, Guatemala, Herzegovina, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Iceland, India, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Korea Republic, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Macau, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Melarus, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Montserrat, Morocco, Namibia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Northern Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Russia, Saba, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Sint Maarten, South Africa, St Eustatius, St Helena, St Kitts, St Lucia, St Pierre and Miquelon, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Swaziland, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vatican City State, Wallis and Futuna, Zimbabwe

Pets must conform to all commercial rules above and also have a rabies titer test.

TRAVELING FROM THE UK

If you are exporting pets from the UK, you will need a health certificate.

A health certificate is a compulsory requirement to export pets from the UK, it is also a requirement to enter many countries. In most cases, your health certificate will also need to be endorsed by the country’s authority responsible for the import and export of animals. For example, if you are traveling from the US, you will need your documents endorsed by the USDA. If you are traveling from Canada, you will need to have your documents endorsed by CFIA.

Check the specific entry requirements for your destination country.

RABIES TITER TEST

TRAVELING TO THE UK

If you are traveling to the UK from a high-risk rabies country, your dog, cat or ferret will require a rabies blood test to show that their rabies vaccination was successful. This doesn’t apply to other pet species.

The following countries are considered high-risk of rabies by the UK:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Angola, Anguilla, Antarctica, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Balearic Islands, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Borneo, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cabrera, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Ceuta, Chad, China, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Cook Islands, Corsica, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Turkish Republic of (Northern), Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Easter Island, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fatuna, Formentera, Galapagos Islands, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea (North and South), Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Macau, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Margarita Islands, Martinique, Mauritania, Melilla, Miquelon, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Northern Cyprus, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Samoa, Saint Barthelemy, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Siberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sudan, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tibet, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Western Sahara, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe

  1. Your pet must have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination.
  2. Your vet must then send the blood sample to an approved blood testing laboratory.
  3. Your pet’s blood test results must show a rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml.
  4. You must wait 3 months from the date the blood sample was taken before you travel – this doesn’t apply if your pet was vaccinated, blood tested and given a pet passport in the EU before travelling to an unlisted country.
  5. 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.

TRAVELING FROM THE UK

You may need a rabies titer test if you are leaving the UK and traveling to a country that requires a rabies titer test. This shouldn’t be the case, generally, as the UK is considered rabies-free to many other countries. However, it is always safe to check.

TAPEWORM TREATMENT (DOGS ONLY)

TRAVELING TO THE UK

In order to get a UK Pet Passport to import pets to the UK, dogs will need to be treated against tapeworm. This doesn’t apply to cats or other pet species. 

Your dog must be treated against tapeworms between 24 hours (1 day) and 120 hours (5 days) before entering the UK. If you fail to have your dog treated within this time scale, then he or she may be put into quarantine for up to 4 months.

The tapeworm treatment must be administered by a vet and officially recorded in your pet’s UK pet passport. Over the counter treatments will not be valid.

TRAVELING FROM THE UK

This is a requirement for dogs to enter some countries, including the UK, Finland, Malta or Norway. Check if this is a requirement for your destination country.

PERMITS & LICENSES

TRAVELING TO THE UK

Not all pets will require an import permit. Dogs, cats and ferrets traveling with their owners, for non-commercial reasons will not require any permits. However, any pets traveling for commercial reasons, or pets other than cats, dogs and ferrets will require licensing.

Commercial travel

If your pet is traveling to the United Kingdom under commercial regulations from another EU Member State, a licensed agent registered to enter transports into Import of Products, Animals, Food & Feed System (IPAFFS) must handle the transport.

Your agent must submit your notification in IPAFFS:

  • one working day before your consignment is due to arrive, if it is coming from a non-EU country
  • 24 hours before your consignment is due to arrive, if it is coming from an EU/EEA country

Traveling with animals other than dogs, cats and ferrets

Pets other than dogs, cats and ferrets traveling into the UK should travel with an import license (form RM01). The following animals are permitted:

uk pet passport permitted animals

You can apply for an import permit by completing this form.

Additionally, you must submit your expected time of arrival at your specific point of entry in the UK into IPAFFS.

You’ll need to give the EU exporter or official veterinarian the unique notification number (UNN) automatically produced by IPAFFS when you submit your import notification. The format of this number will be IMP.GB.2021.1XXXXXX. Your vet must add the UNN to your pet’s health certificate, a copy of which will need to be attached to your import notification.

Birds are permitted to enter the UK only from OIE member countries, and must be accompanied by a license to import pet birds.

Traveling with non-native animals

Non-native animals can be any of the following:

  • mammals
  • birds
  • reptiles
  • amphibians
  • fish
  • insects and other invertebrates, for example, spiders

You must apply for a licence to import any non-native animal into GB. You can fill in the licence application form for importing live animals here.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) will use the information you provide on the licence form to decide if any animals you’re importing need to be quarantined.

Contact APHA to find out:

  • if you’re eligible to apply for a licence
  • how long a licence lasts for
  • what happens if you lose your licence

Traveling with protected animal species (CITES)

You will need a CITES permit if you are bringing an animal that is in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

If you are traveling with a domestic dog or cat, then you will not need a CITES permit, this is generally just the case for reptiles and parrot species. You can check whether your pet is protected here.

Transit through a high-rabies country

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.

TRAVELING FROM THE UK

You do not need to apply for an export permit to export pets from the UK. However, you may need an import permit to bring pets to another country.

Only unaccompanied transports will need to be recorded in IPAFF and TRACES by a licensed agent.


What are species-specific requirements for taking pets to the UK?

TAKING DOGS TO THE UK

For a UK pet passport to take dogs to the UK you require the following:

  • Microchip
  • Rabies vaccination (1 year and 3 year vaccinations are accepted)
  • Health certificate
  • Tapeworm treatment
  • Distemper vaccination (commercial travel from rabies-controlled non-EU Member States only)
  • Import permit (commercial travel only)

TAKING CATS TO THE UK

For a UK pet passport to take dogs to the UK you require the following:

  • Microchip
  • Rabies vaccination (1 year and 3 year vaccinations are accepted)
  • Health certificate
  • Import permit (commercial travel only)

TAKING RODENTS & LAGOMORPHS (RABBITS) TO THE UK

For a UK pet passport to take rodents and lagomorphs to the UK you require the following:

  • Health certificate
  • Import permit
  • Pre-notification using IPAFFS at least one working day before the expected time of arrival at the point of entry

TAKING HORSES TO THE UK

For a UK pet passport to take horses to the UK you require the following:

  • Health certificate
  • Import permit
  • An EU-approved studbook
  • A national branch of an international body for sporting or competition purposes test
  • Equine infectious anaemia test (within 30 days before travel)
  • Equine viral arteritis test (within 21 days before travel for uncarstrated male equines that are older than 180 days, unless they meet vaccination requirements)

TAKING REPTILES & AMPHIBIANS TO THE UK

For a UK pet passport to take reptiles and amphibians to the UK you require the following:

  • Health certificate
  • Import permit
  • Pre-notification by the importer using IPAFFS one working day in advance of arrival at the point of entry
  • An invoice and packing list containing details of species, number of animals, premises of origin and premises of destination
  • An exporter declaration that the animals are ‘fit to travel’ for commercial moves
  • CITES permit (if species is protected by CITES)
  • License to import non-native animal

Flying into the UK with a pet

Whether you are flying with your pet or it will be flying without you, it is important to choose an airline that serves the entire route from beginning to end. Before selecting an airline you will need to check their pet policies to ensure that they will allow your pet to fly. Will the airline allow your dog or cat to fly in the cabin with you? What are the restrictions? Will your pet need to travel in the cargo hold? Another option for airline pet travel is by private charter. Although this is more expensive than commercial airlines, pets will fly in the cabin with their owners in luxury, regardless of their size.

BEFORE YOU FLY

You are permitted to bring up to 5 dogs, cats or ferrets with you – if you are planning on bringing more you will need to submit a request to the Import of Products, Animals, Food & Feed System (IPAFFS).

Book your flight into an approved port of entry – pet’s traveling non-commercially can only enter the UK on an approved airline at Border Inspection Posts of London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow or Dublin. This doesn’t apply if you are flying from Ireland. Commercial import of pets must enter the UK at London Heathrow, London Gatwick or Edinburgh airports.

Ensure you have the correct carrier – pets are required to travel in an appropriate cage according to its size and weight. The requirements will differ depending on your airline.

ONCE YOU LAND

Clinical examination and document check – after arrival a quarantine officer will verify your pet’s veterinary health certificate and vaccination records. Additionally, your pet will have a clinical examination/quarantine observation to ensure your pet is healthy and disease free. If your pet is free from any clinical illness as well as the documents including veterinary certificate/ vaccination records are found in order, quarantine isn’t usually required. However, if the pet is detected with any signs of clinical illness during inspection, then they will be placed in quarantine.

FLIGHT OPTIONS

Accompanied cargo / in the cabin – this is only an option for those of you who are flying with emotional support animals, and if your chosen airline allows this.

Manifest cargo – unless your pet is an emotional support animal, they will need to travel as manifest cargo. Manifest cargo is a system wherein the import of pet is done using the airline cargo. If the pet is being transported in this manner, the documents must include of copy of the passport of the owner/caretaker, a copy of the owner/caretaker’s e-ticket and a copy of the air way bill.

Private charter – if you and your pet are flying into the UK on a private aircraft, you must enter at Biggin Hill, Blackpool, Cambridge, Doncaster, Farmborough, Sheffield, Stansted, London Ashford or London Oxford. This is only allowed if your private charter is approved to transport live animals to these airports.


What airlines allow flying a pets to the UK?

Most airlines allow flying pets to the UK. However, depending on the airline you fly with, pet policies differ.

When flying with a pet, it’s important to check airline pet policies before booking any travel. Different airline’s have different rules for flying with pets, including which breeds are allowed, the size and weight of pets that are permitted, and the number of pets they allow. Fees also vary between airlines.

Most airlines will allow pets to fly in the cargo section of their planes, in a climate controlled, comfortable pet zone. Although some pet owners think this will be stressful for their pets, it can actually be a lot calmer than flying in the cabin.

Some airlines will allow pets to fly in the cabin with their owners, but generally only small dogs and cats that weigh under 8kg are permitted. This is because they must fly inside an airline-approved carrier that fits under the seat in front of their owners. This isn’t permitted when flying pets in the UK, unless your dog, cat or ferret is a registered emotional support animal.

For a list of airlines that allow pets to fly in the cabin with their owners, check:

For a list of airlines that allow other pets on their planes, check: 


Guidelines for Pet Carriers

If you are flying to the UK with a pet, it is important that you use a pet carrier that is approved by your airline. Different airlines have different pet carrier policies, which often vary between aircrafts and routes. Check that your pet carrier is approved for your chosen airline, aircraft and route. 

The rules and regulations have been set out by International Air Transport Association (IATA) ensure that pets are comfortable when travelling. Thus, inside their travel carriers, pets must be able to stand up, turn around and lie down in a natural position in their kennel (without touching any side or the top of the container).

iata carrier guidelines

Furthermore, the rules for pet carriers also vary depending on whether your pet will be flying in the cabin or cargo area of the plane.

If you are travelling in the cabin with your dog or cat, then you will need to ensure that the carrier fits under the seat in front of you. This is why, generally, only small dogs and cats weighing under 7-8kg are permitted in the cabin.

Additionally, if traveling with a pet in the cabin, airlines often require that he or she is be obedient to your commands and can behave appropriately in public. Thus, he mustn’t bark or growl at other passengers or staff. If your dog does not behave in an appropriate manner, some airlines may transfer him to the cargo hold at an additional cost, or refuse to transport him all together. Some airlines require a consent form to ensure your pet is flight-ready.

MOST AIRLINES ONLY ACCEPT CAGES THAT COMPLY WITH THE FOLLOWING IATA REGULATIONS:

  • The cage must not have wheels
  • It must have a solid roof
  • The screws and nuts that hold the lower and upper parts of the cage must be properly installed and tightened – because yes, the cage must consist of two sections, made of solid and rigid plastic
  • The cage must also include bowls firmly attached to its lower wall containing food and water
  • It must be clean, but also and above all waterproof and covered with materials capable of absorbing liquid materials
  • It must be well ventilated, with openings in all 4 sides of the cage
  • The cage must also be properly closed, using a lock that cannot be opened from the inside
  • Finally, it must bear a label distinguishing the top from the bottom and another indicating that the cage contains a live animal

For a list of airlines that allow dogs to fly in the cabin with their owners, check 13 Airlines That Allow Flying With Dogs In-Cabin [2021 Prices & Policies].

BUDGET

PET CARRIER

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How much does a UK Pet Passport cost in 2021?

The cost of a UK Pet Passport can vary drastically. The price you pay will depend on the following:

  • Your home country
  • Where you are traveling to
  • The veterinary clinic that you visit
  • The species of your pet
  • Whether your pet already has a microchip and rabies vaccination

Firstly, different countries and veterinary clinics will have different prices for veterinary treatments and vaccinations. If you want to save some money, check the prices of a few different veterinary clinics.

Additionally, some pets species may require more treatments and vaccines than others. For example, dogs require more vaccinations than cats, when traveling to the UK. Alternatively, rodents, rabbits, reptiles and amphibians do not require any vaccinations.

If your pet already has a microchip, and a recent rabies vaccination, you will probably pay less for your UK pet passport. Generally, a microchip and rabies vaccination both costs between $20-60 each, in the USA.

The cost of bringing a dog to the UK is broken down into the following (USD):

  1. Microchipping – $20-50
  2. Rabies vaccination – $20-50
  3. Health certificate – $25-150
  4. Tapeworm treatment – $3-15
  5. Pet air ticket – $1000-4000 (depends where you are traveling from and the weight/size of your puppy)
  6. Document endorsement – $38 per endorsement
  7. Pet crate – $20-100+

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

What are the requirements to return to UK after travel?

The same requirements apply to dogs, ferrets or cats that originated from the UK. Thus, your dog or cat will need a microchip, proof of current rabies vaccination, parasite treatments, a health certificate, and licenses.

Can my pet travel to the UK with an EU Pet Passport?

An EU Pet Passport permits pets to travel to EU countries and listed non-EU countries without having to face quarantine. As long as your pet is microchipped and their rabies vaccinations are up to date, you can use an EU Pet Passport to travel to the UK. You may just require additional documents, such as proof of tapeworm treatments for dogs, and an import permit.

Can I bring my puppy or kitten to the UK?

Yes, however they must be older than 4 months old. Dogs and cats under the age of 3 months are not permitted to enter the UK. Additionally, your dog or cat will need a rabies vaccination, after which you will likely need to wait 21 days before entering the UK.

Can I relocate to the UK with my pet?

Yes, many people relocate to the UK each year. As long as you follow the guidelines above then moving to the UK with a pet should be simple. This means, making sure that your pet has any required vaccinations and has all the documents required to enter the country.


Bottom Line

Obtaining a pet passport to bring your pet to the UK can be a little complicated. Firstly, your pet (dogs, ferrets and cats) will require a microchip. They will also need a valid rabies vaccination, administered no sooner than 21 days before entering the UK, and a health certificate. Pet species other than dogs, ferrets and cats will not require microchipping or a rabies vaccination, however you will require a health certificate and an import permit.

When organising travel, ensure that your chosen airline allows your pet to fly on their planes and that you have an appropriate and approved pet carrier. Airlines have strict regulations when it comes to pet crates.

Quarantine in the UK is not common, however if your pet is shown to have any signs of disease upon clinical inspection, they will be quarantined.

If you are exporting a pet from the UK to another country, the requirements vary a lot as each country has its own entry requirements. However, it is likely that your pet will need a microchip, rabies vaccination and health certificate.

Hope you have found this helpful – happy travels!

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