EU to UK Pet Import Rules After Brexit


Specialists in pet travel into and out of the UK.
Get an Export Quote Get an Import Quote

white jack russell on a train, looking out the window

Leaving the EU has changed a lot of things, especially regarding travel. This is true for pets too.

On December 3rd 2020, the EU voted to grand Great Britain ‘part 2 listed status’ for non-commercial pet travel, affecting many of the rules for travelling between the UK and EU countries.

Whilst these rules have been in place since 2021, it is good to remind yourself of them regularly as if you fail to follow these rules your pet may be quarantined for up to 4 months and you will be responsible for any fees!

Read on to find out what you need to do now when travelling with pets.


New Documentation for Pet Imports

Whether you are flying with a pet or travelling by sea or rail, you will need to correct documentation for your animal.

Before Brexit, you needed to provide your pet with a Pet Passport. However, these are no longer valid for entering the UK and have been replaced by Animal Health Certificates.

You must get this documentation approved by an Official Veterinarian.

Microchip Registration

To enter the UK from the EU with your pet, they will need to be microchipped and this will need to be registered with an approved database.

Microchipping is a procedure which involves a small chip being implanted under the pet’s skin. The chip contains a unique number that is read by a scanner.

The details of the owner are stored on the database, and in the unfortunate event that the pet goes missing or is stolen, the authorities can scan their microchip and return the pet to its owner.

Microchipping is incredibly important in keeping your pet safe, so make sure your pet is microchipped before travelling, and re-register their chip upon your return.


When travelling with pets, you have a responsibility to keep them safe from diseases and upon your return, you have a responsibility to keep pets around the country safe by doing all you can to avoid bringing diseases back.

This is why your pet must be vaccinated against rabies, and if you’re travelling with a dog they are likely to need a tapeworm treatment too.

Since EU countries are ‘listed’ countries, your pet will not need a blood test to enter back into the UK.

Travelling with Pets along an Approved Route

You are only permitted to bring your pet into the UK if you have travelled along an approved route, with an approved travel company.

It is crucial that you check these routes before travelling as they may change or only operate at certain times in the year.

Non-Commercial Declaration

If you are not planning on selling or transferring your pet to a new owner once you arrive in the UK, you will also need to fill out a non-commercial declaration form to confirm this.

You are eligible to fill out this form if you are the pet’s owner or a person with written permission from the owner to bring the animal into the UK.

The person travelling with the pet must keep this declaration with them at all times.

Extra Rules

Lastly, you will need to check if there are any extra rules for you to follow.

You’ll need to follow extra (Balai) rules if you:

  • Are going to sell, rehome or transfer the ownership of the pet
  • Are arriving in the UK more than 5 days before or after your pet
  • Are bringing more than 5 animals to the UK and are not attending or training for a show, sports event or competition

Pet import to the UK after Brexit may seem complicated, but these rules are in place to keep you and your fluffy friends safe and happy! If you would like any further advice or guidance on these rules please get in touch with us, and we will be more than happy to help you out to make sure your journey runs smoothly.


Photo by Egor Gordeev on Unsplash.