What you need to do if you are entering the UK from the EU and listed non-EU countries
Preparing your dog, cat or ferret
- Step 1 – Have your pet microchipped – Before any of the other procedures for pet travel are carried out, your pet must be fitted with a microchip so it can be properly identified.
- Step 2 – Have your pet vaccinated– After the microchip has been fitted your pet must be vaccinated against rabies. There is no exemption to this requirement, even if your pet has a current rabies vaccination. Rabies boosters must be kept up to date. The length of the waiting period before entry to the UK is 21 days after the first vaccination date. A waiting period is not required for subsequent entries into the UK, provided rabies boosters are kept up to date. If the vaccination is in two parts the 21 day wait will be from the date of the second vaccination.
- Step 3 – Get pet travel documentation – For animals being prepared in an EU country, you should get an EU pet passport. If you are preparing your animal in a non-EU listed country or territory you will need to obtain an official third country veterinary certificate although note that Croatia, Gibraltar, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland are also issuing passports.
- Step 4 – Tapeworm treatment – We expect the European Commission to shortly come forward with proposals to allow UK to still require pets to be treated against tapeworms. There will be no mandatory requirement for tick treatment.
- Step 5 – Arrange for your animal to travel with an approved transport company on an authorised route– Your pet must enter the UK from a listed country or territory travelling with an approved transport company on an authorised route.
Routes and transport companies
Only certain transport companies and routes can be used to bring dogs, cats and ferrets into the UK. You may use any of the routes and transport companies on the following lists to bring your dog, cat or ferret into the UK under the Scheme, subject to the transport company’s agreement. All companies have been approved by Defra to carry dogs, cats and ferrets but not all may wish to carry ferrets. There may also be a limit to the total number of animals that a company will permit to travel on each boat or aircraft. Check with the company before booking your tickets that they are prepared to carry your pet. You may not bring a pet into the UK from a private boat or plane.
Your pet may travel to the UK via any qualifying country or countries. It must not have been to any non-qualifying country. Entry of a PETS prepared animal into a non-listed country will result in immediate loss of UK PETS status.
Approved EU routes and transport companies
The following routes and transport companies may be used to bring pet dogs, cats and ferrets into the UK from EU PETS countries and territories. Pets travelling on a sea crossing or by rail must accompany passengers with a vehicle unless otherwise shown. Certain routes only carry guide/hearing dogs. On some air routes, registered assistance dogs may travel in the cabin.
Approved non-EU routes and transport companies
The following routes and transport companies may be used to bring pet dogs, cats and ferrets into the UK from non-EU PETS countries. Certain routes only carry guide/hearing dogs. On some air routes, registered assistance dogs may travel in the cabin.
- Non EU routes by air and sea (PDF 60 KB)
Air routes of approved EU and Non-EU companies
Please be advised, that for these routes the whole airplane must be booked, not just a ticket. The listed charter airlines have flights departing from various airports within the country of origin, arriving in the UK, at the airports shown. In order to establish the airports of departure please contact the airlines directly.
IMPORTANT: Routes may change and new ones may be added. Some routes may be irregular and some may only operate during certain times of the year. You are advised to check this and all your other proposed travel arrangements with the transport company, including how they will transport your pet, before booking your trip to the UK as they may have their own additional conditions of travel. These conditions may include a health declaration for your pet.
Pets travelling to the UK by air will travel as cargo, unless they are a registered assistance dog entering with an approved airline, on a route that permits them to travel in the cabin. Check the costs, requirements and procedures with your transport company well before you travel.
Transport companies contact details
Once you have chosen a route, check the contact details of transport companies. Always check your preferred company is willing to transport your pet before making a booking.