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Date updated: 28/03/2023

The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) allows:

  • Dogs (Canis lupus familiaris)
  • Cats (Felis silvestris catus)
  • Ferrets (Mustela putorius furo)

to enter or re-enter the UK without serving statutory quarantine providing they comply with PETS. Information on PETS is at the Bring your dog, cat or ferret to Great Britain page on the GOV.UK website.

Criteria for a 'non-commercial' movement

  • The owner, or designated person, must travel within five days of the pets.
  • No more than five pets in the consignment
  • A non-commercial entry document is issued with a signed declaration.

Your pet must be booked as manifest cargo on an approved airline. You may need to apply for Transfer of Residency relief (ToR1). Information is at Entering and staying in the UK on the GOV.UK website. 

Travel from a listed country (Part 1 and 2)

A list of these countries is on the listed and unlisted countries on the GOV.UK website. The required order of preparation is:


Go to microchip on the GOV.UK website.

Ensuring it is:

  • ISO 11784/5 compliant (15 numerical digits)
  • implanted or read prior to their rabies vaccination

HARC have microchip scanners that are able to read AVID (9 digits), FECAVA (10 digits, alphanumeric) and Trovan standard microchips too.

Rabies vaccination

Go to rabies vaccinations and boosters on the GOV.UK website.

Ensure it is administered:

  • After the microchip was implanted or read. The vaccinating vet must verify the microchip prior to vaccination for identification purposes
  • In accordance with the manufacturer's instructions
  • When your pet was at least 12 weeks old
  • At least 21 days prior to arrival (day of vaccine = day 0)

DOGS only: Tapeworm treatment

Go to tapeworm treatment for dogs on the GOV.UK website.

Ensure the treatment:

  • Is administered by your vet
  • Contains the active ingredient praziquantel
  • Is administered no less than 24 hours arrival before arrival
  • Is administered no more than 120 hours (five days) before arrival

Tapeworm treatment is not required for dogs arriving from Ireland, Finland, Malta and Norway

Get an entry document issued

  • EU Pet Passport. These can only be issued by EU vets. Vets from outside the EU are not authorised to enter information in sections labelled "Authorised veterinarian" – doing so may make it invalid for entry. Tapeworm treatments may be documented by vets outside the EU.
  • GB Health Certificate. This is completed by your authorised/official vet, and then endorsed by the competent authority in the country of origin. You must include supporting documentation with this certificate.
  • Animal Health Certificate. This is completed by a official vet in Great Britain for return travel to the EU. From the date of issue you have 10 days for entry into the EU or Northern Ireland. The certificate is then valid for four months for onward travel within the EU, and 4 months for re-entry to Great Britain.

Cats from Australia

Cats from Australia must be accompanied with a certificate from the Australian veterinary authorities confirming that they have not been on a holding where Hendra virus has been confirmed during the 60 days before export.

Pets from Malaysia (Peninsula)

Health certification must be provided by the Malaysian veterinary authorities which confirms they:

  • Had no contact with pigs during at least the 60 days before export.
  • Had not been resident on holdings where during the past 60 days any case of Nipah disease has been confirmed.
  • Had a NIPAH test with a negative result. This must be carried out in a laboratory approved for testing for antibody against the Nipah disease viruses by the competent veterinary authorities on a sample of blood taken within ten days of export.

Pets imported for commercial purposes and those which cannot be accompanied as above must travel under the Trade and import regime

Travel from an unlisted country

A country that is not listed on the listed and unlisted countries page is classified as unlisted. In addition to the requirements above, you pet will need:

Rabies serology test

To be valid this must:

  • Be performed at an EU approved laboratory
  • Be based on a blood sample drawn at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination (the date of vaccination is day 0)
  • Return a titre of at least 0.5iu
  • A waiting period of three months from the sample date must pass before entry. Your pet may re-enter the EU without the three month post-blood test wait providing they vaccinated against rabies and blood sampled whilst still in the EU. This must be documented in your pet's EU Passport by your vet.
  • The blood test remains valid for entry providing your pet has remained vaccinated against rabies without any breaks/gaps since the blood sample. We must see evidence of all subsequent vaccinations in the form of a vaccination booklet or certificates. These must all list your pet's microchip number.

What happens if there are problems with my paperwork?

This is likely to result in delays in releasing your pet and you could incur extra charges. Non-compliances are grouped into three categories:

  • Section 1: Minor administrative errors by the issuing vet. No clarification from the issuing vet required and no further action required.
  • Section 2: Errors with the paperwork that will require us to contact the vet for clarification before release. This will incur an administrative fee of £90.
  • Section 3: Serious error with the paper work that could result in your pet needing to serve quarantine, or be re-exported to the country of origin. Section 3 issues cover issues such as tapeworm re-treatment or new entry paperwork being issued. These will incur further charges.

Common problems

Your vet needs to record the following information about the rabies vaccination:

  • Manufacturer (eg. Merck, Zoetis, Merial, Boehringer Ingelheim)
  • Product name (Eg. Nobivac, Defensor, Imrab)
  • Batch number
  • Validity dates

We often see entry paperwork where the vet has only stated the manufacturer, and not the product name. This will result in your pet being held at our facility until we can confirm this information from the vet who administered the vaccine, incurring a £90 administrative fee.

Your pet must be identifiable via microchip before it is vaccinated against rabies. The vaccinating vet must scan and record the microchip number of your pet before administering a rabies vaccine. Any rabies vaccinations administered before microchipping are not valid for entry.

We advise you review your pet's veterinary records to find the date the microchip was implanted so this can be recorded on the entry document. if you cannot find this date, a reading date can be entered. However this first reading date must be before the rabies vaccination(s).

Most three year rabies vaccinations are only valid for three years if they're given as a booster within the validity of a one year primary rabies vaccination. The entire rabies vaccination course must have been administered:

  • When your pet was at least 12 weeks old
  • After their microchip was implanted/read
  • In accordance to the manufacturer and countries requirements

If your pet's three year booster was given more than one year before its scheduled entry you will need to include evidence of its vaccination history in the form of vaccination certificates, or a booklet. You must ensure the following information is present:

  • Microchip number
  • Manufacturer of vaccine (Eg. Merck, Merial, Zoetis, Boehringer Ingelheim)
  • Product name of vaccine (eg. Nobivac R, Imrab, Defensor)
  • Batch number
  • Validity dates

Any breaks in vaccination will invalidate subsequent boosters and we cannot use any vaccinations that occur before its microchip was implanted or read. The first vaccine after a break or microchip implant is considered its primary vaccine, valid for one year only.

Frequent issues with tapeworm treatment include:

  • A treatment given that does not contain the active ingredient 'Praziquantel', eg. Pfizer Cestex
  • The tapeworm treatment is administered by the owner, and not the vet. 
  • The treatment was not administered at least 24 hours before arriving at Heathrow, or more than 120 hours (five days) before arriving. You must allow for time zone differences, these time frames are based on UK (GMT) time.

If your dog arrives without a valid tapeworm treatment it will be re-treated by a vet at HARC. This will incur re-treatment costs and another 24-hour boarding fee.