Flying to the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is a frequent destination for pet travel, this is why we cover the rules and requirements. While there is no quarantine for cats and dogs in the UK if the rules are followed correctly.
Because the UK is considered a rabies-free country, the import requirements must be strictly followed to prevent quarantine upon arrival. The order in which these requirements must be completed is: (For Singapore only)
- Microchip (implanted and scanned)
- Rabies Vaccination and Certificate (must be at least 21 days old prior to travel)
- EU Health Certificate (Annex IV)
- Tapeworm Treatment (for dogs only)
- Endorsement of Paperwork
The rabies vaccination rules became stricter in 2017, as DEFRA began enforcing that the primary rabies vaccination (the one given right after the microchip) must either be a 1-year vaccination or a 3-year vaccination still within the first year when the pet travels. This means that if your pet was given a 3-year vaccination right after the microchip that is now in its second or third year, it is no longer valid for entry into the UK.
Also, the UK is now requiring pets to be covered under a “Transfer of Residency” (ToR) declaration in order to avoid Customs VAT upon arrival. To be clear, a ToR number is not required to import your pet into the UK — however, you will need to pay the Customs VAT if you do not have a ToR number at the time of your pet’s arrival.
EU Pet Passports
Pets that have an EU Pet Passport with an expired rabies vaccination listed or a vaccination that was updated by a veterinarian who was not in the EU will also be required to follow the import steps listed above.
On the other hand, if your pet does have an EU Pet Passport and the rabies vaccination was recorded by an EU veterinarian and is still valid, your pet will only need the EU Pet Passport to travel to the UK.
Commercial vs. Non-Commercial Pet Travel
If you’re planning pet travel to the UK (or anywhere in the EU), you’ve probably heard of the 5-Day Rule. Since 2014, pet owners must travel to the UK within five days of their pet’s arrival in order to avoid the move being labeled as a “commercial” shipment. While you can still import your pet as a commercial shipment, the health certificate will be different, the timeline for completing the health certificate is much tighter, and the import taxes are higher.
Attention: This information is to be used as general guidelines and may not be updated to meet the current requirements. Before you travel, be sure to contact the appropriate authorities for your destination country.