Pet Import Regulations in the United Kingdom



Relocating pets may require some preparation as UK imposes strict guidelines on pet transport. However, the process has become less complicated with the recently effected Pet Travel Scheme which applies to shippers from both EU and non-EU countries.

Relocating Pets

PETS have made the process less of a hassle by allowing pets from any country of origin to enter UK without being quarantined if certain requirements are met. Once proven that the pets have not entered any non-PETS country within 6 months prior to arrival, guidelines involving quarantine are dropped if the animals do come from non-PETS countries, they will automatically be subject to six-month quarantine. As one of the pet relocation requirements for entry into UK, a pet passport may also be required for animals from certain countries.   

International pet relocation to the UK also restricts entry of birds and their eggs unless they are raised as pets or are part of an entertainment caravan.

These rules are imposed mainly to avoid transmission of rabies and other animal-borne diseases in the UK. Pet owners are expected to cooperate by researching all pet import regulations to avoid inconveniences caused by lack of preparation and awareness. Expats who want to bring their pets but don't have time to attend to the process themselves can always use pet relocation services to ensure a smooth and hassle-free import.

Pet Care

The responsible organisation for the welfare of pets in the UK is the Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA). As of 2014, there are 9M dogs and 8M cats all over the United Kingdom. Expatriate assignees entering London must abide by the requirements. All pet dogs, cats and other animals must be: 

  • Vaccinated against rabies to avoid harm upon entrance
  • Microchipped
  • Must have a pet passport and/or official veterinary certificate 

Also, tapeworm treatment must be provided for dogs. Expats must also understand that there could be a possibility of placing their pets in quarantine for four months if the abovementioned requirements were not completed. Other pets aside from the three are set for a different set of rules. Pet relocation must also be done five days on or before the expat’s move to the UK. A declaration must also be filled out as a confirmation that the pet will not be sold or transferred to ownership upon arrival in the UK.