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Pet Passport Rules and Documentation

Travelling to and from abroad with your pet is much easier since the 2012 changes in the Pet Travel Scheme. Even so, this section will help you understand how the pet passport scheme works.

UK PET PASSPORTS: As a rule, your pet will need a passport to travel abroad and then re-enter the United Kingdom.

But, the list of accepted or not accepted overseas countries cause most confusion. Use the information in this guide to check how a pet passport and other documents may affect the journey. Dogs, cats, and ferrets need pet passports for re-entering the UK:

The pet could be travelling from one of the listed or unlisted countries without a pet passport. In this case you would need to get a third-country official veterinary certificate.

Note: All your pet passports and other documents must be originals (not photocopies). Read the advice for pet owners planning to take a pet to any EU country after 29 March 2019 (in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit).

How to Get a Pet Passport UK

When you get a pet passport it will list all the different treatments given to your pet. You can get pet passports only from specified vets in certain EU countries. The United Kingdom also accepts pet passports issued by some other selected countries.

Not all veterinarians issue pet passports. But your local vet can give you the contact details of the nearest one that does. You can also contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency for further help on how to get a pet passport in the UK.

Getting a pet passport from an animal vet is a simple process. It means your cat or dog avoids the need for rabies quarantine when they re-enter the Great Britain.

But, you will need to take your pet and some other documentation. The vet needs to see the pet’s identity and vaccination records. Take any rabies blood test results along too if your pet has them.

You will need to visit a vet that participates in the Pet Passport Scheme. DEFRA licences veterinary surgeons to provide the right vaccinations and animal health checks. This is a requirement of creating a passport for pet dogs, cats, and ferrets.

Note: The pet will need to be at least 12 weeks old to get a pet passport issued. It will also need a microchip implant and rabies virus vaccination.

How to Get a Pet Passport in the United KingdomPet Passport: How Long Before Travel?

As a rule it takes less than 24 hours for most vets to issue a pet passport. But, your pet cannot travel for at least 21 days after having the rabies vaccination.

You may need to arrange for pet worming 1 to 5 days before re-entering the United Kingdom. Only authorised veterinarians can conduct this part of the process.

Note: You might get special permission if you need to travel before the 21 day limit. In these cases, you may need to get it from the country of your intended journey.

Pet Passport: How Much Does It Cost?

Prices for pet passports vary in the United Kingdom but these are some example costs.

  • Administration Fee: Around £60
  • Pet Microchipping: Up to £20
  • Rabies Vaccination: Up to £60

Pet Passport: How Long Do They Last?

UK pet passports are valid for the life of the animal providing you keep the documentation up to date. The most important part to keep current is the pet’s rabies vaccination. That means getting a rabies booster vaccination every 3 years for your pet.

You must meet the requirements for entering the United Kingdom for a pet passport to be valid. The issuance of new style pet passports began in December 2014. You do not need to get the new version until you have filled the treatment spaces in the old one.

But, it is a good idea to travel with any previous pet passports. This may be necessary if the pet had a blood test that got stamped in an earlier version. Your vet can give further information if you need it.

Note: Only authorised veterinarians can enter information into a pet passport. As a rule they are vets in countries that the UK accepts pet passports from. Some exceptions apply for tapeworm treatments.

Pet Passport Checks Before Travelling

It is always prudent to make sure the vet filled in all sections of your pet passport. Have a look and check to confirm:

  • The correct details of ownership in section 1. You need to sign this part in the new style passports (issued on or after December 29th 2014).
  • The right description of your animal.
  • Any markings or means of identification for the animal.
  • The vaccination against rabies.
  • A rabies blood test (where applicable).
  • Authorisation details of the vet issuing the passport for new style passports.
  • The tapeworm treatment for dogs (where applicable).

Third Country Official Veterinary Certificate

Pet passport rules for entering or returning to the EU through the Pet Travel Scheme are strict. If you are coming from listed or unlisted countries with a pet you must have either:

  • A pet passport providing your pet got it before leaving the European Union.
  • A third-country official veterinary certificate including any associated documents listed on it.

Using a Pet Passport

You only need a third-country official veterinary certificate if you did not get the pet passport before leaving the EU. That is providing all the animal’s treatments remain valid.

Note: The third-country official veterinary certificate must record any booster vaccinations or blood tests carried out from outside the EU.

Using a Third Country Official Veterinary Certificate

If you enter with a certificate the pet must arrive in an EU country within 10 days of its issuance. Even so, it is still valid for further travel within the EU for 4 months. Make sure the person who checks the pet on arrival in the EU signs and stamps the pet’s certificate.

Exchanging a Certificate for Pet Passport

In some cases you can exchange the certificate to an EU pet passport instead. Some situations to do so would be:

  • If the certificate expires while the pet is in one of the EU countries.
  • If the pet needs a rabies booster vaccination while in an the EU country.
  • If you plan to continue travelling within the EU after the certificate expires.

To make the exchange you will need to show the vet:

  • The original certificate.
  • The identity and vaccination record for the pet.
  • The blood test results (where applicable).

Pet Passport Cats from Australia to UK

The documentation for travelling with pets has some special rules. One of them applies to bringing a cat from Australia to the United Kingdom. You will need a certificate from the Australian Department of Agriculture.

It will confirm the cat did not get exposed to the Hendra virus in the 60 day period before you left.

Pet Passport Dogs and Cats from Peninsular Malaysia

Another special rule applies to bringing in a dog or a cat from the Peninsular Malaysia to the UK. You would need a certificate from the Malaysian government veterinary health services. The certificate must show that:

  • The dog or cat did not have contact with pigs in the 60 days before leaving.
  • It had not been on a holding with Nipah disease in the 60 days before leaving.
  • The dog or cat has a negative blood test result for Nipah virus antibody. This test must get carried out by a laboratory approved for Nipah virus. It should be on a blood sample taken no later than 10 days before leaving the country.


PETS Travel Scheme: Check out the current rules for bringing a pet into the United Kingdom.
Pet Microchipping Laws: Find out how the pet microchip rules function for dogs and cats.
Pet Rabies Vaccination: Check the rabies vaccine rules work for dogs, cats, and ferrets.
Guide Dog and Service Dogs: Travelling abroad with a guide dog or other assistance dogs.
PETS Helpline: How to contact the Pet Travel Scheme helpline or make an official complaint.

Pet Passport and Documents in United Kingdom