Pet Travel Guidance

From 1 January 2021, there are new procedures to follow when travelling with your Pet from Great Britain (GB) to Northern Ireland (NI). GB has become a ‘Part II Listed’ Third Country for the purposes of pet travel and this will mean there will be additional documentary requirements, health preparations and checks for travelling with a pet from GB to NI. The term “pets”, for the scope of this guidance, comprises dogs (including assistance dogs), cats and ferrets.

There will be no routine checks on the non-commercial movement of pets from GB to NI until further notice.
Officials will reserve the right to undertake checks should there be a suspicion of illegal activity or welfare concerns.

Pets

When travelling with your pet dog, cat or ferret, the rules you must follow depend on the country you are going to or coming from. There are 4 categories of countries. The category your country falls into will determine the preparations you need to make for your pet to travel.

  • Details for travelling from a Part 2 Listed Country (including GB) to an EU Member State (including NI) are listed here
  • Any person travelling from NI to GB with a pet and returning to NI, will be required to adhere to the EU requirements for travelling into the EU/NI from a Part II listed country.
  • If travelling from NI to GB and not returning to NI with your pet, there are no documentary or health preparations.  However there is a legal requirement that dogs are microchipped at 8 weeks old. It is recommended that you check with your transport company before travelling as they may need a statement from a vet confirming your pet is fit to travel.
  • There is no change to the requirements for travelling from NI within the EU including the Republic of Ireland (ROI). Travel within the EU currently requires a pet passport and rabies vaccination.
  • If you are planning to move pets from NI to outside the EU, it is recommended that you contact the competent authority of the country of destination in advance of your journey, as there may be additional requirements that have to be met. If you need to apply for an Export Health Certificate instructions can be found here.

Before travelling with your pet from NI your pet may need some or all of the following:

  • A pet passport (if you live in NI you can obtain a pet passport directly from one of the veterinary practices participating in the pet travel scheme)
  • microchip (or legible tattoo imprinted prior to 3 July 2011)
  • A valid rabies vaccination
  • 21 day wait from the date of rabies vaccination before being eligible to travel to other EU countries
  • An animal health certificate (unless you have a pet passport issued in Northern Ireland)
  • Tapeworm treatment for dogs if you’re travelling directly to Finland, Republic of Ireland (ROI), NI, Norway or Malta
  • Check with your transport company as they may need a statement from a vet confirming your pet is fit to travel
  • Pet owners travelling to an event in NI from any country, including GB, should complete this declaration
  • Before moving dogs for commercial purposes from GB into NI, read the latest guidance here. You need to obtain an Export Health Certificate (EHC) and pre-notify, giving at least 24 hours advance notice of the arrival of the consignment in NI by creating a CHED-A on TRACES.NT, uploading scanned colour copies of the EHCs and any supporting documents. Where the document is too large to send as one file, it is acceptable to send it in two parts. Further guidance on pre-notification can be found here, with more detailed information on timescales for pre-notification here.

These requirements also apply to Recognised Assistance Dogs

  • The EU Pet Travel Regulation covers the movement of up to 5 pets with their owners.
  • Where more than 5 pets are travelling in a consignment (see exception for Travelling to Shows) or in the case of commercial movement of pets, as well as the preparations needed for pet travel, the requirements for commercial trade laid down by the ‘Balai’ Directive must also be met. Commercial trade includes any transfer of ownership and also relates to dogs travelling for the purpose of re-homing.

On Arrival in Northern Ireland

  • Pet owners travelling to an event in NI from any country, including GB, should make this completed declaration available to a DAERA Portal Inspector upon arrival in NI
  • Pet owners returning to NI from an event in GB should also complete this declaration
  • On arrival in NI - if you do not have the correct documents or your pet has not been properly prepared, it may be licensed into quarantine until it fully meets the entry requirements or be sent back to the country it travelled from. You must pay the costs for this.

Further Information

  • Full guidance, including all Pet Travel Country Category Requirements can be found here.
  • The EU Pet Travel regulation Regulation (EU) 576/2013 details the documentary, health and compliance check requirements for the travel of pet dogs (including assistance dogs), cats and ferrets between and into Northern Ireland to avoid the quarantining of animals
  • How to Complete a Pet Passport
  • Pet Passport Scheme - NI Veterinary Practices listed here
  • The Guide Dogs Association has advice about taking assistance dogs abroad
  • Commercial Movement of Pets
  • A list of EU Member States can be found here
  • A list of Part 1 listed countries can be found here
  • A list of Part 2 listed countries can be found here
  • An Unlisted country is any country not included in the list of EU, Part 1 or Part 2 listed countries
  • For countries outside of the EU, authorised vets issue EU animal health certificates instead of pet passports. More information here
  • If you need an EHC and you cannot find the one you need, contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).
    Contact Details:
    Tel: 0370 241 1710
    Email: pettravel@apha.gov.uk (for those living in England, Scotland, Wales, Channel Islands or Isle of Man)
  • Information on movements of other types of pet can be found here
  • Guidance on bringing a pet bird into Northern Ireland from another EU/EEA country can be found here
  • Further information is available from the DAERA website: Travelling with Pets or by telephone 0300 2007840
  • Specific queries should be forwarded to: tradeadminpost@daera-ni.gov.uk
Back to top