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Pet travel from the U.S. to the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland)

Pet travel from the U.S. to the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland)


USDA Accredited Veterinarian Signature Original Ink
APHIS Veterinary Medical Officer Signature Original Ink

Details: Health certificates require original ink signatures from the issuing USDA Accredited Veterinarian and the endorsing APHIS Veterinary Medical Officer with the application of the APHIS embossed seal. Submissions through the online Veterinary Export Health Certification System (VEHCS) cannot be accepted at this time.

View a list of European Union countries. 

The following information applies to the United Kingdom.

Do you have an EU Pet Passport?

  • YES —  I have and EU Pet Passport   You do not need to meet the following requirements because of your EU Pet Passport.   View more information about EU Pet Passports,   
  • NO  I do NOT have an EU Pet Passport  Follow the requirements listed in steps 1-5 below.

  • Dogs, cats, and ferrets must be individually identified by microchip.
  • Your pet should be implanted with an ISO compliant (11784 and 11785) microchip. ISO compliant microchips are 15 digits long.
  • If your pet does not have an ISO compliant microchip, you will need to:
    • Travel with a microchip reader that can read your pet’s microchip OR contact the EU Veterinary Officials at the intended port of arrival to verify that they have a reader capable of reading your pet’s microchip.
    • If a non-ISO compatible microchip was previously implanted and can still be read, then the USDA Accredited Veterinarian can implant an ISO-compatible microchip in addition to the non-ISO one your pet currently has. The number and implant dates of both microchips must be documented on the EU Health Certificate.

Pets less than 12 weeks old that have not been vaccinated for rabies as well as pets 12-16 weeks old that were  vaccinated for rabies less than 21 days prior to arrival in the UK are NOT eligible for entry into the UK and may be refused entry or quarantined upon arrival at the owner’s expense.

  • Rabies vaccination must occur the same day as or AFTER microchip implantation. Any rabies vaccination given before microchip implantation is considered by the UK to be invalid.
  • The first rabies vaccination after microchip implantation is considered the "primary vaccine," and is ONLY valid for one year.
    • If an animal travels more than 12 months after a primary rabies vaccine is given (the first rabies vaccine given after microchip implantation), written documentation that a rabies vaccine booster was given within 12 months of this "primary vaccine" must accompany the pet when it travels to the UK.
    • Pets traveling without documentation proving a rabies booster vaccine was given within 12 months of the primary vaccine may be subjected to revaccination for rabies and a 21 day quarantine upon arrival in the UK at the owner’s expense.
      • Alternatively, the animal can be revaccinated in the U.S. prior to departure and will be eligible for travel to the UK after a 21 day waiting period.
  • Booster (non-primary) rabies vaccinations are valid for 1, 2 or 3 years based on the manufacturer’s recommendations as long as the previous vaccination is current and has been administered according to the UK’s requirements.
  • Rabies vaccination must not expire before entering the UK.
  • Pets MUST travel to the UK with the microchip number included on every rabies vaccination certificate.  Rabies vaccination certificates without the microchip number included may result in the pet being held in quarantine upon arrival in the UK at the owner's expense.
  • After a primary rabies vaccination, the pet must wait 21 days before it is eligible to enter the EU.
    • Applies only to pets over 16 weeks of age that have just received a primary rabies vaccination
  • Primary vaccination – A rabies vaccination is considered a primary vaccination when:
    • It is the first vaccination given at the same time or after microchip implantation
    • It is given after the previous rabies vaccination expired

5 or less dogs, cats, and ferrets traveling

  • Owner traveling on the same plane as the pet OR owner travels within 5 days before or after the pet
    • Certificate must be issued within 10 days of entering the EU
  • Designated person* traveling on the same plane as the pet OR designated person* travels within 5 days before or after the pet
    • Certificate must be issued within 10 days of entering the EU
  • Neither the owner nor a designated person* is traveling within 5 days of the pet
    • Certificate must be issued within 48 hours of departing the U.S.
  • *Designated person: a family member, friend, or other person authorized by the owner to travel with pet

6 or more dogs, cats and ferrets traveling

  • Privately owned pets
    • Certificate must be issued within 48 hours of departing the U.S.
  • Pets traveling in a group to the EU to participate in competitions, exhibitions, sporting events, or in training for those events
    • Certificate must be issued within 10 days of entering the EU
  • After your veterinarian has issued the EU Health Certificate, have your completed paperwork endorsed by your local APHIS Veterinary Services office.
  • Your local APHIS Veterinary Services office will be able to provide specific information about the process and fees associated with endorsement of the EU Health Certificate.
  • Endorsement Fees
  • Tapeworm treatment is required for dog(s) exported to theUnited Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales), Ireland, Malta, Finland and Norway.
  • The dog(s) must be treated by an Accredited Veterinarian between 24 and 120 hours (1 and 5 days) before entering the EU.
    • The medication used must be labeled as an effective treatment against tapeworms (specifically Echinococcus multilocularis) and must be administered by an Accredited Veterinarian.
    • It is recommended to use a medication that contains praziquantel as the active ingredient.
      • Norway requires the use of praziquantel or epsiprantel.
    • When the tapeworm treatment is documented on the EU Health Certificate, please include the name of the medication’s active ingredient (not the brand/trade name) in addition to the name of the manufacturer of the medication.
  • The Accredited Veterinarian must document the date and time of the tapeworm treatment on the EU Health Certificate at the time the treatment is given.
    • The United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales), Ireland, Finland, and Norway allow the tapeworm treatment to occur after APHIS endorsement of the health certificate.

NOTICE:  The United Kingdom has specific requirements based on the type of pet you are traveling with. To get the appropriate Health Certificate, read requirements 1-6 listed above and choose the option that applies to you.

My Pet Travel...

Please note: The EU health certificate is valid for travel within the EU for up to 4 months from the date it is issued by the USDA Accredited Veterinarian as long as the rabies vaccine documented on it does not expire. After entering the EU, dogs subsequently traveling to the United Kingdom, Ireland, Finland, Malta, or Norway will need to be treated for tapeworms by an EU veterinarian within 1-5 days before entering those countries. The EU veterinarian will add the tapeworm treatment information to the EU health certificate issued in the United States. It is your responsibility to ensure your pet meets the import requirements of each country you visit.

Please make sure you read all requirements for taking your bird(s) to the United Kingdom (UK). 

  • Pet bird(s) must have an identification number such as a clip, leg band, microchip (transponder), or tag.
  • Your pet bird may have to undergo isolation and/or testing for Avian Influenza before it can travel to the UK.
  • Please note that statements #3 and #4.3 in the health certificate contain an “either/ or” component. The option you choose in statement #3 should match the option you pick in statement #4.3. Only one (1) option under each statement section should be chosen. (The Accredited Veterinarian issuing the health certificate must line-out and initial the statements that do not apply).

This means the USDA Accredited Veterinarian you are working with has agreed to supervise your bird’s 30 day quarantine in your home.

This means your pet bird must be isolated (kept away) from other birds for at least 10 days prior to leaving the U.S. and tested for Avian Influenza H5 and H7 with either a RT-PCR or virus isolation test on both a cloacal and an oropharyngeal swab at least 3 days after the 10 day isolation starts.

This means that you have made arrangements for your pet bird to be quarantined in an approved facility in the EU once your pet bird arrives in the EU. This option is not available in all EU countries.

Once your pet bird has met all the entry requirements of the UK, your pet bird will be eligible to travel to the UK. A USDA Accredited Veterinarian must exam your bird and issue the below health certificate within 48 hours of travel or the last working day prior to the date of departure to the EU. APHIS endorsement of the health certificate is required after it has been issued by a USDA Accredited Veterinarian. 

International Health Certificate

Do you plan to bring your birds back to the US after your visit to the EU? 

View requirements for pet birds returning to the U.S.

For pet travel requirements not listed, APHIS has not been officially informed by the foreign country about the requirements for your pet’s travel. We recommended that you contact a government official of the country you are traveling to for more information.

Country of destination contact information:  

Considerations for airline travel:

Airlines may have separate and additional requirements. Check with your airline to determine what requirements they may have, if any. 

Additional information about APHIS’ role in international health certificate endorsement.

View requirements for returning to the US with your pet

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