Exporting Your Pet and Travel Outside of the EU

Advice for travelling outside Europe

Travel outside of the EU will now require your pet to have an Export Health Certificate (EHC). You will also need to complete an Export Application Form if you are in Great Britain (England, Scotland or Wales).  This applies to all species.

You will need to nominate an Official Veterinarian to whom the Export Health Certificate will be sent.  It can take up to 2 weeks for the forms to arrive, so we recommend starting as early as possible. Different destination countries will have different requirements for your pet’s vaccinations, parasite treatments and tests. The EHC and Export Application Form will contain more details on the specific country you have selected.

Pet identification and vaccination

Your pet must have a unique identification in order to travel outside of the EU. This is usually a microchip, closed ring or tattoo. Your pet may also require specific vaccinations in addition to routine vaccinations, and may need a rabies vaccine. For more information on these, please see our travel within the EU and NI page.

Your pet may also require a rabies antibody titre test (a blood test) prior to travel outside of the EU. This test must be carried out at least 30 days after rabies vaccination. If the result is within the acceptable limits, your pet can travel 120 days later. If the titre is too low, your pet will need a booster rabies vaccination and repeat test 30 days later. We therefore recommend planning your pet’s travel at least 6 months in advance of your intended travel date.

Exporting your pet bird

Birds travelling outside of the EU are frequently required to undergo a 21 day isolation period prior to travel. This must include an examination by an Official Veterinarian on day 0 to confirm the isolation facilities, then a second examination prior to travel. Please leave at least 1 month between application and travel for all birds. Birds may also require cloacal swabs and blood tests to confirm the absence of Avian Influenza. These tests must be performed by specific laboratories, at specific times within the isolation period. Further details will be included in the EHC received by the Official Veterinarian.

All birds will require an Export Health Certificate, whether travelling within or outside of the EU. It is not possible for birds to travel with an Animal Health Certificate.

Destination countries may not accept your pets!

Some countries will not accept imports of certain species, regardless of the reasons for travel. If this is the case for your pet, you are responsible for providing suitable alternative arrangements for your pet. If you are emigrating and your pet cannot accompany you, you must ensure a long-term solution is reached prior to travel. There is often a waiting list for rehoming centres, often months long. Do not be fooled into thinking this can be a rushed decision: planning must start early!

Remember that it is up to you to meet the requirements of your destination country in the required timeframe. Pets can be exported and travel within a few weeks, but the preparations for some countries can take up to a year. Please check the requirements for your chosen destination by contacting the appropriate authorities in that country, or by using the travel helpline on this page.