Relocating Your Family to The United Kingdom

You’ll know that relocating to another country has its challenges and can be grey-hair inducing. Add an animal or two into the mix, and your anxiety levels could be through the roof. At PetAir, they understand that these furry animals are very much part of your family, and will help guide you through the process with ease. Remember it’s something that they do all day, every day. PetAir has fine-tuned their services to accommodate both you and your animals and take the stress out of travelling. 

What is the process?

We firstly recommend that you give yourself ample time to ensure the smooth running of your relocation. Please start the process as soon as you have your relocation confirmed because it can take a few months. There can be unplanned setbacks or delays with vaccination requirements, animal illness or administration errors.

Recruit PetAir

The rules and regulations surrounding pet importation are often changing. You can breathe easily with PetAir. They have fully trained experts that understand the importance of your pets and the ever-changing landscape. They will make sure that your pets meet the import requirements. Each pet must be fully vaccinated and be at least three months old. 


Part 1 Listed Countries

Great Britain accepts pet passports or a Great Britain pet health certificate from the following countries:

EU countries include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Andorra, Azores and Madeira, Canary Islands, French Guiana, Gibraltar, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, Guadeloupe, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Martinique, Mayotte (French territory), Monaco, Norway, Réunion (French territory), Saint Barthélemy (French Territory), San Marino, Saint Martin (French part of the island – French territory), Switzerland, Vatican City State


Part 2 Listed Countries

Great Britain accepts a Great Britain pet health certificate from the following countries (known as Part 2 listed countries):

Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Ascension Island, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Bermuda, BES Islands (Bonair, Saint Eustatius and Saba), Bosnia-Herzegovina, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Curaçao, Falkland Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Montserrat, New Caledonia, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Russian Federation, Saint Maarten, Singapore, St Helena, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Pierre and Miquelon, St Vincent and The Grenadines, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, USA (includes American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the US virgin Islands), Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna.

If you are importing animals from any country that is not listed, you will need to provide a rabies titer test.

Banned breeds

The government has specific guidelines that you must follow. The criteria to import dogs are strict.

The following dogs appear on the banned list:

  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro



It’s essential to ensure that your pets have all of the relevant vaccinations within the stipulated times. The following requirements are essential in your pet’s passport:

  • Your pet’s date of birth
  • Microchip number, the date it was put in or read, and where it is on your pet’s body
  • Vaccination date
  • Vaccine manufacturer and product name, for example, Nobivac
  • Vaccine batch number
  • The date the vaccination is valid until
  • The vet’s signature and contact details



  • Leptospirosis
  • Parvovirus (DHLPP)
  • Hepatitis
  • Parainfluenza
  • Distemper 
  • Bordetella Bronchiseptica 
  • Canine Influenza 
  • Tapeworm 



  • Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis
  • Calicivirus
  • Panleukopenia (FVRCP)


All of these vaccinations should be administered no less than two weeks before your export date and must be valid post quarantine.


Your pets must also have treatment for internal and external parasites.

Rabies Vaccine and Certificate

Cats and dogs must be vaccinated against rabies. Your veterinary surgeon will provide you with a certificate that states the microchip number, the validity of the vaccination, and the date of inoculation. Rabies vaccines are valid for one, two or three years. The vaccine must be the inactivated or recombinant variety. The vaccine must be administered between 30 days and 12 months before your pet’s flight into the United Kingdom.

Rabies Neutralising Antibody Titer Test (RNAT) for Cats and Dogs

Once your pet has had their rabies vaccination, you will need to wait approximately four weeks before collecting a blood sample for the RNAT test. The test must meet the following requirements:

  • The blood test must be taken at least 30-days after the vaccination 
  • Your vet must scan the cat’s microchip and collect the blood sample for the RNAT testing 
  • The test is to be carried out by the competent EU approved blood testing laboratory 
  • A result of 0.5 IU/ml or more is acceptable. A result of less than 0.5 IU/ml is not acceptable and you must re-vaccinate and repeat the testing process.
  • You must wait for three months from the date that the blood sample was taken before you travel
  • Your vet must record the test results and the date that the blood sample was taken in the health certificate

As long as your pet’s rabies vaccinations are up-to-date, then the blood test will continue to be valid. 


The authorities will only identify your pets with a microchip, and the corresponding vet stamped pet passport. A microchip is an integrated identification circuit placed under the skin of your pet. The rice grain size chip uses passive radio-frequency identification technology. It must be implanted before the rabies vaccination is administered. The United Kingdom government accepts microchips that comply with ISO Standard 11784 or 11785.

Routes into the United Kingdom

Check with PetAir for the transportation companies and approved routes that you can use when importing your pet into the United Kingdom. 

Import Permit

PetAir can provide you with the necessary import permit that is required to allow your pets into the United Kingdom. Each of your pets will require this import permit from the United Kingdom Director General of Veterinary Services. The team will provide you with the exact requirements for your country of origin.

Veterinary Certification

You will need to send an official health certificate that states the name, age, description and microchip identification number of each pet within seven days of your flight. The microchip identification number is 15-digits long. Without this, the government will deny your pet entry into the country. 

The United Kingdom Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that the certificate must also include the following information before export:

  • The animal has been examined and found to be healthy and free from any clinical sign of rabies and infectious or contagious diseases 
  • The animal has been vaccinated against rabies using an approved anti-rabies vaccine
  • The vaccination history and health status of your pet
  • That your pet is healthy enough for air travel 

Make at least four copies of the certification and vaccination records for the following:

  • Airline
  • Pet travel crate
  • Transit permit (if necessary)
  • One for you



Quarantine only applies if your pet does not meet the government requirements. 


Additional Information

There are no restrictions on the number of pets imported, but the local the United Kingdom authorities might have local regulations about the number of pets that can be kept in residential premises.

You are required to obtain all of the necessary permits that will allow you to import your pets into the United Kingdom. PetAir can also help you arrange the import permit on your behalf. Quarantine officers may not allow pets to enter the country if there are no import permits. 

You cannot import more than five pets into the United Kingdom unless you can provide written evidence of registration that you are attending a competition, show or sporting event.


We hope that this reassures you, but should you need more specific advice, please let the helpful team at PetAir help, they are all delighted to help you.

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