Travelling to and from the United Kingdom with your pet after Brexit

If you want to bring pets from the EU to the United Kingdom, nothing has changed after 1 January 2021. By pets we mean cats, dogs and ferrets.

Travelling from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom

If you want to travel to the United Kingdom from the EU with a pet after Brexit, the United Kingdom has hitherto indicated that the current rules will remain unchanged. This means that the following requirements will continue to apply:

  • Identification chip (the pet must have been microchipped prior to being vaccinated against rabies)
  • Rabies vaccination (the pet may not travel until 21 days after the first dose)
  • A valid European pet passport
  • Treatment against tapeworm (Echinococcus). This applies exclusively to dogs and must have taken place at least one day (24 hours) and at most five days (120 hours) before entry into the United Kingdom.

For commercial export of dogs, cats and ferrets to the United Kingdom you need a health certificate. This can only be issued by the NVWA. The commercial rules for exporting dogs, cats and ferrets must be followed if:

  • their ownership is being transferred;
  • you are not travelling to the United Kingdom within 5 days before or after the arrival of your pet;
  • you are travelling with more than 5 pets (exception: exhibitions or competitions). 

You can find more information about the health certificate using our export assistant (Dutch only). 

Banned dogs

Some dogs are banned in the UK. The following types of dogs are banned:

  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Argentine Dogo
  • Fila Brasileiro.

Whether a dog is a banned type depends on what it looks like, rather than its breed or name. For more information, see the banned dogs page on the gov.uk website.

Travelling with a different kind of pet

If you want to bring pets other than cats, dogs or ferrets to the United Kingdom, please check our export assistant (Dutch only) to check if there’s a health certificate available for this type of animal. Planning to take your horse to the United Kingdom? Please use the online guide (Dutch only) to check what the requirements are. For more information, please contact the authorities in the United Kingdom by sending a message to pettravel@apha.gov.uk.

Travelling from the United Kingdom to the Netherlands

If you want to travel or return to the Netherlands from the United Kingdom, you do not need a blood test, but your dog, cat or ferret must meet at least the following requirements:

  • identification chip (the pet must have been microchipped prior to being vaccinated against rabies);
  • rabies vaccination (the pet may not travel until 21 days after the first dose);
  • a valid travel document.

What is a valid travel document?

A valid travel document is:

  • a European pet passport issued in a Member State of the European Union; or
  • an animal health certificate issued by the official authority in the United Kingdom.

What is not a valid travel document?

The following is not a valid travel document:

  • a European pet passport issued in the United Kingdom before 1 January 2021.

Please note: since 1 January 2021, veterinarians in the United Kingdom are no longer allowed to enter rabies vaccinations in a European pet passport. A veterinarian in the United Kingdom must record these vaccinations in an animal health certificate if you are planning to travel to the European Union with your pet.

A blood test which proves that your pet is sufficiently protected against rabies is not necessary for dogs, cats and ferrets travelling from the UK to the EU. Since 9 December 2020, the EU has designated the UK a low-risk country for rabies. 

On arrival at the ferry terminal or airport in the Netherlands, you must report your pet to customs (goods to declare). Customs will check your pet and its papers.

Arrange a flight if you want to buy an animal or travel with more than five animals

If you buy a dog, cat or ferret in the UK that you are not picking up yourself or if you travel to the Netherlands with more than five animals per person, then the animals must be inspected on arrival in the EU at a designated border control post. In the Netherlands, this is only possible at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. This means that you may not transport the animals by ferry from the UK directly to the Netherlands. 

Exception: exhibition or competition

If you are travelling with more than five dogs, cats or ferrets per person to take part in an exhibition or competition, you can travel or return to the EU with your animals without the animals being inspected on arrival. To qualify for this exception, you must have written proof that the animals are registered to participate in the event. In addition, the animals must be older than six months.

Travelling with a different kind of pet?

If you want to bring a pet which is not a dog, cat or ferret from the United Kingdom, please contact us:

Protected species (CITES)

You may wish to travel to the United Kingdom with an animal that belongs to a protected species. If you wish to import a protected species from a country outside the EU, you may also need a CITES permit. For more information, visit the Trade in protected species section on the Netherlands Enterprise Agency website.

Travelling from a country outside of the EU to the United Kingdom through the Netherlands

Are you travelling through the Netherlands from a country outside of the European Union to the United Kingdom? For example, to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and then by ferry to the United Kingdom? Then your pet must also comply with the requirements of the European Union. The health certificate required to travel to the United Kingdom is not sufficient as a valid travel document. For more information about the requirements of the United Kingdom, see the website bring pet to great britain. For more information about the EU requirements, see travelling to the Netherlands with your dog or cat.