Travelling to the UK or EU

Travelling to the UK or EU

If you have decided to move to the United Kingdom or European Union countries and wish to take your pets with you, there are a number of procedures and consultations required in order to allow your pet’s swift export. These may include rabies vaccines and AQIS health checks.

******As of March 2017 owners of pets traveling to the UK MUST apply online, AT LEAST 3 weeks before arrival, to avoid paying tax/duty on their pets.  The information can be found click here . Also, here are some further instructions in PDF format UK CUSTOMS INSTRUCTION SHEET – Petflights.

  1. For UK and EU-You must contact AQIS (Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service) and notify them of your intention to export your pet – guidelines are available on their website A “Notice of Intent Form” must be submitted to AQIS a minimum of 10 days prior to your intended travel date. Please note that if you are planning on returning to Australia with your pet, you will need to obtain import information from AQIS ( , as we are not qualified give advice regarding re–importing your pet to Australia. It is best to understand these requirements prior to leaving Australia as they may affect the decision to take your pet, as well as impact on your travel plans with your pet overseas.
  2. Your pet will require a microchip (ISO standard) for identification. If your pet is not already microchipped we can implant one here at the clinic. The cost is $92.00
  3. Your pet will require a rabies vaccination ($235.00) a minimum of 21days prior to departure. You must keep the vaccination certificate safe, and have it available for use in the event of needing to travel to another country or back to Australia in the years to come.This vaccination can only be given by an AQIS accredited veterinarian.
  4. There are two options for export – ‘non-commercial’, whereby you travel on the same flight as your pet, and ‘commercial’, where your pet travels on a different flight. This information is important in order to obtain the correct export documents and for final export consultations and treatments.
  5. Your pet will require a pre-export consultation and treatment to establish that your pet is in excellent physical health within 48 hours prior to export, to ensure that they will be fit for the long flight and any time in transit, and to ensure they are not carrying any contagious diseases. Products given to prevent ticks, fleas, mites and intestinal worms are also given at this time. This check and treatment must be performed by an AQIS accredited veterinarian (ie us). The timing of the consultation and treatments will be determined by the type of export ie ‘non-commercial’ vs ‘commercial’, and the timing of your AQIS pre-export documentation check (see next point). The cost of this consultation varies between $215-355 depending on our paperwork requirements and medication costs for the size of your pet. We are not currently providing this service.
  6. Following this, you take your signed documents to AQIS at the airport and have them approved (you need to book an appointment for this with them). Costs vary from about $130 per pet. Please contact them for an exact price. It is best to make a time for this appointment approximately 1 1/2 hours or more after your scheduled health check with us. Your flights must not be booked on a Sunday or Monday for the logistical reason that we are not open Sundays, we don’t always have an AQIS accredited vet working on Saturdays, and AQIS only operate on weekdays.
  7. IATA (airline approved) crates of an appropriate size are required for the transportation of your pet. Crates can be purchased online, some pet store retailers and pet transport companies. The airline will examine the crate at the time of the flight to see it is IATA approved. If you are unsure if your crate meets the required standards, please seek the advice of AQIS well in advance of your flight date.
  8. The flight ticket for your pet must be organized by yourself – we cannot give advice regarding the flight’s costs or logistics as every airline and route is different. You need to contact the airline directly to discuss their requirements. Some airlines have restrictions on which breeds they will carry, and also some will not allow you to arrange the booking yourself and request that you use a transport company so please be aware of this.

For more information on exporting your pet to the UK under the Pets Travel Scheme click here for the DEFRA website which explains it all in detail.

As this whole procedure is long and complex we would recommend you use the help of a transport company such as Dogtainers as they will be able to provide all the necessary advice and documentation, rather than attempting the process on your own. You can however have the rabies vaccine done yourself, as we are more than happy to help with this. Generally the transport company will look after all your paperwork, provide the crates, book the flights and do the final 48 hour vet check up, treatments and AQIS check. This will take a load off your mind and makes for a smooth, hassle free export.
Enjoy Your Trip


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