Sat | Mar 24, 2018

Immigration Corner | Taking your pet dog back to the United Kingdom

Published:Tuesday | June 13, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Dear Mr. Bassie,

I am a British citizen living in Jamaica and I am about to return to England. I plan to take back my dog with me and would like to know if this is possible. Please advise me.

- G.T.

Dear G.T.,

Persons can enter or return to the United Kingdom with their pet cat, dog or ferret: if the animal has been microchipped; has a pet passport or third-country official veterinary certificate; has been vaccinated against rabies - the animal will also need a blood test if travelling from an 'unlisted country'. Also, dogs must also usually have a tapeworm treatment.

Please note that the pet may be put into quarantine for up to four months if the owner does not follow these rules or refused entry if travelling by sea. The owner will be responsible for any fees or charges associated with the previously mentioned actions.

Persons should be aware that they must follow extra rules if the animal or animals will be: sold in the United Kingdom from outside the EU or inside the EU; re-homed in the United Kingdom from inside or outside the EU.

Just for completeness, persons should be aware that there are different rules for entering other countries from the United Kingdom with a pet, and the rules for the country that is being travelled to should be checked.

Before travelling, persons should check if the transport company that they are travelling with will accept a pet for travel, and how many they will accept if they have more than one; needs any proof that the pet is fit and healthy to travel, for example a letter from a vet or certain information in the pet passport.


Different rules


In travelling with pets, persons must ensure that the pets arrive in the United Kingdom no more than 5 days before or after them, or they will have to follow different rules. Persons must use an approved transport company and route unless they are travelling between the United Kingdom and Ireland. They will need to fill in a declaration form confirming that they are not going to sell or transfer the ownership of the pet. Someone else may travel with the pet if the owner has authorised it in writing.

It should also be noted that the rules are different if persons are bringing other animals into the United Kingdom.

Please be aware that the rules for bringing a pet cat, dog or ferret into the United Kingdom depends on whether they are coming from an EU country, or another country that the United Kingdom accepts pet passports from; a listed country; an unlisted country - a country the United Kingdom does not accept a pet passport from, and one that is not a listed country.


Pet passports


As well as all countries in the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom also accepts pet passports from: Andorra, Azores and Madeira, Canary Islands, French Guiana, Gibraltar, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, Guadeloupe, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Martinique, Monaco, Norway, Reunion, San Marino, Switzerland, and the Vatican City.

The listed countries are: 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, CuraÁao, Falkland Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Montserrat, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Russian Federation, Saint Maarten, Singapore, St Helena, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Pierre and Miquelon, St Vincent and The Grenadines, Taiwan, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 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.

With respect to travelling from Jamaica, persons must have their pet microchipped and vaccinated in a different non-EU listed country or put their pet into quarantine.

In addition, it should be noted that there are more rules if persons are entering the United Kingdom with a cat from Australia or a cat or dog from Malaysia.

I hope this helps.

Yours truly,

John S. Bassie

- John S. Bassie is a Barrister/ Attorney-at-Law who practices law in Jamaica. He is a Justice of the Peace, a Supreme Court Appointed Mediator, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a Chartered Arbitrator and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email: