We don’t have any official UK updates on this yet, on how BREXIT and leaving the EU will affect the pet documents. The industry currently expects a big rush of moves BEFORE the Brexit deadline given probably the 6 months of uncertainty that may happen after any change.
Pet relocation to the UK is assisted by Ferndale very frequently. Remember, once you appoint Ferndale to do the pet shipping, actually we do all the legwork for you and so all you need to do is worry about all the other items associated with relocation like closing your bank accounts, finding new schools or new property to live in, etc.
Ferndale has been pet shipping for 20 years so we can manage the process door-to-door and do all the flight booking, veterinary appointment bookings, fix all the Government(s) and Airline paperwork, etc. There are few challenges or problems that we have not seen and overcome before!
UK pet travel requirements:
To travel to the UK, from Hong Kong, pets must have a microchip and a valid rabies vaccination done at least 21 days before travel and owner & pets must arrive into UK within 5 days of each other. Your pet must have either a pet passport or an official veterinary certificate.
(Please check with us if any more requirements apply to your pet.)
The Pet Travel Scheme was set up and allows you to bring your cat, dog (or even ferret) back into the UK from certain countries without spending six months in a quarantine facility.
Now certain ‘unlisted countries’ require in addition to having been vaccinated against rabies, a blood test for Rabies- that’s not the case currently for Hong Kong.
Many of the pets flying to the UK arrive in London Heathrow, and upon arrival at Heathrow, pets are transferred to the “HARC” for their vet check and the customs clearance — this process can take 6–8 hours to complete.
The HARC was set up as a World Leader in responsible pet shipping management and care, and its still at the forefront. All pets imported under the Pet Travel Scheme and coming through the Centre get a health check, their microchip is scanned, they get a bathroom break, and have an individual kennel to rest in while waiting to be picked up. Our Ferndale staff has both visited the HARC and met the HARC senior staff and know them well, so we are very happy and familiar with their professional set up.
About 16,000 dogs and cats travelled through the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre last year.
HARC main responsibilities
Collecting animals from the aircraft and bringing them back to the Animal Reception Centre.
Checking dogs and cats paperwork for compliance when imported under The Pet Travel Scheme. Care for the pets while their under roof.
TOR Transfer of Residence
As of April 1st, 2017, the UK now rules that you file a UK Transfer of Residence (TOR) to exempt your household goods including pets from Taxes on return to the UK. This TOR must be filed electronically in advance. Here is a useful link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-for-transfer-of-residence-tor-relief-tor01
In Summary, there are a few challenges with moving pets to the UK and one is that they must all arrive as manifest Cargo and not as excess baggage. But it’s a lot easier than it was in the past.
We are monitoring the situation with regards to Brexit and the UK leaving the EU and its impact on pet shipping. Please ask us for the latest information or updates.