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For Equine Vets Everywhere

EU exit and moving equines

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal in place, there will be changes to the way that equines are moved from the UK to the EU.

Equine owners will need to take steps to prepare for a potential no deal and should consult a vet at least six weeks ahead of when they are intending to move their equine to the EU.

This is because if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the UK will become a third country. Third countries are required to be ‘listed’ by the relevant EU committee in order to export equines to the EU.

Ahead of Brexit on 12th April, the EU agreed to list the UK and place us in Sanitary Group A. The appropriate committee of the European Commission will need to vote to list the UK again prior to Brexit on 31st October. We are confident the UK will continue to meet the requirements for listing.

As a listed third country, UK equines would need to undertake blood tests for certain diseases within 30 days before travel to the EU. There would also be changes to the documentation required to move equines from the UK to the EU.


The EU provided the UK with listed status ahead of an April 12th exit. Would this apply for a later no deal exit?

Should owners and businesses actively be preparing for no deal?

Will you reimburse businesses and citizens for any no deal planning that turns out to be unnecessary?

What will I need to do differently following a no deal exit to move my equine from the UK to the EU (incl. horses, ponies and donkeys)?

Will this mean increased costs for owners?

What will the blood testing requirements be?

How often will a blood test be required? Every time a horse moves, annually etc.?

What are the turn-around times for testing? What has been done to ensure enough resource is in place to process tests?

When should I consult my vet to start preparations?

Do I need to book an Official Vet to carry out the blood tests?

Will equines that had previously been moved under the TPA need to enter via a Border Inspection Post?

Will I need to go through a BIP to come back into the UK?

How will I know which Border Inspection Posts (BIPs) will accept equines? Will a BIP be built at Calais?

Do the isolation requirements outlined on Gov.uk mean that my horse shouldn't compete ahead of a move to the EU?

What will happen if the UK agrees a deal with the EU?

Will I need to pay any additional tariffs? What about VAT?

What about customs procedures in the EU?

What other HMRC/customs processes do I need to be aware of?

How do I get an Export Health Certificate?

What documentation do I need for onward travel in the EU?

What is an Official Veterinarian and why must I use their services?

Will I need a Government issues equine ID document and, if so, how do I get this Government ID document?

Will the government ID document replace existing equine passports?

Has the EU recognised the UK's studbooks? Does this chagne which equines need a Government issued ID?

What about export health certificates?

What about BIPs?

Will horses with passports issues by studbooks in the EU still count as registered for the above purposes?

I'm authorised to transport livestock - what do I need to do to continue to transport equines to the EU following a no deal exit?

What are the different elements of welfare documentation and how long are they valid for?

Will I need an ECMT permit?

Are permits required for non-commercial movements?

What other arrangements do we need to have in place for staff to accompany horses to the EU or in transit?

Will my current UK issues transport documentation still be valid for transport within the UK?

Does my vehicle need to be registered in an EU member state to be granted vehicle authorisation in that member state?

Should I travel through the major ports with my horses in a "No Deal" scenario? What provisions will be in place to ensure horses aren't stuck in queues?

What changes will there be for importing equines to the UK from the EU?

If I am bringing in a registered horse from Ireland or France to the UK for racing or competition and wish to return it to the EU easily, am I best off obtaining a veterinary attestation?

What about customs processes for imports?

Do the processes outlined for equine movements in a no deal scenario apply to movements across the Irish border?

What will happen to the Tripartite Agreement (TPA) when the UK leaves the EU?

How will the UK be able to negotiate a replacement for the TPA once we leave the EU?

Does the High Health Status proposal not mean that these processes - blood tests, residency and isolation etc. - will not apply to horses that currently move under the TPA?