British studbooks passports will be sufficient for horses travelling to the EU once the post-Brexit transition period comes to an end on December 31, but the British Equestrian Federation “strongly advises” that horses are not moved to the EU for the first few weeks of 2021.
British Equestrian is expecting long delays and holds when shipping horses, both when leaving the UK and when entering the EU. It recommended delaying journeys until at least the middle of January, when the new process has become bedded in.
“From January 1, the process of moving horses between the UK and the EU, including Ireland, will become much more complicated,” British Equestrian said.
“There are still a number of factors that we won’t know until it has been confirmed whether the UK will have a free trade agreement with the EU or if the UK will be classed as a third country.”
The federation said that horses with a studbook passport would be considered as registered equines and would not need an additional UK Government-issued ID document in order to travel to the EU.
In addition, these horses will be able to follow the rules for horses registered with national branches of international bodies for sporting and competition purposes, such as the FEI. They will also be able to travel via Border Control Posts that are specifically approved for registered equines.
For registered horses travelling to the EU for fewer than 90 days, the following must be carried out:
- The horse must be a resident in the UK or a country with the same health status for 40 days
- A blood test for equine infectious anaemia must be carried out within 90 days of the departure date. Uncastrated male equines that don’t meet vaccination requirements must also have a blood test for equine viral artertitis within 21 days of departure.
- An export health certificate must be obtained that has been signed by an official vet.
Unregistered horses without a studbook passport, classed as ungulates, will require a government-issued supplementary travel ID from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (Great Britain) or Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Northern Ireland), in addition to their passport. This supplementary ID will be supplied by an official vet, along with an export health certificate, when they check the horse before travel. There are also rules regarding residency and disease testing that differ from those for registered horses.
There is additional export and transport documentation that must be completed for both registered and unregistered equines, and for those transporting them. The federation advised engaging an approved shipper to help with the process, “at least for the first few journeys, even if you are experienced in travelling horses”.