Costs for taking your pet to England

taking a pet to EnglandWe receive many comments regarding the costs of taking a pet to England. Every pet flying into England must arrive as manifest (air) cargo. You cannot fly into England with a pet in the cabin or as checked baggage unless it is a service dog or an emotional support animal entering the UK directly from the United States. This is a rule of commerical airlines; it is not a requirement of the United Kingdom.

Here is the procedure as to how your pet will be handled once arriving in England.

If you are flying into London Heathrow (LHR) with British Airways or Virgin Atlantic, an agent will collect your pet from the aircraft and take it to the Animal Reception Center where you will pick it up. If you are flying into Heathrow on any other approved airline, a handler from the Heathrow Animal Reception Center (HARC) will collect your pet and take it to the HARC. The fee for an agent will vary per agent used. Estimate for an HARC employee is £166 per hour. These estimates are for London Heathrow only..

Consignment fee for mammals entering the UK at Heathrow is £177 per animal for up to 24 hours of holding time for cats, dogs or ferrets arriving from outside of the EU. Additional animals are  £42. An additional minimum fee of  £210 will be charged for animals staying at the HARC for more than 24 hours.

For mammals entering Heathrow from another EU Member State, a handling fee of £42  per animal is charged in addition to the collection charge of £83.

Consignment fee for assistance dogs checked at the airline is £210.

Any pet landing in the UK without an OK To Forward from the arrival airline will be charged an additional £630. This document is the responsibility of your agent to obtain from the transporting airline.

There is an EU Border Inspection Fee of about £76.00.

DEFRA imposes a fee for their services at the ARC of about £250.00

If you want to leave your pet’s crate at Heathrow, there will be a disposal charge of £15.

You should expect the entry fees to be between £400 and £450; however, some of these fees may be included in your pet’s transport price. Check with your airline to confirm.

Prices good for 1st April 2018 – 31st March 2019

UPDATE: 2020 – We have received reports that expenses have increased to approximately £600.

There will also be Value Added Tax (VAT) charges due when entering England. They will amount to 20% of the value of your pet’s breed + the cost of their transport. The minimum charged is £70 for a cat and £100 for a dog. If you are visiting the United Kingdom, the VAT will be refunded when you and your pet depart. If you are moving to the United Kingdom, then you will need to file a Transfer of Residency (ToR) form with England’s custom department (HRMC). Your VAT will be refunded to you as soon as the form is processed. More details on filing the Transfer of Residency Form.

Please note that these charges are being updated and are subject to change. Costs for taking your pet to England certainly needs to be budgeted. Similarly, so does preparation as the rabies titer test needs to be done 3 months in advance of travel for cats, dogs and ferrets entering from high-rabies countries.

More information on our taking your pet to England.


Costs for taking your pet to England — 91 Comments

  1. How much will the charge be for keeping dogs in quarantine in England from Baku when they have had all injections

  2. Baktijar – due to the regulations of all commercial airlines approved to transport live animals to the UK and Ireland, your dog must fly as air cargo. This means that you will be dealing with your airline’s cargo department. Flying as air cargo is more expensive then flying as checked baggage. When you land in Edinburgh, your dog will be moved to the Animal Reception Center where you will claim it. An agent will do this and generally, their fee is included in the cost of the ticket.

  3. Hello Everybody!!! My dog Oscar and me, planning to go to Edinburgh from Tenerife, flight TUI Thomson on 03 of May 2019. Oscar has Spanish blue passport. It’s a terrible experience even we still here on the island. Nobody knows anything! Only thing they want is money 690 pounds. My ticket cost 59. Only cargo. Arriving to Edin at 05.00 am on Saturday. When I asked anybody will pick us up and when can I get my dog – no answer. May be it is better to go by car from south of Spain to Calais and then by ferry to Dover? Do we have to stop on the border? Do we have to pay some fee? We are going for the holiday for 3 month or less. Please HELP!!

  4. Eugene – we are waiting to see how the UK withdrawal works out. If the UK is not an option 1 listed country (like Switzerland), then traveling on the Eurotunnel or a pet friendly ferry with a dog or cat may be in jeopardy as the UK will require that animals enter the UK at an approved border inspection post in the UK. (the BIP for the Eurotunnel is located in France). At this point, we really don’t know. Right now, the regulations remain as they currently are until April 12.

    Flying pets as air cargo (which is what commercial airlines require) is a more expensive way to travel than as checked baggage. Also, an employee of the Animal Reception Center will claim your cats from the aircraft and take them to the ARC which is where you will claim them. Of course, there are fees for this and also for processing (between 350-400USD) Heathrow is the most expensive of the approved BIPs to enter the UK. So the main costs will be these fees and the cost of airline transport.

  5. Hello.First of all i would really like to thank for providing all the info live about traveling with pets to UK.
    And i would like to ask some details.I have 2 cats,will it be good for me to use the Calais route?As am thinking to have them fly in 1 cage as “Pet in the hold”.Will it be as expensive as Uk entry?
    How much does it cost to fly from UK to an EU country with a pet?Is the cost that high too?

  6. Michelle – your puppy will need to fly into the UK as air cargo according to the regulations of all commercial airlines that are approved to fly live animals to the UK. The need for an agent depends on the airline you fly. If you fly any US-based airline, British Airways, Aeroflot, Lufthansa, Iberia or others, an agent will be required to book the transport. Best thing to do is to contact the cargo department of an airline that flies the entire route and ask them whether you can book the transport directly. If you need an agent, we can help you with the booking. You can contact us at if you need assistance. If you need requirements to import your puppy to the UK, you can find them here:

  7. Hi there. We have travelled with our dogs several times from various countries. However, it changes, so we have to do the research over again each time. We are in the UK, and want to go to Canada to collect a puppy to bring back to the UK. Please can you tell me if we can make the arrangements ourselves instead of using an agent, and do we have to fly the pup as cargo? Thank you.

  8. David – all 3 of your pets will require a rabies titer test 3 months before entering the UK. Regulations are here and should be followed in order. The answer to your question really does depend on Brexit negotiations. If the UK is approved as a Part 1 Listed country, then ferry and Le Shuttle services into the UK will continue to allow pets. If it is listed as a Third Country or defaults to a high-rabies country, then all live animals entering the UK must enter at an approved border inspection post, and Calais is not one of those. We wish we could be more conclusive at this point; however, until that decision is made, we do not know the best way to get your pets to the UK. If you do fly, then your pets must fly as air cargo (which is expensive) and enter the UK at Heathrow, Gatwick or Edinburgh. They can also enter at Manchester or Glasgow if they are accompanied or travel within 5 days of their owner. We would mention that Heathrow would be the most expensive option to consider. We would monitor the URL above or revisit our blog after the end of March to see what the outcomes are.

  9. Please help – we are not rich people but I have to return to England from China (July2019) as I am now 65 – I am aware of what I need to do regards health certificates etc before leaving China BUT am so worried about costs for transport/collection – we have 3 rescued animals (2 small dogs and one cat), these are our family, we have no children. As an idea what might the three cost us for transport and up until we can get them back?? Also, cannot go Calais route as I suspect Brexit might affect that and as I have some health issues am worreid about additional tooing and froing regards travel – a reply to my email would help – Thank you so much

  10. My son is returning to the UK from Jarkarta . He of course wants to bring his Bali street dog he rescued as a pup . She’s now aged 2, had all injections , micro chipped and rabies blood test sent for test . Just started looking for prices off companies – please has anyone any idea ??

  11. Lea – we do not customs clear live animals in London; however, you may want to speak with your airline and inquire as to how much they will be collecting up front. Ask them whether they include collection fees to take your cat to the Animal Reception Center and whether VAT taxes and other processing fees are included or whether they are charged separately. We do understand that it is less expensive to fly into Gatwick and Manchester. As you are relocating to the UK, you may want to look into completing and filing a Transfer of Residency form with customs. This can prevent VAT taxes from being imposed at the time of clearance or hasten a refund if the form is not processed at the time of entry.

  12. In March, 2019 I will be flying to the UK on a direct Virgin flight from Atlanta to Manchester. I would like to bring my cat as I may be staying for a year or more. Are the airport procedures and costs/charges (excluding understood documentation/passport) appreciably different from Heathrow or Gatwick?

  13. Mark – you are correct. It is expensive to move your pets to England. But there are other options. Take them in the cabin or as accompanied checked baggage for a few hundred dollars each to Paris, grab the train to Calais and work on a shuttle service like Bla Bla Shuttle to get through the Chunnel on Le Shuttle. File your Transfer of Residency form early so that you are not charged VAT (assuming you are relocating to England).

  14. Basically if you are poor and on a pension or low income you can forget about bringing you life long companion with you , because they need money more them you need your loved ones , only the rich can afford to bring there pets with them , I would have to go homeless for a entire year to save up enough money to bring my babies with me when I move to England

  15. mytwo cats vaccine chip blood test will all be done less quoted over 650euros to do this !!from Athens Greece does anyone know a cheaper way??please!!

  16. Russell – BA subcontracts its live animal transport to IAG Cargo and an agent must book the transport. You can contact IAG for an agent or search for one in Canada at Due to commercial airline regulations, all live animals must arrive in the UK as air cargo unless they are trained service animals assisting a disabled passenger.

  17. Russell,

    I am very surprised too. I am about to move to the UK with my cat from Montreal (canada), and I am travelling with british airways. I called them this morning and they redirect me to their cargo company, as you can’t travel with your pet as checked baggage. I am leaving in less than 2 weeks… so if you were really able to do it this way, please let me know as i am still looking for the cheapest way possible to travel with my cat.

  18. Russell – great of you to post this, but we are surprised. Per BA’s website: “All other pets, including emotional support animals, will need to travel in the hold as cargo but don’t worry, your furry friends will be just as comfortable in the carefully controlled environment.All our cargo is handled by our sister company, IAG World Cargo. They have decades of experience transporting animals and will look after your pet as if it were their own.”

    This is the first that we have heard of checked baggage services for pets. When did you fly, recently?

  19. Hi

    Just for important information there is only one airline that allows pets as checked baggage….british airways into uk.

    I have arranged this. The airports that they will fly into is either heathrow or gatwick. IT is cheap to.

    You can confirm this information by contacting them directly.

    Hope this helps a lot of people…and pets

  20. Will – what you can do is to contact the cargo department of an airline that flies your route and ask about costs. Being over a year away, much can change. You should add processing fees to the estimate of at least $300US and VAT of a minimum of £100.

    Yes, if you are traveling with your Basset, it is significantly less money to fly into Paris with your pet as checked baggage and take Le Shuttle from Calais to Folkestone. You will need a car to ride Le Shuttle, however. There are services that can provide this service if someone cannot pick you up.

  21. hi admin your advice on this page looks really helpful and i was hoping you could give me some advice.

    I a relocating to the UK from NZ in 18 months and have requested quotes from local companies to ship our two bassets to London, aas it is over a year away there are reluctant to give out estimates. Do you have an idea of one way costs?

    I also saw that you have suggested flying in to paris and getting the shuttle. is there a significant price difference between the UK and France?

    thank you in advance for your assistance

  22. Em – the reason why it is so expensive to fly a live animal into the U.K. Is that it must arrive fly as air cargo. Also, an agent must collect your cat from the plane and take it to the Animal Reception Center where you will pick it up. Generally, they build that price into the ticket.

    You can fly into Paris with your pet as checked baggage, take the train to Calais and take Le Shuttle to England. You will need a car to ride Le Shuttle and there are services like Folkeston Taxi and Pet Movers who will do that if a friend or relative cannot pick you up. You can also fly to Amsterdam, take the train to Rotterdam and take a ferry to Hull. A bit longer, but no car is needed. It depends on your final destination.

  23. Hi there,

    I desperately want to move my cat with me from Melbourne, AUS to the UK next year. I have received 3 quotes for $3000! OMG – never knew it was so expensive!! Does anyone know a cheaper company?


  24. Lex-it s nothing nexpensive to fly a pet to the U.K. because your dog must fly as air cargo and Virgin is likely including the cost of an agent to collect your dog from the plane and take it to the Animal Receptions Center for processing. VAT is calculated at 20% of the value of your dog + it’s transport. If you file. Transfer of Residency form with customs, the VAT will be returned to you. There are also processing fees to for the ARC and that can run over $300.

    You may want to contact some other airlines to see what their charges are. Remember to ask them if the cost of an agent is included.

    Many pet owners fly to Paris and take the train to Calais and take Le Shuttle across the Chunnel. Your dog can fly as checked baggage which is less expensive. However, you will need a car to ride on Le Shuttle and we are unsure whether the train accepts larger dogs. There are services that will pick you up like Folkestown Taxi or Pet Movers.

    There is also a ferry out of Rotterdam that has kennels available. (P&O) this may be an option as well.

  25. I may be working on the UK for a year and want to take my shepherd/husky mix with me. I’m based near San Francisco, California.
    I’ve looked into pet passports and all the rest of it; she’s up to date on rabies shots and microchipped.
    However talking to Virgin, they are asking around £6500 (Plus VAT) for the round trip. This seems very excessive and completely out of my budget. Doesn’t anyone know a way to do this in a way pet owners can actually afford?

  26. Hi Andy & Nadine – you will need to review the regulations to import your cats to England so you can avoid having them in quarantine. Find them here: We would note that, because the Philippines is considered a high-rabies country by the EU, the titer test in step #3 will be required.

    Your cats must enter England as air cargo. You will need to contact the cargo department of an airline that flies the entire route to Heathrow, Gatwick or Edinburgh airports.

  27. Hi, We are moving from the Philippines to England and are looking into taking our 3 cats with us.

    Any advice on procedures and costs would be very much appreciated.


  28. Keith – try contacting Virgin Atlantic or South African Airways Cargo Departments. Both have non-stop routes between JNB and LHR.

  29. Jenna – it is very difficult to answer your question not knowing where you are currently located. We can say that Canada is very pet friendly. Depending on your route, likely your cat can travel in the cabin if your airline’s pet policy accepts that and your dog can travel as accompanied checked baggage. The cost will depend on your airline and your route.

  30. My husband and I are about to get a cat and a dog, we will be moving to Canada in a few years time. I am trying to get an idea of the cost to bring a cat and medium size dog over to Canada and how long that might take.

  31. Hello Ashley – you can find step-by-step requirements to import your cats to the UK here with links to further instructions and forms if you need them:

    Your cats will need to arrive in the UK as air cargo, so you will want to find an airline that flies the entire route and contact their cargo department for details. They will need pet crates similar to these:

  32. Hello, I am travelling from Canada, Ontario to the UK in may, I have 3 cats and am looking for how to obtain the proper documents as I can’t seem to find them anywhere!

    Any advice on the process from here (start to finish) would be much appreciated!

  33. Melissa – the Queen Mary 2 is the only commercial vessel that we are aware of that accepts pets on board. Pets stay in their kennels and their owners can visit them often. You can find more details on this service here:

    As for flying into France, you can take a pet friendly train from Paris to Calais which is where Le Shuttle originates. You and your pet will need an automobile to use this service, however. If you have friends that can pick you up or there are services that will do so as well. Another option is to fly to Amsterdam, take a train to Rotterdam and take P&O Ferries to Hull. This is a longer trip, but a vehicle is not necessary.

  34. I’m in the US (Florida) and we have three cats; one is very anxious and dislikes strangers. I read that you could possibly take your pets via ship, such as the Queen Mary 2 (a Cunard ship), but only into a port in the South. The ship allows for you to visit the kennels while on board which is why that could be an option for us. Do you know anything about that?

    Also, previously mentioned was the alternative way to take pets into France and taking Le Shuttle through the Chunnel. How would that work exactly?

  35. Astrid – you can find requirements to import your dogs from China to England here: There are links to instructions and forms there if you need them. As China is considered a high-rabies country by the UK, the titer test in step #3 will be required. As to cost, if your dogs are flying, they will need to enter England as air cargo. This is a requirement of the airlines due to the process once your dogs have landed. This is more expensive than traveling with your pets as checked baggage. Find an airline that flies your route most directly and is approved to fly into the UK and contact their cargo department for the cost. What is your departure city in China?

  36. I am looking into the costs and rules to bring dogs from China to England but I can’t seem to find any clear answers. I know what tests they will need but the cost varies from 2000-25000RMB. Can anyone help me?

  37. hi Mandy – you may want to check some other airlines. All pets must enter England as manifest (air) cargo which is more expensive than checked baggage. Additionally, a licensed agent must pick up your pet from the plane and take it to the Animal Reception Center where you will pick it up. Generally, the airlines build that cost into their ticket. Know that there will also be ARC fees as well. It is not inexpensive to fly to England with a pet. Another option would be to fly to France with your pet as checked baggage and take Le Shuttle through the Chunnel but you will need a car for that.

  38. hi can anyone tell me who i can fly my dogs into england with that doesn’t cost a fortune .i lived in england and i am now going back to live there but the quote i got is for well over 4 thousand dollars that is so high can anyone let me know if there is a cheaper way that was with ba thank you

  39. JRT – the agent price is included and air cargo is more expensive because there is tracking involved and the airline must care for your pet during the layover. The UK is a very expensive country to fly a pet into. The balance of the EU is not subject to these air cargo requirements.

    I will be leaving BC Canada for London England in January 2016. My small JRT via Air Canada has cost : $ 1.554.00 cn dollars ! I’m not sure yet what I why I am paying so much. I understand there is an arrangement via AC you are advised to process your pet through James Cargo Brokers at Heathrow
    I have completed all the export and import documentation myself including the booking of Vet checks. I had no -idea my JRT would cost more then my flight !Happy travels everyone.

  41. Hi Diane – Your kitty’s rabies vaccination must be current and administered after the chip was implanted. If you are a resident of Canada traveling to the UK, you will need an Annex II form for UK completed by an accredited CFIA veterinarian and endorsed by the CFIA within 10 days of entry into the UK. If you are on holiday, your EU pet passport should be good for your return to the UK. Check your airline’s requirements for a health certificate issued within 10 days of travel.

  42. I am wanting to take my cat back to the UK from Canada (she came with us ) She is fully jabbed up and micro chipped also as a pet passport. What else do I need to get her into the uk ?

  43. Frances – Your cat will need to meet the requirements for entering the UK as listed here: You will need to contace the cargo department of an approved airline as your kitty must arrive at LHR as manifest cargo. The following airlines have direct flights: British Airways, Air New Zealand, American, Lufthansa, United. Delta is also approved, but they cannot carry pets on their 767 aircraft.

  44. Need accurate costs and planning for a cat from los angeles to UK end Jan 2014 HELP Please!!

  45. You can take your dog or cat to the UK without it having to be quaranteened providing you have done the following:
    Had it microchipped for identity – with an EU readable chip. THEN, have its rabies vaccination.
    A ‘titre’ or blood sample needs to be taken and sent to an EU approved lab in your country of residence. The sample – plus the requirement for a microchip will veryify that it has sufficient rabies antibodies. It’s a complex process – but if you love your pet – it is do-able. We have just gone thro the whole thing with our 2 dogs – from the USA to the UK. There’s lots of paperwork but worth it. If you have kept good records of its rabies vacc along with its microchip numuber – you are a long way into the process. All the best.

  46. I am on the same page as Wolf Eyes – Can we immigrate to UK with the pet passport ?
    Help help help… we love our dogs. Who will give them more love than their owners/caregivers.

  47. I will be flying my dogs from South Africa to the UK by the end of the year. I still do not understand why they haveto go into quarantine for 6 months even though they are fully vaccinated, against rabies and everything! This law should be looked at again for responsible pet owners. The costs can be too much for many many people, and they are forced to leave their loved ones behind. Society is always pushing us to be good pet owners but when it comes to the crunch we are not helped or rewarded for wanting to take our animals with us to another country, but charged huge amounts of money and our poor dogs subjected to 6 months prison time. 6 months is a huge amount of their life!

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