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Monthly Wrap - Moving abroad with pets

currency-newsMonthly Wrap - Moving abroad with pets
Relocating with a furry (or feathery) friend in tow involves a considerable amount of forward-planning and paperwork, as well as a decent sum of money: for some breeds of dog or cat, it’s inadvisable or even impossible.

For many, though, the thought of leaving a pet behind is akin to leaving a family member – simply unthinkable. For this reason, we’ve put together a guide on how to get your animal companion from A to B with as little stress as possible.

Where to?

Regulations vary based on the import regulations of the countries concerned. Several destination countries have quarantine requirements, including Australia, Singapore and Japan, in order to prevent the transmission of contagious diseases such as rabies and ehrlichiosis.

European Union (EU)

If you’re travelling to an EU country or Northern Ireland, your pet will need a microchip, a valid rabies vaccination, an animal health certificate and tapeworm treatment (if you’re travelling directly to Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Malta or Norway).

In some circumstances, you may use a pet passport – but this must have been issued in an approved country not including the UK.

Non-EU countries

If you’re travelling to a non-EU country, your pet will require an Export Health Certificate (EHC) to confirm your pet meets the health requirements of the country you’re travelling to.
Pet-owners from the UK fall into the ‘Group 3’ category for cats and dogs: both felines and canines must be accompanied by a valid import permit. Numerous conditions must be met, including a ten-day quarantine post arrival in Australia.
Pet require a veterinary health certificate; owners must ensure in advance that the animals’ breed is permitted in Singapore and specifically within the intended residence.
Dogs entering the USA from a low-risk or rabies-free country are not necessarily required to travel with a rabies vaccination certificate or import permit – although owners must provide a statement confirming that the animal lived in a low-risk country for at least 6 months, or since birth.

Where from?

The origin of export is just as significant as the import destination when it comes to transporting your pet abroad. Equally important is your dog or cat’s travel history – if the animal has been through a country with a high risk of rabies, they may not be permitted to enter a variety of popular destinations.

The United States has strict rules when it comes to admitting animals from high-risk countries: if your dog has travelled through a high-risk country in the past six months – even if it has never lived there – you will likely have to apply for advanced written approval before being allowed to bring them.

Likewise, if you are looking to immigrate to New Zealand, the nature of the process would depend upon whether your origin country is rabies-free. Emigrating from the UK, Singapore, Hawaii, Norway or Sweden would pose few complications, but if you sought to enter the New Zealand from China your pet would have to quarantine beforehand in an approved country.

Other high-risk countries (as defined by the UK authorities) include Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Poland: a full list can be found on the website.


Many expat blogs recommend using the services of a professional pet relocation service to transport family pets. Such companies can select appropriate flight arrangements, review all necessary documentation and provide advice on how to make the move easier – they can even deliver your pet for you from your original home to your new property abroad.

The cost of such a service shouldn’t be underestimated, however – in the USA, pet relocation agencies generally charge $2,500 - $3,000 to move one small pet internationally. From the UK, it costs around £900 for a small dog or £755 for a cat – but this may not include customisable transport arrangements or support.

If you plan to manage the process yourself, you ought to buy a travel crate early on and train your pet so they’re comfortable in it. Crates vary in size to cater to the size of the animal – the largest standard size is a series 700, which accommodates a Golden Retriever and equivalent breeds.

Also consider purchasing pet insurance for the journey, in case your dog or cat should become unwell en route. While everyone involved will do what they can to avoid this scenario, it pays to be prepared.

In the eventuality that you do encounter complications and end up having to pay more than expected for veterinary treatment or animal quarantine abroad, consider using a currency exchange provider to minimise the cost of transferring funds.

With Currencies Direct, you can transfer money immediately using a Spot Contract, or use a Limit Order to transact an exchange when your target exchange rate becomes available. To find out more, get in touch with our team on [email protected] or call +44 (0) 20 7847 9400.
Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct is one of Europe's leading non-bank providers of currency exchange and international payment services. Since we were formed in 1996, we've maintained our focus on providing innovative foreign exchange and international currency transfer services to corporations of all sizes, online sellers and private individuals. We have also expanded our services to provide dynamic and pioneering "business to business" solutions to help companies, tier 2/3 banks and other non-bank financial institutions to process their international payments. Our headquarters are in the City of London (United Kingdom) and we have operations in continental Europe, Africa, Asia, and the United States. Currencies Direct is jointly owned by private equity firms Palamon Capital Partners and Corsair Capital.

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