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taking cat to the UK via EU (Amsterdam)

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  • taking cat to the UK via EU (Amsterdam)

    Hi, grateful for any wisdom...

    I'm flying with my cat from Singapore to Amsterdam, then the next day taking the ferry from Amsterdam to the UK (in cabin for both flight and ferry - booked and confirmed)

    Having researched the necessary paperwork, I'm clear on what's need at each stage except:
    - when I enter the UK from Amsterdam (Netherlands/EU), will UK immigration accept a Great Britain pet health certificate that has been prepared by my vet in Singapore, or will they require it to be from a vet in the Netherlands (since that's where I'm entering UK from)

    thanks in advance!

  • #2
    CDW - the GB Health Certificate has a validity period of 10 days. Your ferry company should accept this certificate as long as it is still valid. Best to confirm with DFDS. You will need an EU Health Certificate to enter the Netherlands.


    • #3
      Thank you Susan!


      • #4
        Hello CDW/Susan.

        I am also planning to take a similar route from Japan to the UK, via Amsterdam (Schiphol) and then the Hook of Holland-Harwich ferry.

        I am asking my vet in Japan to fill out an EU Animal Health Certificate and a GB Animal Health Certificate, certifying the dog has had a rabies vaccine and tapeworm treatment.

        However the Animal Quarantine Service in Japan says it will only authorise the form for the first destination country (the Netherlands).

        So who should authorize the GB form? Does it have to be authorized in the Netherlands (even though it was filled out by a vet in Japan)? If so, can this be done at the seaport/ferry terminal?

        CDW, was your trip successful?

        Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

        Best wishes



        • #5
          hi all - happy to tell you our journey Singapore - Amsterdam - UK went smoothly! Documenting here to hopefully help others:

          We were relocating from Singapore to the UK with our cat. If flying into the UK, pets have to travel in the cargo hold, which we hoped to avoid. Therefore we flew with KLM to Amsterdam, where our cat was able to come onboard with us as carry-on luggage. There was an extra charge of something like $120 to add her to the booking. Weight of the pet plus bag had to be <= 8 8kg (so only a cat or smaller dog could qualify for this). The airline also provides measurements for the case; we endeavoured to buy one that fit the measurements, although nobody ever checked it. The idea is it can fit under the seat in front of you. KLM allows pets in economy cabin only.

          At check-in at Singapore airport all our documents (will talk about those later) were checked and photocopied by the airline staff - so leave a little longer so you're not rushing at check-in (due to covid we were fine, check-in was very quiet). At security there was a closed room that we took her into so we could hold her out of the case while the case went through the security scanner. The staff knew what they were doing, and were all doting on her at every checkpoint!

          Entering the Netherlands we went to the "Something to declare" lane at customs (the immigration desk where you hand over your human passports doesn't get involved with the pet). To be honest the staff there didn't seem too clued up on the forms but they leafed through briefly then let us through. Worth noting that at first they asked for "pet passport" which I corrected them to "actually, we're coming from Singapore so it's an EU health certificate".

          We stayed one night in Amsterdam to let the cat have some time out of the carry case as it's a long journey. (And we enjoyed a mini-break at the same time!). I heartily recommend The Hoxton hotel, which is right in the centre of the old town by the canals. They are pet friendly, lovely rooms and staff, and you can specify your own check-in and checkout time when booking in advance. We used UberPet from the airport to the hotel, and then from the hotel to the ferry terminal.

          When travelling for the ferry, we left the city centre at about 2:30pm for a 5:30 departure time, which worked out just right. Make sure to choose "Felison terminal" NOT "cruise terminal" - a fellow passenger had made that error and they are not very close to each other! Checking in for the ferry (DFDS) was straightforward, again just handed over all the paperwork, and we also had to use their scanner to pull up our cat's microchip details. We were travelling as foot passengers - there were 5 groups checking in on foot including us: 3 dogs and 2 cats! The pet-friendly cabin in the ferry was sparse but functional - 4 bunk beds and ensuite wetroom. Our cat enjoyed sitting in the window watching the seagulls.

          Immigration in Newcastle Port of Tyne was friendly and straightforward, again just handed over the documents. We had booked a rental car from Hertz; their office is about 20 mins drive from the port, so we pre-booked a taxi with LA Taxis, which we paid in cash (we had got some pounds before travelling).

          And there we are, epic journey successful!

          Paperwork needed:

          - Rabies vaccination

          - Microchip number

          - Export Licence from Singapore. You can get this <30 days before travelling, logging in with Singpass. You upload online, pay after approval, and then supposedly comes through within 2 days. After 2 days had passed with no update I called them and the lady I spoke to didn't have much of a clue what I was talking about. She went to speak to someone else and the approval came through that evening.

          - EU Health Certificate - this is what you need to be allowed into Amsterdam (or anywhere in the EU). Complete as much of the form as you can in advance, then take your pet to the vet <7 days before travel (I recommend as early as you can in that week to give breathing room). Your vet signs it, THEN you need to take the form and other relevant documentation to the nparks/AVS office in Jurong to be validated by the government (I'm assuming similar process in countries other than Singapore). Mr Lim at AVS was very helpful. This takes 2 days, or 1 if you pay extra for express.

          - UK Health Certificate - exactly the same process as above (got done by the vet and AVS at the same time as the EU certificate). Note that within the EU there is an alternative document to this called a "Pet Passport" which the UK accepts if travelling from Europe - however can only be issued by a vet in Europe. I was worried whether the Health Certificate would be accepted in place of a Pet Passport, given we were technically entering the UK from the EU. I called a vet in Amsterdam in advance (with a view to getting an appointment) but she said the health certificate would be fine, and sure enough it was.

          - Pet travel declaration - this is a UK government form to attest that you're not bringing your pet for commercial purposes.

          Hopefully this essay is useful to others looking to do similarly to us - please message me if any questions, I know there's a lot to navigate and you want to do the best for your little buddy!