Advisory note on travel to GBR

22. Aug 2022 / Category: News

As first published by the FEI, 18th July

The movement of horses between Great Britain (GBR) and the European Union (EU) has become more complicated since Brexit, and now requires greater planning and preparation.

The following is a summary of concerns that have been raised by the equestrian community regarding the cross border movement of horses:

1. Length and complexity of paper export health certificates.
• Horses from FEI Events in GBR are required to return to the EU on certificate 8433, which is time consuming to complete.

2. The number of slots at the Calais Border Control Posts (BCP) are insufficient for the volume of horse movements, especially during July and August.

• This has caused considerable delays in departures to the EU. SIVEP – that carry out the animal controls at BCPs – only works during BCP opening hours that are normally between 08:30 to 18:00, making it impossible to travel overnight, late or early, when ferries are less busy and it is cooler for horses.

3. Processing time at BCPs are variable.
• Shippers with considerable experience and good relationships with the officials at Calais SIVEP and Customs have fewer problems. Less experienced transporters can be delayed for 5 to 9 hours.

Costs of all movements have increased by more than 300% compared to pre-Brexit.

Please read the following information and links below to assist with your travel preparations.

Arriving in Great Britain

Great Britain has delayed the introduction of Border Control Posts for live animals until December 2023 to allow for more time to implement digital processes for customs and health certification. For now, competitors arriving in Great Britain are not required to be checked at the port and can continue to their destination. However, controls may take place after their arrival in Great Britain.

Returning to EU

A major challenge is the length and complexity of the paper export health certificates that are required at the border. While digital processes are in place, paper documents are still required and must be stamped, signed and scanned.

Horses attending FEI Events in Great Britain are required to return to the EU on certificate 8433. These certificates are long, and need to be carefully completed by the Official Veterinarian, not an FEI Official Veterinarian, but a Government Official Veterinarian in Great Britain to avoid rejection at the BCP.

Border Control Posts:

• Open 08:30 – 18:00 (Opening hours will be extended to 22:30 on 31 July and 1 August 2022)

Only one reservation can be made per animal or batch of animals. There is technically no limit to the number of horses that can be included within a batch, but the legal carrying capacity of the vehicle will of course set a limit.

There is evidence from FEI events held earlier in the year in Great Britain, that cross border processes were smoother when coordinated by experienced shippers.

There are distinct advantages to sharing transport, though the benefits of this need to be balanced against biosecurity risks. All FEI horses are considered High Health Horses.

Competitors should plan to arrive by ferry at least one hour before their SIVEP appointment at the BCP. They must arrive at the SIVEP, 10 minutes before their appointment time.

SIVEP appointments usually take 30 minutes.

Other BCPs:

Apart from Calais, the following BCPs in France are approved for registered horses: - Boulogne/Coquelles (Le Shuttle)*
- Cherbourg
- Dieppe

- St Malo - Caen

*While Le Shuttle’s BCP at Coquelles offers additional slots, the Eurotunnel is limiting the number of horse transporters to prioritise holiday traffic during the peak vacation season. Most slots are booked already for the end of July and beginning of August.


1. Sharet ransport with other competitors where possible.

2. Be prepared to stay in GBR for a few days (possibly up to a week) after the Event to enable BCPs slots at Calais to become available. Alternatively consider other BCPs in France.

3. Be aware of journey times, limits, and driver hours.

4. It is essential to use a BEF approved shipper to reduce chances of paperwork errors and to coordinate movements

British Equestrian Federation (BEF)

BEF provides comprehensive and detailed information on horse transportation. While the information relates to British based horses travelling to the EU, this link also provides valuable and updated information applicable for Horses travelling to GBR.

Ireland - Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine:

The information published by the veterinary authority of Ireland is mainly intended for horses based in Ireland, going to or passing through GBR when travelling to mainland EU. 


Basic information with links to approved shipping agents pet/horse-travel/

European Commission – EU Animal Health Law

The European Commission has published factsheets in multiple languages on the sections of EU Animal Health Law that concerns horses. Of special interest are the sections concerning “Movement within the EU” and “Entry into the EU”. horses_en

IHSC – Horse industry campaign

The International Horse Sport Confederation (IHSC), created by the FEI and the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA), led the horse industry’s lobbying campaign for continued safe and facilitated movement of horses between the EU and GBR after Brexit.

Please see this article for more information. industry-future-eu-uk-withdrawal-agreement