If you import a pet into the UK from a non-EU country, VAT may be payable on the pet’s value. This isn’t a new regulation, but since 1 April 2017 these VAT payments are being more rigorously enforced than before.

This blog post gives an overview of the different criteria that mean you will or won’t have to pay VAT.

For more details, see the notice on www.gov.uk

If you’re moving to the UK from a non-EU country

You won’t have to pay VAT on the value of your pet when you arrive if you apply in advance for Transfer of Residence (ToR) relief using the ToR01 form.

You’ll receive a reference number from HMRC (the UK Customs office) which will allow you to bring your pet into the UK without paying VAT.

You will have to pay VAT on deposit on arrival if you don’t receive your ToR reference number before you arrive. You can then claim it back once you have your ToR reference number.

If you’re returning to the UK from a non-EU country

You won’t have to pay VAT on your pet, as long as you can provide:

  • Proof that your pet exited the UK with you (eg a copy of the export air waybill, your pet’s UK medical history, pet passport)
    and
  • Proof of your UK residency

You will have to pay VAT if you’re entering the UK with a pet that you bought while you were away, or have owned for less than six months. The VAT will be calculated as follows:

(value of the pet + cost of transport and arrival charges) x 20%

Bear in mind that this applies to rescue animals, too. For VAT calculation purposes, a rescue cat’s value is estimated at £60; and a rescue dog’s value at £100.

If you’re a non-EU resident visiting the UK with your pet

You will have to pay VAT on deposit when you arrive. You can subsequently claim it back on proof of exit from the UK.

What this means for Animalcouriers clients

We cannot complete any VAT-related paperwork on behalf of our clients.

If you and your pet(s) arrive from outside the EU and use our channel-hopping service for the last leg of your journey into the UK, you’ll need to accompany us so that you can make the customs declaration for your pet(s), produce your ToR reference, or pay any VAT that may be applicable.

All checked in and on board the Eurotunnel at midnight, heading for the UK

All checked in and on board the Eurotunnel at midnight, heading for the UK