Get Ready For Brexit

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Wed, 25 Nov 2020 15:29

While dealing with the coronavirus pandemic has understandably been foremost in people’s minds, there are just over five weeks remaining now until we officially leave the European Union. Negotiations between the British government and the EU around a potential future trade agreement remain ongoing, so we are still unable to provide definitive guidance.

We do know that the requirements around moving horses to the continent for competition or import / export will change considerably, deal or no deal, and it is vitally important that members are aware of the implications. British Equestrian has put together advice on what we know at present but please note that this is still subject to change. However, with the deadline looming, we felt it was important for members to have time to familiarise themselves with what lies ahead.

For those members that have plans to compete in Europe, there will be important changes to consider around the documentation required for travel to the continent, pre-travel disease testing via blood test, a 40 day residency requirement for horses, new transport documents and limitations on border entry points.

At present, the advice relates to horses with a purple FEI Registration Card on their passport, as these are covered for sporting purposes. We are waiting for the EU to approve UK studbooks, although this is unlikely before 1 January – and until that point these horses will require an additional government-issued ID document, as well as their passport and other export documentation.

We’ve added a Brexit page in the BD Info section of the website which details the requirements as they currently stand. There’s also a link to a free webinar hosted by the BEF for members to view, a poster summarising the requirements and a helpful checklist to assist in planning your first trip to Europe post Brexit.

Here are the main points to highlight:

  • Anyone considering taking a horse to Europe should avoid the first few weeks of January next year as there’s likely to be a degree of confusion and process.
  • Even seasoned competitors/transporters would benefit from using the services of an approved shipper to help with the travel process for their first few visits to the continent post-Brexit.
  • Allow plenty of time to complete the additional paperwork and checks in the days and weeks before you set off, and plan your journey carefully to allow extra time for clearing the border where all horses will undergo documentary, ID and physical checks, which means they will have to be unloaded.
  • Find an Official Veterinarian in your area and make an introduction – having a good relationship with them is going to be key, because they will need to certify your documents the day before you depart.
  • This information is current, but likely to change and evolve over coming weeks, so please check the Brexit page on the British Equestrian website, or with us, before starting any travel arrangements.

BD Chief Executive Jason Brautigam commented; “There’s no doubt that taking a horse to Europe to compete, or managing the sales process for importing and exporting horses, is unfortunately not going to be as straightforward as it once was. There will be a number of additional requirements, extra expense and more red tape to overcome, but we’ve tried to explain the potential regulations in as simple a way as possible for members.

“While negotiations remain ongoing there is still a great deal of uncertainty about how these processes will work next year and beyond. All we can do currently is provide members with updates based on the latest situation, although a trade agreement could alter everything. If you do have a trip to Europe planned early in the New Year, please check our Brexit page for the latest advice, follow the checklist provided and consider using an approved shipping agent to help with the process.”

Helpful links

BD Brexit hub - info, poster, checklist & webinar

GOV.UK – Exporting horses and ponies from 1 January 2021

GOV.UK – The Border Operating Model

GOV.UK – International road haulage from 1 January 2021

GOV.UK – Transport goods out of the UK by road: step by step