International Movements

Updated 18 July 2022
Advisory note on travel with horses to, from and via Great Britain

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

Updated 10 December 2020
Horse movements between the EU and Great Britain after 1 January 2021
FEI Official Equine Logistics Partner Peden Bloodstock has produced a document detailing requirements for the movement of horses between the European Union and Great Britain following the end of the Brexit transition period on 1 January 2021.
The document, which covers movement of all equines (including mares and foals) and other key health requirements, is available here.

Updated 9 October 2020
Protecting the future of the European equine industry

The International Horse Sports Confederation (IHSC) Task Force for Brexit and EU Animal Health Law, a collaboration of the key European Sport Horse and Thoroughbred horse racing and breeding industries, has produced a dossier detailing proposed solutions aimed at securing the future of the European equine industry through safe and expedited movement of high health horses between EU Member States and Britain.
The 14-page dossier is available here.

Updated 10 February 2020
Brexit update

Following the departure of Great Britain from the European Union on 31 January, Britain and the EU and  its remaining 27 Member States (EU-27) have agreed that the provisions of the Brexit deal between the two parties will come into force on 1 January 2021. This means that travelling with horses between Great Britain and EU-27 will remain the same throughout 2020. In summary, this means it’s business as usual for now. You can find the full legislative text here

International Movement of Sport Horses

Horses competing at a high level of international sport are under constant training, supervision and rigorous management. These horses must be kept in good health to ensure performance, and to protect years of training and investment. It is in the interest of everyone competing at the top-level of equestrian sport to ensure that infectious disease does not enter the competition environment and risk the cancellation of events, or the spread of disease. All horses participating in international equestrian events are managed under the FEI Veterinary Framework and Structure by enforcing the FEI Veterinary Regulations. These regulations require:

  • Efficient and extensive Biosecurity practices, which are applied at all times for all FEI registered horses at FEI competition venues and during transport, with similar standards to be applied at the home premises;
  • FEI horses to be identifiable and traceable - they must hold microchips and comprehensive equine passports, which not only attest to their identification but also to their health status. They must also be registered - entered in the FEI database;
  • FEI registered horses to undergo regular veterinary controls – they are subject to an examination on arrival, veterinary inspection(s) and constant supervision during events;
  • FEI Official and Treating Veterinarians at events to be registered and contactable by the FEI and have thorough understanding of the FEI General Regulations, Veterinary Regulations and Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations. FEI Official Veterinarians ensure the implementation of all Veterinary aspects during events;
  • FEI horses to be strictly vaccinated against Equine Influenza and any additional vaccinations required based on the geographical region and the equine infectious diseases risk are prescribed, which are always recorded in the horse’s passport;
  • FEI National Federations and their National Head Veterinarians to ensure awareness of equine infectious diseases affecting international movement and liaise with the National veterinary services concerning regulations governing the temporary importation and re-entry of Horses; and
  • FEI event organising committees to support ensuring that FEI regulated biosecurity requirements are met at all times.

The rapid expansion of the number of international equestrian events has led to an increased need for efficient and safe ways to move horses internationally. Facilitated international movement of high-level sport horses will enhance further development of equine industries, promote creation of employment  and will very much increase the possibility of nations to participate in regional events. It will also facilitate nations in hosting events on their own territory. However, all international movement must always ensure only a minimal risk to the country importing temporarily horses to compete in international equestrian sports.

The FEI, the International Federation of Horseracing Authortities (IFHA) and the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) has developed the High health, high performance horse framework (HHP) with the objective to harmonise the conditions for the international movement of high-performance sport horses. For the continuous work to facilitate International movement of horses the International Horse Sports Confederation (IHSC) was co-founded in 2014 by the FEI and IFHA. IHSC is now a partner with the OIE.

High health, High Performance (HHP) horse 

The  HHP framework has been developed at the request of the Member nations of the OIE  and  is based on existing OIE standards of compartmentalisation, identification and traceability, biosecurity and health certification.

HHP horses should be considered a sub-population of the global equine population, and as such they are kept under a high-level biosecurity management that ensures they represent a lower risk than other horses. They can therefore be considered a compartment with a higher health status compared to the horses outside this sub-population.

To find out more about the FEI, OIE and IFHA Public-Private Partnership to promote the international movements of competition horses, click here.

Preparing to Move Your Horse

Requirements for testing and/or quarantine may vary between countries. It is therefore essential to:

  • Verify the requirements for importation and exportation of horses through a shipping agent and/or the relevant government veterinary authority. The Organising Committees of large FEI events often provides information on relevant importation requirements; and
  • Contact all parties  in sufficient time for all the requirements to be met.
Updates from the FEI Veterinary Department
Advice on the transport of FEI horses within Europe