Edinburgh Airport Animal Receiving Centre

Extrordinair are approved by APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency), DEFRA Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and the EU Federal Veterinary Office to operate the Animal Receiving Centre / Border Inspection Post at Edinburgh Airport.




Airlines that are approved to transport animals to Edinburgh are:

  • Air Canada
  • KLM
  • Lufthansa
  • Qatar Airways
  • Swiss Air
  • United
  • Etihad
  • Atlantic Airways


What does the ARC do?


Edinburgh ARC will already have received notification from the airline at least 24 hours prior to your animal arriving in Scotland. Accommodation will be reserved in the Centre for your pet. Alongside the veterinary paperwork and microchip checking Extrordinair will complete the customs paperwork (necessary for animals coming from non EU countries). Once your pet has successfully passed all the checks it can be released. We aim for every pet to be reunited with its owner within 3 hours of arrival.


What do you do?

To prevent delays send copies of the following documents so that we may check them.

To be compliant with the new Pet Travel Scheme Regulations you must travel within 5 days of your pet otherwise it must enter via one of the three UK Border Inspection Posts;


If your pet does not have an EU Pet Passport, you will need to complete an Annex IV EU Helath Certificate. This certificate is valid for 10 days.

However, if you do have an EU Pet Passport for your pet you must sign a Pet Owner Declaration stating that the pet is not intended to be sold or transferred to another owner.

If you are traveling within 5 days of your pet please visit our Pet Travel Scheme Page for the full entry requirements.

If you are travelling out with 5 days of your pet, or the ‘pet’ move is not in relation to your own relocation i.e. newly purchased animal / rehoming a rescued animal, please visit our Border Inspection Post page for further information.




In order for us to clear small animals on arrival in Edinburgh, we require that ALL owners complete the IMPORT AUTHORITY INSTRUCTIONS TO CUSTOMS CLEAR FORM, to allow us to act on their behalf.
To assist you below is a brief summary of the UK Customs Procedures.




  1. Pet owners moving home to the UK from outside the EU


Pet owners transferring residency to the UK from outside the EU must apply for “Transfer of Residency” (ToR) relief with HMRC before arriving into the UK, if they wish to avoid paying VAT on arrival.
This process must be done by the owner on the following link:

Applications can be sent by email to nch@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk and the ToR reference must be forwarded to us, once received from customs (usually around 10 – 14 days).
 NB. If a pet arrives into the UK without a ToR reference, then VAT will need to be paid.
Owners can request retrospective ToR relief from HMRC and, if a ToR reference is issued, the VAT can be reclaimed. There is a time-limit of 12 months from date of arrival for this. In this instance the owner reclaims any VAT paid on deposit.


  1. Pet Owners resident in the UK, returning to the UK from outside of the EU
 Provided owners can provide the following, then VAT will not be chargeable upon import:
– Proof of export from the UK, i.e. AWB or export customs entry
– Proof of UK residency
- Proof that you have had ownership of the animal for more than 6 months



  1. NON EU residents visiting the UK with their pets (holidays, shows, etc.)
VAT is payable in full on arrival in Edinburgh and may be reclaimed only after proof of re-export from the UK, subject to final approval by customs. In this instance the VAT would be reclaimed on your behalf by Extrordinair for which there would be an administration charge.
- Pets can stay in the UK for up to 24 months on a temporary basis
– Where the UK is a transit point, pets will move under bond and customs clearance done at the final destination, where VAT /Taxes are likely to be applicable
2. Importing from outside the EC, but NOT transferring residence

Any animal entering the UK which has been owned for less than 6 months or has been gifted, purchased, rescued etc. will be liable to import tax on arrival
 Any person importing pets for the purpose of sale or resale, breeding and production who are VAT registered will require an active EORI number prior to arrival so that they may reclaim VAT
Applications can be made via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/eori
We are here to help you, should you have any further questions, please let us know.
Contact us at arc@extrordinair.co.uk we are happy to assist you with all you queries!