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Changing ownership

PLease be aware that, due to coronavirus, there are delays in issuing passports. We thank you for your patience.

currently we will not be processing FEI passports or non UK EU passports, but the situation is being reviewed on a regular basis. For all non UK EU passports, we recommend contacting a PIO from this list

Registering an Imported Equine: FAQ

If an equine is imported from a third country with a valid passport under EU law, you should register the equine with a UK Passport Issuing Organisation (PIO).  

A valid passport is one that has been issued by...

  • a recognised body
  • a national branch of an international organisation or association
  • a competent authority

New owners should notify the Passport Issuing Organisation (PIO) of a change of ownership within 30 days of the transfer. This is a legal requirement in England, with penalties for non-compliance. Your name, address and a contact number are required. 

This also applies to those who possess the equine for a short time period, such as dealers. In England, it is a legal requirement for the person who transfers an equine to another person must give them the passport at the time of transfer. Those who only own the equine for a short period of time should be aware of this so they can receive the updated passport back prior to transfer to a new owner. It is an offence to keep a passport when you have sold an equine.

How do I check to see if my equine has been registered in the UK?

You can check on Defra’s Central Equine Database (CED) to see if your equine has been registered by a previous owner.

What do I do if I can’t find my details on CED and my equine’s passport has the correct ownership?

If your equine’s passport has the correct ownership details and has been updated and stamped by a PIO from outside of the UK, you’ll need to have it registered on CED to indicate that the equine is in the UK – British Equestrian can do this for you. You’ll need to download and complete the form below, ticking the Service 1 box. 

PAssport update form

My equine’s passport includes my address details. Do I still need to register my equine?

Even if your contact details are correctly identified in the passport, it’s important that your equine’s details are registered on CED – British Equestrian or any UK PIO can do this for you. To begin this process, please click the link below.

Passport update form 

What do I do if I'm struggling to get hold of the original PIO?

Where possible, owners are advised to contact the original PIO who issued the passport. However, under the Regulations you may approach any UK-approved PIO to change the ownership. A list of bodies officially approved or recognised for maintaining or establishing studbooks in the UK can be found on the Defra website

What happens if my equine is imported without a valid passport?

If an equine is imported without a valid passport, you’ll need to apply for a new passport with a UK PIO.

What do I do if my passport doesn’t have a Section IX (Section II in new passports) to indicate the food chain status of the equine? 

If your passport does not have a food chain status section bound within the document, you are required to contact the original PIO, or another officially approved PIO in the UK, to have one inserted and rebound into the document. If you contact a PIO that is not your original PIO, they may not be able to insert one for you. If that is not possible, the PIO must issue a duplicate or replacement passport in accordance with Article 29 or 32 of the 2016 EU Regulation. In either instance the equine will be signed out of the food chain. 

What happens if my equine passport doesn’t have an ownership page bound within it? 

Some passports have a separate ownership document. If your passport doesn‘t have a specified ownership page bound within it, British Equestrian won’t be able to update it for you. You’ll need to contact your original PIO to request a duplicate passport with an ownership page bound within it, to or update the separate ownership card. British Equestrian can’t change the ownership on a separate ownership document.

Can British Equestrian update the ownership page for my equine passport if the paperwork is bound within it?

If you’d like British Equestrian to update an equine passport for you, you’ll need to complete the Passport Update Form.

Passport update form

Do I have to send in my equine passport if I would like British Equestrian to complete a change of ownership?

Yes, we can’t accept change of ownership over the telephone or via email. The national passport must be sent into the office to be checked for compliancy, a sticker applied and stamped with our federation stamp.

It’s recommended that you send in your equine’s passport via a recorded method. Ensure to make note of the original PIO, microchip number and UELN (life number) in the event you need to obtain a duplicate passport.  

British Equestrian Federation (Equine Passports) 
Abbey Park 

Can I have my passport sent to a different address than the one registered as the ownership?

All passports are returned via the Royal Mail Special Delivery service before 1pm on a signed service. If you wish to have the passport returned to an alternative address, please include a note to that effect within your application.

What are the timescales?

Most passports are completed within five working days, but please note that this can increase during busy periods. All passports will be returned within 10 working days.  

What is British Equestrian’s fee to update my equine’s details to register it on CED?

Changes to your equine’s passport cost £25, which includes a special delivery next day before 1pm postal service back to you. All passports will be returned to the owner registered in the passport unless otherwise requested.