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Registering an imported horse

If an equine is imported from a third country with a valid passport under EU law, and stays for more than 90 days, you should register the equine with a UK Passport Issuing Organisation (PIO) within 30 days of the horse's arrival into the UK. British Equestrian is a registered PIO and is able to log these details for you or, alternatively, you can approach another PIO. A list of UK PIOs can be found here.

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

All valid passports must contain food chain status pages. 

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

You can check on Defra’s Central Equine Database to see if it has been registered by a previous owner here: Equine Register

What do I do if I cannot find my details on Defra’s Central equine Database and my equine’s passport has the correct ownership?

If your equine’s passport has the correct ownership details and it has been updated and stamped by a PIO from outside of the UK, you will need to have it registered on Defra’s Central Equine Database to indicate that the horse is in the UK. If you would like British Equestrian to register your horse's details, even if the passport has been correctly identified with your ownership details, you can download our imported horse form. If your address details aren't correctly identified in your passport, you'll need to download our ownership change form, where the details will be updated and Defra notified. More information can be found on our changing ownership pages.

Imported horse form

Ownership change form

Where do I send my national passport if I wish British Equestrian to update the details on Defra’s Central Equine Database?

It is recommended that you send your horse’s passport via a recorded method and make note of the original PIO, microchip number and UELN (life number) in the event you need to obtain a duplicate passport if it gets lost in the post.  We recommend taking a photograph of your passport just in case it is lost so you can clearly have all the relevant details to hand when you contact the original PIO for a replacement. If you have any questions please call 02475 313 433 or email 

British Equestrian Federation (Equine Passports) 
Abbey Park 

What is British Equestrian’s fee to update my equine’s details and to register it on Defra’s Central Equine Database?

This service costs £30, which includes a special delivery next day before 1pm postal service to send the passport back to you. You can pay by bank transfer or by cheque. All passports will be returned to the owner registered in the passport unless otherwise requested. 


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 happens if my equine is imported without a valid passport?

If your passport was issued by a recognised body but can't be amended to comply with the regulations, a PIO will need to either:

  • reissue the passport if the food chain status is clear from the medicine record with correctly added pages
  • issue a duplicate/replacement passport if the food chain status is not clear

If the passport was not issued by a recognised body, then a PIO will need to issue a duplicate or replacement passport.