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Overstamping a foreign passport

If you are bringing a horse into the UK for more than 30 days you will need to get the passport overstamped by a UK Passport Issuing Organisation (PIO), provided the passport is compliant with the Minimum Operating Standards issued by Defra. 

  • Last reviewed: 31st May 2024
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To be deemed compliant the passport needs to contain the following:

  • A Unique Equine Life Number (UELN). This is sometimes referred to as the passport number and can be a combination of numbers and letters up to 15 characters/digits long.
  • A completed silhouette of the horse in red ink and certified by an accredited vet.
  • A section confirming the food chain status regarding whether the horse is signed in or out of the food chain.
  • A vaccination record bound within the pages of the passport.

Owners with passports which are non-compliant will need to apply for a replacement passport.

Application forms are available from the Passport Office on 02476 840517, you can email or download a Replacement form. Alternatively, you can download the overstamp form.

If your horse was originally registered with a stud book in the country of origin you should have the passport overstamped by a UK studbook PIO to keep the breeding information as complete as possible.

Once the passport has been overstamped by a UK PIO it is then administered by that organisation. The issuing PIO is informed, and the passport details are entered on to the Central Equine Database as well as the UK PIO’s database.

If you are not the current registered owner in the passport

Where the ownership of the horse is different from that recorded in the passport, the new owner will need to change the ownership with the original issuing PIO. In extenuating circumstances, if the issuing PIO is non-contactable, a BHS change of ownership form needs to be completed. 

You can contact the Passport Office as above for the forms or you can download them by clicking on the changing ownership page and selecting the relevant link.

Learn more about horse passports

Find out how to apply for a horse passport and further information on the cost and processing time as well as what you need to check before applying.

Find out more
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