Register cattle imported or moved into Great Britain

When you import or move cattle, bison or buffalo into Great Britain you must register them within certain deadlines unless they are going straight to slaughter.

If an animal imported or moved into Great Britain moves directly to a slaughterhouse, you don’t need to apply for a GB passport.

If this isn’t the case, you must send the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) an application for a cattle passport with the required supporting documentation.

If you do not apply in time with the right supporting documentation, BCMS will apply its late application procedure and you may not be able to get passports for your animals.

You should receive your passport within 14 days of BCMS receiving the application. If you don’t, you must tell BCMS.

Get passports for cattle imported or moved into Great Britain

You can only apply by post and not online or by phone. This is because you’ll need to send paper documents to the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS).

You must apply using form CPP16, ‘Animals moved into Great Britain: Application for Cattle Passports’. You can either:

The information you must send with the form will vary according to where the animal is imported from.

Cattle moved into Great Britain from within the EU

Within 15 days of the animal arriving at your holding, send these documents to BCMS:

  • completed form CPP16 or CPP16W
  • any original EU passport that came with the animal
  • an export health certificate

If you are moving the animal from Northern Ireland, the animal will arrive with a printout from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development database. You should send this instead of the original passport.

Cattle imported from outside the EU

Within 20 days of the animal leaving the border inspection post or before it leaves the holding of destination, you must remove any original ear tags and replace them with approved UK ear tags.

Within 15 days from the date the animal must be tagged you must apply for a passport by sending BCMS the completed form CPP16 or CPP16W and health certificate.

Contact BCMS

British Cattle Movement Service

Curwen Road
Derwent Howe
CA14 2DD

Normal BCMS helpline opening hours: Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5pm, closed weekends and bank holidays. All calls charged at local rate.

A Welsh version of this page is also available

Published 6 May 2014
Last updated 28 March 2017 + show all updates
  1. Version 6 of the CPP16 added
  2. New version of application for cattle passports form (CPP16) published
  3. New version of Application for cattle passports form (CPP16) published
  4. First published.