PETS Scheme or TRACES: Using the correct Scheme

Can’t remember the last time a week went past without being asked whether a pet should travel on the PETS Scheme or under TRACES.

To be totally honest I really don’t understand the confusion, as the ‘rules’ are very clear (in my view) and aren’t open to interpretation.

PETS Scheme: when the reason for the transport is because of a change of circumstance to the owner i.e. moving house, going on holiday.

TRACES: when the reason for the transport is because of (or will result in) a change of ownership for the animal.

Thought a few scenarios might help, but first let me reinforce our position as a pet transporter:

It is NOT our responsibility to ensure the correct scheme is used.

We WILL ensure that the requirements for each Scheme are available on the site before you before you make your booking, and we will ask you to confirm that you have booked under the correct scheme.

We WILL ensure that the paperwork is correct for the appropriate scheme BEFORE we put the pet on the van.

We WILL NOT do your TRACES for you, or facilitate it being done.

We WILL ACCEPT your word i.e. that you have selected the right scheme for your pet.

When to use the PETS Scheme

The animal is registered in your name, in the country where you currently live, and you want to take it on holiday with you, or take it with you when you move to another country.

The animal is registered in your name, in the country where you currently live, and you want it transporting to a friend or family member in another country who WILL NOT become the new owner or sell it on, for a specific period time while your circumstances change i.e. holiday, preparing to move home, receiving treatment for an illness.

When to use TRACES

You have recently adopted the animal, and the microchip is registered in your name, but you do not live in the same country as the animal, and the animal needs to be transported to you.

You have recently adopted an animal, and have travelled to collect it and will take it home with you.

You have agreed to foster an animal from another country to give it a better chance of being adopted and finding a forever home.

The pets owner has recently died and you (as a family member) have agreed to look after the pet and it is being transported to you in another country.

And remember …….. IF you are not taking your own pet with you and require it transported under the PETS Scheme then a) it can only be done by an approved transporter (Airline, Ferry or Transport Company such as ALStrays with the necessary Certificate (Vehicle) and License (Driver)), b) you will need to provide the transport company with a Declaration giving them permission to transport the animal and c) the transport must take place within 5 days of you signing the Declaration.

So ….. it is not allowed to ask a friend to transport your pet in their vehicle for you as they are not an approved transporter

Have your say …… PLEASE feel free to leave your (or a hypothetical) circumstance as a comment below and we will happily comment back with which is the correct transport scheme.

And yes …… I have little doubt that we have been duped in the past and will be again in the future, but knowing and proving are two different things and there really are so many scenarios where it is simply impossible todo anything other than trust the booking form.


2 thoughts on “PETS Scheme or TRACES: Using the correct Scheme

  1. Chris

    Conversation recently at the vets with a German lady highlighted just how ‘confused’ people are (or claim to be) and how the PETS Scheme is being abused.

    Lady had driven herself down from Germany to a rescue in Spain and was going to drive back with the dog she adopted and with a dog that a friend of hers adopted.

    She told me that this was ok.

    I told her that she was breaking pretty much every rule there was!

    1. Even though she was driving back with her newly adopted dog it needed to go under TRACES as the reason for the transport was because there had been a change of ownership of the animal i.e. she had adopted it.

    Although she wasn’t using an approved transporter the local OCA would (or should) do the TRACES for her as an individual as the health certificate would show the transfer of ownership from rescue to her, and the details of the person doing the transport would be here ie. the owner.

    2. Her friends dog also needed TRACES and to be transported by an approved transporter as ‘even’ with the PETS Scheme if an owner is asking a third party to transport their dog for them it must be an approved transporter that they use.

    Of course she was adamant that it would be OK as they are never checked crossing the border, and I had to agree as even if she subject to a roadside inspection by police they would only look at dogs passports and so long as had rabies would be happy.

    But I asked her what about when she needs to register the Spanish Microchips to her (and her friends name)? No problem she said they had a friendly vet.

    That’s very nice for you all, but the database system isn’t owned by your friendly vet so when the chip details are entered the details will be known centrally and you are then exposing the dog, the rescue and yourself to the illegal import of a dog into Germany.

  2. Chris

    Recently asked (by a fellow transporter) to clarify the ‘rules’ regards the transport of more than 5 pets, belong to the same person.

    Pretty clear really: when more than 5 pets belong to the same person need transporting they must travel under the TRACES Scheme.

    This applies IF being transported on behalf of the owner by an approved transport company, or by the individual themselves.

    Why? No official explanation BUT I think it pretty clear that it’s avoid the abuse of the PETS Scheme by a rescue putting multiple animals in one persons name and transporting them. Experience tells me this is rife from Bosnia, Romania etc and not unknown from Spain.

    Of course the potential issue that people throw at me is how does a private individual get TRACES done when only a registered rescue can ‘do’ TRACES.

    Well the answer is pretty straight forward really: the individual that owns the animals pops along to the local OCA office with the passports and registration forms and asks them to do the health certificates for them.

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