Sailing with a dog to Ireland this season? It could be a headache


Sailors who want to sail to Ireland with their dog have to land at a designated Travellers’ Port of Entry, all of which are prohibited to yachts

Sailing with a dog: a puppy sits on the coachroof
Since the end of the Brexit transition period, sailors need to inform the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine that they are bringing their dog to Ireland. Credit: Richard Langdon

Sailing with a dog to Ireland has become more problematic for sailors, according to the Irish Cruising Club (ICC).

Since Brexit, sailors cruising from Great Britain to Ireland with a pet must fill in a form and send it to the Livetrade desk of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, giving a day’s notice of arrival.

They are then advised to land their yacht at a designated Travellers’ Port Of Entry (TPOE).

These – if you arrive by sea – are the ports of Dublin, Rosslare Europort and Ringaskiddy Port in Cork – all of which are commercial ports and prohibited to yachts.

Lorries queuing at Rosslare Europort in Ireland

Rosslare Europort is one of the designated Travellers’ Port Of Entries, but is only accessible for commercial not recreational boats. Credit: Getty

‘In other words the Livetrade desk is asking people to follow a procedure with which they simply cannot comply,’ explained Norman Kean from the ICC, who is author of the club’s cruising guides to Ireland.

He said cruisers, who for years have brought their pets to Ireland on their boats, are now effectively banned from doing it again, and are ‘understandably upset.’

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‘An honest sailor from Britain can’t bring his pet, while an honest Irish sailor can take his pet to England but he can’t bring it back. While the basic law cannot be changed, the definition of Travellers’ Ports of Entry is entirely up to the Irish government. Marinas close to the three TPOEs could easily be designated, if the will existed,’ he added.

A dachshund dog wearing an orange lifejacket on a boat

Many cruisers who are planning to sail to Ireland are upset by the changes, which means they can’t easily bring their dogs with them on holiday

Yachting Monthly contacted the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in Ireland, asking them what advice it could give to sailors who want to bring their pets to Ireland, and if the matter would be resolved in time for the start of the peak cruising season.

In response, a spokesman said: ‘All pets from non-EU countries must undergo a compliance check on arrival, and to facilitate this they must enter through a designated Travellers Point of Entry (TPOE). This is required across all EU countries, as per the Pet Travel Regulation (EU) 576/2013. TPOEs are: Dublin Port, Dublin Airport, Rosslare Europort, Cork Airport, Ringaskiddy (Cork) Port and Shannon Airport. If travellers require more information on pet travel rules please see – Pet Travel (’

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