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Visiting European veterinary surgeons

EU Directive 2005/36/EC

The EU Directive 2005/36/EC is in place to allow a community-rights-entitled veterinary surgeon who is lawfully established and registered in another EU member state to provide services on a temporary and occasional basis in another member state.

This service enables registered veterinary surgeons to occasionally cross borders to practise for short periods.

The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020 and there is currently a transition period in which existing rules remain the same. This is expected to last until 31 December 2020. At present there is no certainty as to what will happen after such a transition period.

Please note that if you apply to be included in the list of Visiting European Veterinary Surgeons we can only include your name until 31 December 2020.

For more information refer to the EU Directive 2005/36/EC.

Please note that registering under the EU Directive 2005/36/EC is subject to certain conditions, as outlined below.  


Provision of Services in the UK

Documents for submitting

Before you can provide services for the first time in the UK, you will need to provide the RCVS with the following documents listed below. You are asked to submit all documentation 14 working days before the date you intend to provide services, or as soon as possible, to allow enough time to carry out the registration process.

  1. Your 'Provision of Services Form - Visiting EU Vets' (see the 'Related documents' box);
  2. Proof of your nationality or community rights entitlement;
  3. Evidence of your professional qualification (copy of qualifying degree certificate);
  4. A certificate (letter of good standing) issued by your member state competent authority confirming the following:-
    1. that you are lawfully established as a veterinary surgeon in that state;
    2. that you are not prohibited (permanently or temporarily) from practising as a veterinary surgeon there.

You will be issued with confirmation that your name has been added to the List of Visiting European Veterinary Surgeons together with the date this is effective from and other relevant information within 10 working days of the RCVS receiving all the documentation listed above.


Renewing Provision of Services in the UK

It is possible to renew or extend periods on the Visiting European Veterinary Surgeons List by submitting a 'Provision of Services Form - Renewal' (see the 'Related documents' box) and any other relevant evidence of change documents which may be required. Please refer to the renewal form for the list of documents you will need to submit.


If you are a UK veterinary surgeon visiting an EU member state, please read our guidance on Provision of Services in the EU