Whether French bred or imported, every equine in France must hold a valid passport issued or overstamped by the HARAS NATIONAUX.

Horses bred in France with HN registered parents, or parents in stud books from other countries recognised by the HN (such as Weatherbys, Sports Horse and pure breed studbooks) are eligible to compete at all levels of French competition.
If the horse is an import, and the parentage HN recognised, the passport will be overstamped by the HN to allow the horse to compete.

Equines with unknown breeding but born in France or imported before passporting will be issued with a basic identity passport, Origine Non Constatée – ONC, and only be allowed to compete at Club level.

Horses imported with a basic identity passport will also be overstamped as Origine Non Constatée – ONC – by the HN, and only be allowed to compete at Club level.

Breed Societies who are approved under 92/353/EEC may now operate ‘cross border’ within the EU. They may issue passports for horses of the breed they represent no matter what Member State the horse is born in or located in if the horse concerned is legally eligible for entry into their studbook by virtue of existing recognised parentage, and covering certificates, or DNA testing.

The Haras Nationaux insist that these equines also be registered on the HN database. The passport should be sent to SIRE, B.P. 19231, Arnac Pompadour Cedex, with the appropriate fee.

The original passport will be returned overstamped, with an additional separate Carte d’Immatriculation page. This is the ‘Owner’s Card’ and serves to prove ownership of the horse. On the back of the owner’s card is the form for a change of ownership. It’s advisable to keep this part in a different location to the passport!

Basic identity only passport issuers cannot operate in other Member States – they cannot legally issue ID only/ONC passports in another country. This helps prevent the fraudulent practice of horses having double identities.


From January 1st, 2008, all equines in France, including imports, must have a microchip – fines of 450€ can be imposed to owners of equines found not to have a microchip.

Each of the countries that use microchips country has its own unique batch of chip numbers to identify the country where the animal was microchipped. Unfortunately some of the less regulated countries use numbers that carry the brand prefix of the chip manufacturer, which can be confusing.

Export Health Certificates

Health certificates are not required for equines transported between the UK and France because of the Tri Partite Agreement between UK, France and ROI.