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Pet Travel After Brexit | New Rules for Travelling to the EU with Pets

All existing UK Pet Passports will no longer be valid for travel from 01/01/2021. 

Before your dog, cat or ferret can travel to the EU or NI for the first time after 1 January 2021; you will need to take the following steps. These steps are similar to the current process for taking your pet to the EU. But you will now need an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) instead of a pet passport.

  1. You must have your dog, cat or ferret microchipped.
  2. Vaccinate your dog, cat or ferret against rabies – your pet must be at least 12 weeks old before it can be vaccinated.
  3. Wait 21 days after the primary vaccination before travel.
  4. Visit your vet to get an AHC for your pet, no more than ten days before travel to the EU.

Your pet will need a new AHC for each trip to the EU.

As long as you keep your pet’s rabies vaccinations up to date, you will not need to wait the 21 days after vaccination for repeat visits.

Animal health certificate (AHC)

You must also take your pet to your vet no more than ten days before travel to get an AHC. The AHC needs to be signed by an official vet.

You will need proof of your pet’s microchipping date and your pet’s vaccination history.

Your pet’s AHC will be valid for:

  • 10 days after the date of issue for entry into the EU or NI
  • onward travel within the EU or NI for four months after the date of issue
  • re-entry to GB for four months after the date of issue

These AHC are issued as bilingual documents; you will only be able to enter the EU if you hold the correct document for the country you first arrive in. Thus pet owners cannot change their country entry point into the EU once the AHC is completed; otherwise, a new AHC would need to be issued.

Suppose you’re travelling with your dog directly to Finland, the Republic of Ireland, NI, Norway or Malta. In that case, your pet must have treatment against tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis) 1 to 5 days before arriving in any of these countries and this treatment recorded on the AHC.

On arrival in the EU or NI, you will need to enter through a designated travellers point of entry (TPE).

Returning to Great Britain

There will be no change to the current health preparations for pets entering GB from 1 January 2021.

Your pet must have one of the following documents when returning to GB from the EU:

  • an EU pet passport (issued in the EU, or GB before 1 January 2021), or a pet passport from a Part 1 listed third country
  • the AHC issued in GB used to travel to the EU – which you can use up to 4 months after it was issued
  • a GB pet health certificate (for travel into GB only)

You’ll need to take your dog to a vet for an approved tapeworm treatment. You must do this no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours (5 days) before entering GB.

Please check the rules of the country you are travelling to for any additional restrictions or requirements before you travel. You can find the most recent details on www.gov.uk.

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