Pet Travel After 31st December 2020
From 1st January 2021, the Brexit transition period has ended. Great Britain has officially left the EU.
For the purposes of non-commercial pet travel, Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) has been given Part 2 listed status. This means that the requirements for the pet travel scheme are changing.
A current EU pet passport, ISSUED IN GB, will NOT be valid for travel to the EU or NI from 1st January 2021.
This applies to people travelling to the EU and Northern Ireland (NI) with their pet cats, ferrets or dogs, including assistance dogs.
Please note, an EU pet passport with a valid rabies vaccine issued in the EU can be used for entry into the EU/NI and for re-entry into the UK.
Travelling to the EU or NI with your pet
An EU pet passport issued in GB will NOT be valid for travel to the EU or NI from 1st January 2021. Instead, an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) is required for non-commercial travel for 5 or fewer pets travelling within 5 days of the owner/person authorised by owner. If your travel arrangements do not fit with these requirements, then an Export Health Certificate is required (see table below).
Before your dog, cat or ferret can travel to the EU or NI for the first time after 1st January 2021, you’ll need to have taken the following steps:
- Microchipped your pet
- Vaccinated against rabies – your pet must be at least 12 weeks old before it can be vaccinated.
- Wait 21 days after the primary vaccination before travel.
- Visit your vet to get an AHC for your pet, no more than 10 days before travel to the EU.
Find out more about rabies vaccination boosters and blood tests.
Which certificate do I require?
|Animal Health Certificate||Export Health Certificate|
|Travel to EU or NI.||Travel to a non-EU country.|
|Non-commercial travel.||Commercial travel, i.e. change of ownership.|
|Up to 5 pet cats, ferrets or dogs.||More than 5 pet cats, ferrets or dogs.|
|Pet travel within 5 days of owner/authorised person travel date.||Pet travel more than +/- 5 days of owner/authorised person travel date.|
|Pet cats, ferrets or dogs only.||Animals transported are not pet cats, ferrets or dogs.|
If you require an export health certificate, please apply for an EHC online.
Getting an animal health certificate (AHC)
In order to get an AHC, your pet(s) must be examined no more than 10 days before travel by an official veterinarian. Check with your vet that they can issue AHCs.
You must take proof of:
- Your pet’s microchipping date
- 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 4 months after the date of issue
Re-entry to GB for 4 months after the date of issue
Please complete the Pet Travel Form here and either email/send it to us at least 2 weeks before your date of travel. Please note, if the form is received less than 2 weeks in advance of travel dates, further administration charges may be applied.
Travelling to Finland, Republic of Ireland, NI, Norway or Malta
If you’re travelling with your dog directly to Finland, Republic of Ireland, NI, Norway or Malta, it must have treatment against tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis). Your dog will need to receive treatment 24-120 hours (1-5 days) administered by a vet before arriving in any of these countries. Your vet must enter full details on the AHC following treatment.
Arriving in the EU or NI
On arrival in the EU or NI, pet owners travelling with pets will need to enter through a designated travellers’ point of entry (TPE).
At the TPE, you may need to present your pet’s original AHC along with proof of:
- Your pet’s microchip
- Rabies vaccination
- Tapeworm treatment (if required)
Check the rules of the country you’re travelling to for any additional restrictions or requirements before you travel. Read the travel advice: coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance before travelling overseas.
Returning to Great Britain
1-5 days (24-120 hours) before returning to the UK, you will need to take your dog to see a vet, for them to administer an approved tapeworm treatment. This must contain Praziquantel.
*This is not necessary if you’re travelling directly to the UK from Finland, Republic or Ireland, NI, Malta or Norway*
Your pet will need either:
- An EU pet passport (issued in the EU, or in 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, if the rabies vaccine remains in date.
- A GB pet health certificate (for travel into GB only)
*Your pet will not need this documentation if he/she is entering GB from NI, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man*
Repeat trips to the EU or NI
Your pet will need a new AHC for each trip to the EU or NI.
To get a new AHC, you must take your pet to an official vet no more than 10 days before you travel. You must show proof of your pet’s:
- Microchipping date
- Rabies vaccination history
If your pet has an up-to-date subsequent rabies vaccination history, it will not need a repeat rabies vaccination before travelling again.
You’ll need tapeworm treatment if you’re travelling to Finland, Republic of Ireland, NI, Norway or Malta.
Apart from rabies, your pet is at risk of other disease while abroad including Leishmaniosis, which is transmitted by sand flies to dogs. Heartworm, as the name suggests, is a parasitic worm which lives in the heart of the animal while Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis are both tick-borne diseases.
Prevention is always better than cure so please talk to us if you are going abroad and we will advise on the best course of action.
See the Pet Travel Client Handout for a PDF version of this guide.
Please contact DEFRA for more information to prevent any problems at the border.