Pet Travel to the EU Post-Brexit
From 11pm (GMT) on 31st December 2020, UK-issued Pet Passports ceased to be valid for travel from the UK to the European Union (EU) and Northern Ireland (NI). Instead, owners now require an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) to be issued for their pet(s): valid for a single return journey between Great Britain (GB) and the EU. However, none of the other basic requirements for pets travelling between the UK and EU have changed (in particular, there is no requirement for a Rabies antibody blood test to be carried out).
In order to travel from GB to the EU and NI, dogs, cats and ferrets must:
1. be microchipped
2. be vaccinated for Rabies and up-to-date with booster vaccinations
3. wait at least 21 days after the primary rabies vaccination before travel
Note: For repeat trips, if a booster Rabies vaccination is missed then a new primary vaccination must be given and step 3 (above) must be repeated.
The pet is then required to undergo a routine health check with an Official Veterinarian (OV), a maximum of 10 days prior to travel. If the pet is found to be healthy, and satisfies requirements 1-3 above, then the Official Veterinarian can issue an AHC. Please note that the OV will need to see (and take copies of) proof of microchipping and Rabies vaccination: in most cases this would be either a vaccination certificate or a current Pet Passport.
At least one OV works at every branch of Arun Veterinary Group: so except when an OV is absent due to annual leave, continuing professional development, or sick leave, it should be possible for you to take your pet to your usual branch for this service. Please bear in mind that the AHC is a lengthy document, and takes some time to complete (and additional copies need to be made and kept for our records): so we would typically anticipate that owners will be able to collect the completed AHC 2-3 working days after the pet’s health check, rather than being issued immediately after the appointment.
Dogs travelling from GB to EU-listed tapeworm free countries including Northern Ireland, Malta, Ireland and Finland must be treated for tapeworm prior to travel in accordance with EU requirements (this needs to be administered by a qualified vet: a minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of 120 hours prior to arrival in one of these countries) and this will need to be documented in the AHC. Tapeworm treatment is not required for dogs travelling from GB to non-‘tapeworm free’ countries in the EU.
The AHC for movement of pet dogs, cats and ferrets from GB to the EU is valid for entry to the EU for up to 10 days after the date of issue.
On arrival in the EU, pet owners travelling with their pets are required to enter through a designated Traveller’s Point of Entry: where they may be asked to present proof of microchip and Rabies vaccination alongside their pet’s AHC.
The AHC is valid for up to 4 months of onward travel within the EU (from the date of issue of the AHC), and can be used to re-enter GB once during this 4-month period.
A new AHC is needed for each trip to the EU or NI.
Pets returning to GB from the EU must be accompanied by one of the following documents:
• the AHC that was issued in GB and used to travel to the EU
• an existing EU Pet Passport (both UK-issued and EU-issued passports)
• if a pet remains in the EU for more than 4 months and does not have a valid Pet Passport to use for the return to GB, it can be issued with a new health certificate in an EU country
Additional requirement for dogs
Before re-entering GB, dogs must be treated by a qualified vet against the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis. This is not necessary if the dog is coming directly to GB from Northern Ireland, Finland, Ireland or Malta.
• This treatment must be recorded in the AHC (or other valid document as above).
• Treatments can be administered by any qualified vet (i.e. this does not have to be an OV).
• The treatment used must contain praziquantel or an equivalent proven to be effective against Echinococcus multilocularis.
• The treatment must be carried out a minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of 120 hours before the pet arrives in GB. Therefore in the majority of cases this treatment will need to be administered and certified by a vet outside the UK.
• Dogs leaving GB on a day trip will need to have this treatment administered prior to departure from GB. It is advisable in this case that dogs receive a follow-up treatment 28 days later (because the treatment is not a preventative: so the pet could potentially contract tapeworm between being treated and returning to the UK).