We look at what new documents your pet needs to travel to the EU.
Before Brexit, all pets needed a pet passport to travel to the EU. The passport gave details of your pet’s vaccinations and microchip.
This has now been replaced with an Animal Health Certificate (AHC).
You’ll need one of these if you’re planning on taking your pet from Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) to the European Union or Northern Ireland.
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What do I need to take my pet to the EU?
Now, to travel to the EU or Northern Ireland, your pet will need:
A valid rabies vaccination
An Animal Health Certificate (AHC), unless you have a passport issued in an EU country or in Northern Ireland - the AHC replaces pet passports issued in Great Britain
A tapeworm treatment if you’re travelling to Ireland, Northern Ireland, Finland, Norway or Malta. For more information on this visit GOV.UK.
READ MORE: Pet vaccinations explained
Is my pet passport still valid?
If you have a passport that was issued in Great Britain, it won’t be valid for travel to the EU or Northern Ireland.
But you can use a passport that was issued in an EU member state or Northern Ireland to travel to Great Britain with your pet.
If your passport was issued in Great Britain before 1 January 2021, you’ll be able to return to Great Britain using it.
How has pet travel changed since Brexit?
Now, instead of a passport, you’ll need an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) if you want to take your dog, cat or ferret to the EU or Northern Ireland.
Pets from Great Britain have been given ‘Part 2 listed status’, which means they can travel within the EU borders if they have an AHC.
What information is held on the Animal Health Certificate?
The certificate will have details of your pet’s microchip, whether they’ve had a tapeworm treatment and their rabies vaccinations.
How do I get an Animal Health Certificate?
You can get an AHC from your vet, but you need to make sure they’re an ‘official veterinarian’ (OV). You can do this by simply asking your vet.
When you get the AHC, you’ll have to bring your pet’s vaccination history and microchipping details.
If your pet doesn’t have a microchip, make sure you get one before or at the same time as the rabies vaccination. They’ll need to be vaccinated again if you don’t. Visit GOV.UK for more information.
You should time your visit to the vet within 10 days of your travel plans. Any more than that and the certificate won’t be valid for outbound travel to the EU or Northern Ireland.
How long is the Animal Health Certificate valid for?
When you get your AHC it’ll be valid for 10 days after its issue for travel to the EU or Northern Ireland.
When you’re in the EU, the AHC lasts up to four months. You’ll also have four months to travel back into Great Britain.
You’ll have to get a new AHC every time you travel to the EU or Northern Ireland.
I want to bring my pet into the UK from the EU, what do I need?
Pet passports will still be valid if they’ve been issued in EU member states or in Northern Ireland.
They’re also still valid for travel back to Great Britain if they were issued here before 1 January 2021.
Is there anything else I should do before I travel with my pet?
Some countries in the EU have different requirements for pet travel. For example, some might require a specific type of rabies vaccine.
Make sure you check your country’s regulations well before your trip. If you don’t, you could risk being refused entry.