No-deal Brexit pet travel

A potential no-deal Brexit could mean changes to the documentation you need to travel abroad with pets. Make sure you’ve got the facts.

How a no-deal Brexit could affect your pet travel plans

While the future of Britain after Brexit remains uncertain, leaving the EU without a deal is one option. If this does become reality, it could spell confusion if you’re planning on travelling abroad with your pet. Make sure you’re ahead of the game by finding out how a no-deal Brexit could affect your travel plans.

What might happen if there’s a no-deal Brexit?

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, EU pet passports may not be valid for pets travelling, as the UK will likely become an unlisted third country with regard to the EU Pet Travel Regulations.

Instead, a pet travelling from the UK to the EU would need an Animal Health Certificate (AHC).

Your vet will be able to issue you an AHC in place of a Pet Passport, with different language versions available for travel to each EU Member State.

An AHC will allow your pet:

  • entry into the EU for a single trip, within 10 days of the certificate being issued
  • four months of onward travel within the EU after the date of entry to the EU
  • re-entry to the UK for four months after the date of issue

Bear in mind that if you’re planning on travelling with more than five pets, and aren’t attending or training for a competition, show or sporting event, you need to follow the commercial rules for importing animals.  

Learn more on the government’s website here

How to apply for your AHC

  1. First, you’ll need to make sure that your pet’s vaccinations and subsequent blood tests are up to date.
  2. If their blood tests aren’t up to date, you’ll need to take new ones, which can be carried out from 30 days after any initial rabies vaccination. These tests will confirm your pet is fully vaccinated.
  3. If a blood test is required, you’ll need to wait for three months from the date of vaccination to ensure that no rabies symptoms develop subsequently.
  4. This means that if your pet’s blood tests aren’t up to date, applying for an AHC will take a minimum of three months, so plan your trip accordingly.


What should I do next?

Call your local Medivet practice to find out if you need to apply for new pet travel documentation, and keep an eye on the Defra Website for the latest updates.

Remember, whatever happens with Brexit, your pet needs to be properly vaccinated and tested to be eligible for to apply for pet travel document.


To find out more about how a no-deal Brexit could affect your plans to travel with your pet, speak to your local Medivet vet.

For advice on the health of your pet, speak to your local Medivet practice.

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