Brexit and Pet Travel

The UK will leave the EU at the end of this year. This will mean changes to pet passports. Read our advice and be prepared.

Leaving the EU

The UK will leave the EU on 31st December 2020. At the moment it is unknown whether we will be leaving with or without a deal. This will affect the rules around pet passports.

If we exit with a deal, then the process may be simpler. However, if we leave without a deal we become a 'third country'.

There are three categorisations of ‘third country’

  • Unlisted
  • Part 1 listed
  • Part 2 listed

The extent of the changes to pet passports will differ depending on which category of ‘third country’ the UK becomes. At the moment there is no definitive date for when that category will be confirmed.

Will my current pet passport be valid?

Not if the UK becomes unlisted, a current EU pet passport issued in the UK will not be valid for travel to the EU from 1st January 2021.

If we become a listed country – the arrangements for pet passports will be updated at that stage.

What if I am returning to the UK?

There will be no change to the current requirements for pets entering the UK after 1st January 2021. Your pet will still need to have at least one of the following documents:

  • An EU passport (issued in the EU or in the UK before 1st January 2021)
  • An Animal Health Card (AHC) issued in the UK (valid for four months after the date of issue)
  • A UK pet health certificate (for travel into the UK only)

What do I need to do?

The actions that you will need to take will depend on the category that the UK falls into. However, it is best to be prepared – especially if you are planning to travel on or soon after 1st January 2021.

The requirements for an unlisted country include:

  1. Your dog, cat or ferret must be microchipped
  2. Your pet must be vaccinated against rabies (your pet will need to be at least 12 weeks of age to have this vaccination)
  3. Your pet must have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after the primary rabies vaccination (from a current series of vaccinations). Your vet may recommend a rabies booster before this test. If the blood test is unsuccessful, a second rabies vaccination will be required followed by a second blood test.
  4. The sample must be sent to an EU approved blood testing laboratory
  5. You then need to wait three months from the date of the successful blood sample, before you can travel
  6. You need a copy of the test results from your vet and the date of the blood sample must be entered onto an Animal Health Certificate (AHC)
  7. You will need an AHC that is issued no more than 10 days before you travel. An AHC can only be issued by an ‘Official Vet’. All Medivet clinics have access to an OV; please call to arrange as far in advance as possible so we can make sure an OV is available.

The steps above mean that you should start preparing at least four months before you travel. If at all possible we recommend a longer period to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Please contact your local Medivet practice where your vet will be able to advise you on the steps that you need to take and get appointments in place to ensure your travel plans aren’t interrupted.

Ginger and white cat with vet.jpg

Where is the best place to check for up to date information?

We will be keeping this page up to date, but things may change quickly. The government website is a good source of up to date information https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-europe-after-brexit

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