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Pet Travel to Europe after Brexit

on November 19, 2020

What is the EU Pet Travel Scheme? 

The EU Pet travel scheme permits the movement of pet animals (dogs, cats and ferrets) to the UK without the need for quarantine, as long as certain conditions have been met. This includes documentation, identification, vaccinations and treatments.  Depending on which country the animal will be travelling to and from, a blood test may be required. For more information see:

What will change after Brexit?

If the UK leaves without a deal after the 31/10/2019 the rules for travelling will change and your pet’s current EU passport will no longer be valid for travel to the EU when issued from the UK. To ensure your pet is able to travel between the UK and the EU after in any scenario you would need to start the process at least 4 months in advance even if your pet has previously travelled.
When the UK leaves the EU, it will be classed as a ‘third country". In the EU Pet Travel Scheme, there are 3 categories of third country: Part 1 Listed; Part 2 Listed, Unlisted. The requirements vary depending on which category the UK becomes. The most likely scenario will be that the UK will be treated as an unlisted country if the UK leaves without a deal.

What happens if the UK is a Part 1 Listed ‘Third Country’?

This would mean no changes in health preparation, just minor documentation changes.

What happens if the UK is a Part 2 Listed ‘Third Country’?

There would be a few additional requirements and a suitably qualified vet would need to issue a Model Health Certificate before travel. This would allow entry into the EU for 10 days after issue, and onward travel and return to the UK for 4 months after issue. A new certificate would be required for each trip. Arrival into the EU must be through a Travellers’ Point of Entry

What happens if the UK is an Unlisted Country?

You would need to ensure the following steps are taken to allow travel. You won’t be able to travel with your pet if you haven’t completed these steps:  
  1. Microchip.
  2. Rabies Vaccination.
  3. Blood sample at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination (you may want to discuss with your vet whether to do a rabies booster vaccine prior to the blood test.
  4. The blood sample will go to an EU approved laboratory for testing. This must show an antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml. If it does not another rabies vaccine would be required followed by another blood test at least 30 days later.
  5. You must wait at least 3 months after the date the successful blood sample was taken before you travel.
  6. You will need a copy of the test results and an animal health certificate completed.
  7. Dogs travelling from the UK to EU listed tapeworm free countries (Finland, Ireland and Malta) should be treated for tapeworm before travel.

What is a health certificate?

Your pet must go to an official vet no more than 10 days before travel to get a health certificate. You will need proof of the vaccination history, date of microchip, successful antibody blood test result and tapeworm treatment if travelling to Finland, Ireland or Malta. You would need to arrive in the EU through a designated Travellers Point of Entry. You may need to show all documentation here.
The certificate with be valid for: 
- 10 days after the date of issue for entry into the EU. 
- Onward travel within the EU for 4 months after the date of issue.
- Re-Entry to the UK for 4 months after the date of issue.
Repeat Trips to the EU
Pets that have already had a successful blood test and an up-to-date subsequent rabies vaccination history do not need to repeat the blood test. You will need a new health certificate for each trip to the EU.
You must ensure you have the following documents when returning to the UK:
  • EU Pet passport (issued in the EU or the UK prior to EU exit).
  • Animal health certificate issued in the UK used to travel in the EU (may be used for up to 4 months after issue).
  • A UK pet health certificate.
There will be no change to the current health preparations for pets entering GB from the EU after Brexit so make sure dogs have had tapeworm treatment administered by a vet 24-120 hours before your arrival in the UK, if travelling from countries which are not free from Echinococcus Multilocularis. You do not need to treat your dogs if coming directly from Finland, Ireland or Malta.
Pet Travel Help
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at Vet’s Klinic or the Pet Travel Scheme:
Pet Travel Section
Eden Bridge House
Lowther Street
Phone: 0370 241 1710 (Mon-Fri 8.30am to 5pm closed bank holidays) please note there may be a charge for this call.
This advice has been provided by the UK Government, through the APHA (Animal Plant and Health Agency).