Getting a French pet passport is harder as Brexit rules enforced

Domestic dog sitting in the car trunk

Many frequent travellers to France try to acquire a French pet passport - Credit: Wavebreakmedia Getty Images/iStockphoto

Dog and cat owners with holiday homes in France say they have been left “high and dry” by a tightening of Brexit travel rules on French pet passports. 

Many affected people have been trying to save costs on the new post-Brexit ‘animal health certificates’ issued by UK vets by asking French vets to issue them with French pet passports instead. These are considerably cheaper and can be used on multiple journeys across the Channel unlike animal health certificates which usually cost over £100 and are valid for only one trip. 

However, while some vets have agreed to issue French pet passports to British non-residents, others have not, which has caused confusion. 

Now the French agriculture ministry’s register of domestic carnivores (I-CAD) has clarified its position. A notice on its website says that vets in France can only issue a French passport to an animal holding a (now invalid) UK-issued EU passport issued before January 1, 2021 if it is registered on the I-CAD database and has an I-CAD identity card. This will also apply to new applicants who have never had a pet passport before. 

Unfortunately for British pet owners, you can register your animal with I-CAD only if you are going to be staying in France longer than three months. As Brits are limited to staying a maximum of 90 days at a time in France, this is likely to stop people securing a French pet passport.  

However, it does mean, in theory at least, that people who secure a visa allowing them to stay in France for up to six months (VLS-T) or a year (VLS-TS) could also register with I-CAD and then secure the sought-after pet passport. French Property News would like to hear from any readers who have gone down this route. Contact us at [email protected]

The hassle and expense of animal health certificates has angered many owners of second homes in France, including Chris Slade who has campaigned for the return of pet passports for British travellers to Europe. 

“The animal health certificate scheme is an expensive shambles,” said dog owner Chris who makes six trips a year to France. “On one trip we were turned back at the port because of problems with the paperwork that were not our fault. Finally, on a more recent trip we were able to find a vet in Brittany to issue our dog Rudy with an EU French pet passport, but it sounds as if others will not be so lucky. 

“It shouldn’t be this difficult. Pet owners have been left high and dry by Brexit.”