Travelling with pets after Brexit
- Credit: Archant
Pet travel requirements will change once the UK leaves the EU so it’s important to make sure you understand the latest rules. Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning to take your pet with you to France this summer
The debate surrounding Brexit continues and Prime Minister Theresa May has now announced her plan to meet with Jeremy Corbyn in an attempt to break the deadlock, as well as her intention to ask the EU for an extension to the Brexit deadline. The French Interior Ministry recently published information for Britons living in and visiting France after Brexit in the event of either a deal or no-deal outcome, and Defra has now published advice for those planning to travel with pets this summer. Pet travel requirements will change depending on what category of third country the UK becomes on the day it leaves the EU. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, it is likely to be treated as an unlisted country under the EU Pet Travel Scheme.
UK pet owners travelling to the EU
To make sure pets are able to travel from the UK to the EU after we leave the EU, either with or without a deal, pet owners should contact their vet at least four months before travelling to get the latest advice.
Pet owners are advised to check the latest pet travel guidance that explains how to prepare to travel with a pet whether the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal. The guidance sets out that, in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal and becomes an unlisted third country, pets must have a blood test to demonstrate sufficient levels of rabies antibody, which, if carried out in the UK, would be followed by a three-month waiting period before you can travel.
Additionally, pets must be taken to an official veterinarian no more than 10 days before the date of travel to get a health certificate (an EU pet passport issued in the UK would not be valid for travel to the EU). You must take proof of:
- your pet’s vaccination history
- your pet’s microchipping date
- a successful rabies antibody test result
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- tapeworm treatment if travelling to Finland, Ireland or Malta
Your pet’s animal health certificate will be valid for:
- 10 days after the date of issue for entry into the EU
- onward travel within the EU for four months after the date of issue
- re-entry to the UK four months after the date of issue
On arrival in the EU, pet owners travelling with animals will need to enter through a designated travellers’ point of entry (TPE). Here you may need to provide proof of your pet’s microchip, rabies vaccination, successful blood test results and tapeworm treatment (if necessary) with your pet’s health certificate. Your pet will need a new health certificate for each trip to the EU.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, your pet must have one of the following documents when returning to the UK:
- an EU pet passport (issued in the EU or in the UK prior to EU exit)
- animal health certificate issued in the UK used to travel to the EU
- a UK pet health certificate (for travel into the UK only)
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UK nationals living in the EU
If you are living in the EU and plan to travel with your pet using a UK-issued pet passport, you should speak to your local vet. They’ll be able to help you understand the impact of Brexit and ensure that you are compliant with EU Pet Travel Regulations. If you have a pet passport issued by an EU member state, you can use it to allow your pet to travel between the UK and EU.
You can also use the pet passport to return to the EU, as long as your pet has had a successful rabies antibody blood test. You must make sure the blood test is taken at least 30 days after the date of a rabies vaccination.
If the blood sample is taken in the UK you must wait three months from the date the successful blood sample was taken before you travel back to the EU. You don’t have to wait the three months before travelling if your pet has a successful blood test before leaving the EU. Therefore UK nationals abroad and EU citizens are advised to take the blood test in an EU member state if at all possible.
Travel during an implementation period
If a Brexit deal is agreed and there is an implementation period, you will be able to travel with your pet to the EU under the current rules using your current EU pet passport.
Further information can be found on the government’s website.