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Travel to/from the UK with Pets (before & after Brexit)

The one thing that Maman and Papa said could make them consider leaving the UK after (booh hiss) Brexit was what we love the most: travelling together and potentially not being able to do this abroad anymore.

We're still not sure what exactly will happen but we can now get prepared... and the great news is that we now know for sure that we WILL be able to carry on travelling together even if there is no deal.

It might just be a bit more complicated depending on the scenario (and deal) and might involve 4 months of preparation - so anyone wishing to travel with their pets after 29 March 2019 needs to start thinking about it now and talk to their vet by the end of November 2018!

On Sept. 24th 2018, the UK Government has released some guidance on taking pets abroad after Brexit. The complete document and information can be found HERE.

Here is a Summary:


Before 29 March 2019 : Travelling with a Pet (Dogs, Cats or Ferrets) under current rules

Under the EU Pet Travel Scheme, owners of dogs, cats and ferrets can travel with their animals to and from EU countries (without a quarantine) provided they hold a valid EU pet passport.

  • Obtain a Pet Passport

Before a pet can travel from the UK to an EU country for the first time, it must be taken to an Official Veterinarian (OV) at least 21 days before travel. The OV will ensure the animal has a microchip and rabies vaccination, before issuing an EU pet passport.

Providing the rabies vaccination is kept up to date (booster every 3 years), the pet passport remains valid for travel for the pet’s lifetime or until all of the treatment spaces are filled (in which case, like for me soon, a new passport need to be issued and then travel must be done with both old and new passport).

  • Return to the UK: Procedure

On its return to the UK, the pet has its microchip scanned (to confirm its identity) and passport checked (to ensure it corresponds with the microchip and treatment requirements are met) at a Travellers' Point of Entry (the Pet Reception for Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, which is separate from the car check-in desk and situated before check-in - and the check-in counter for ferries)

Dogs returning to the UK from countries that are not free from Echinococcus multilocularis (a type of tapeworm) must have an approved tapeworm treatment administered by a vet between 24hrs minimum and 5 days maximum before entering the UK (so this can be done before departure at your normal vets for short trips, or at a local vets in France or the country of stay before returning to the UK - appointment booked in advance highly recommended)


After 29 March 2019 - if there is no deal

If the UK Leaves the EU in March 2019 with no deal, it would become a third country for the purposes of the EU Pet Travel Scheme

  • If the UK is a Listed Third Country (what the government is seeking to become on the day the UK leave the EU) - 2 scenarios:

Should the UK become a:

  • Listed: Part 1 Country: little change to the current pet travel arrangements (only minor changes needed to documentation for travel between the UK and EU and no change from the current health preparations).

  • Listed: Part 2 Country (the majority of countries are Part 2 listed), new requirements (but not too burdensome):

  • Before a pet could travel from the UK to an EU country for the first time, it would still need to be taken to an Official Veterinarian (OV) at least 21 days in advance. The OV would ensure the animal has a microchip and rabies vaccination.

  • No titre test or 3 months waiting BUT - for EACH TRIP to the EU - pet owners would need an OV to issue a Health Certificate (confirming the pet was appropriately identified and vaccinated against rabies). This document would differ from the current EU pet passport. It would be valid for 10 days after the date of issue for entry into the EU, and for 4 months of onward travel within the EU.

On arrival in the EU, pet owners travelling with their pet would still be required to report to a Travellers’ Point of Entry.

  • If the UK is an Unlisted Third Country - Pet Passport Replaced by Rabies Vaccine, Blood Titre Test AND Health Certificate

Pet owners intending to travel with their pets from the UK to EU countries would need to discuss preparations with an OV (Official Veterinarian) at LEAST 4 months in advance of the date they wish to travel (or 3 months should they already have a pet passport and up to date rabies vaccinations)

*This means pet owners intending to travel to the EU on 30 March 2019 would need to discuss requirements with their vet before the end of November 2018.

What will be required:

- up to date Rabies Vaccine

- a Blood Titre Test (carried out a minimum of 30 days after any initial rabies vaccination to prove sufficient levels of rabies antibodies) to and 3 months before travelling to EU countries. Provided a pet’s rabies vaccinations are kept up to date (the majority last for 3 years) - once a test has shown a satisfactory blood titre, the blood test does not need to be taken again.

- a Health Certificate (different from the current EU Pet Passport) would then have to be issued by an OV for EACH TRIP into the EU. The certificate would be valid for 10 days after the date of issue for entry into the EU, and 4 months of onward travel within the EU.

For repeat journeys, where proof of vaccination history and a satisfactory blood titre test were available, the pet owner would only have to visit an OV and obtain a new health certificate at some point within ten days before travel.

* ARRIVING in the EU: On arrival in the EU, pet owners travelling with their pets would be required to report to a designated Travellers’ Point of Entry (TPE). At the TPE, the pet owner would be asked to present proof of microchip, vaccination and the blood test result alongside their pet’s health certificate.

Pet owners travelling from the EU to the UK would need to ensure their pets had a satisfactory rabies antibody blood titre test to re-enter the EU. This would need to be administered prior to leaving the EU but there is no requirement for a three month wait period before travel.


More information on travelling to or from the UK with a pet:

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