If the UK leaves the EU without a deal in March 2019, it would become a third country for the purposes of pet travel.
In a ‘no deal’ scenario, pets would continue to be able to travel from the UK to the EU, but the requirements for documents and health checks would differ depending on what category of third country the UK becomes on the day we leave the EU.
If the UK becomes an unlisted country, pet passports issued in the UK would not be valid for travel to the EU.
Preparing for travel
If you want to travel to the EU with your dog, cat or ferret, you must always get it microchipped and then vaccinated against rabies beforehand.
In a ‘no deal’ scenario, you will need to take these steps:
- contact your vet to start the preparation process and get the latest advice at least 4 months before you plan on travelling
- get your pet a blood test at least 30 days after a rabies vaccination. You will need to talk to your vet about whether you need a rabies vaccination or booster before this test
- your vet must send the blood sample to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory. The results of the blood test must show that the vaccination was successful (rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml). A successful blood test will continue to be valid as long as your pet’s rabies vaccinations are kept up to date with no gaps. Pets that have previously had a successful blood test and have an up-to-date rabies vaccination do not need to repeat it. However we advise speaking to your vet about the preparations you may need to make before travel
- wait 3 months from the date the successful blood sample was taken before you travel
- take your pet to an Official Veterinarian (OV) within 10 days of travel to get a health certificate. Your health certificate would be valid for:
- 10 days after the date of issue for entry into the EU
- 4 months of onward travel within the EU
- re-entry to the UK for 4 months after the date of issue
Arriving in the EU
On arrival in the EU, you will need to enter with your pet through a designated Travellers’ Point of Entry (TPE). At the TPE, you may be asked to present proof of microchip, rabies vaccination and the blood test result alongside your pet’s health certificate.
Repeat trips to the EU
If your pet has previously had a blood test and has an up-to-date rabies vaccination, you don’t need to repeat the blood test – but your pet will need a pet health certificate for each trip to the EU.
To get a new health certificate you must take your pet to an OV no more than 10 days before you travel, along with proof of:
- your pet’s vaccination history
- a successful rabies antibody blood test result
Returning to the UK
Your pet must have one of the following documents when returning to the UK:
- an existing EU pet passport (both for UK and EU citizens)
- the health certificate issued in the UK used for travel to the EU
- a UK pet health certificate (issued outside the UK for travel into the UK only)
Travel from countries that are not free from tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis)
You’ll need to take your dog to a vet between one and 5 days before returning to the UK for an approved tapeworm treatment.
You do not need to treat your dog for tapeworm if you’re coming directly to the UK from Finland, Ireland, Malta or Norway.
Actions you can take now
To make sure your pet can travel after 29 March 2019 (may also apply to new exit date on 31 December 2020), you should:
- Talk to your vet about pet travel preparations in good time, and start the process at least 4 months before you travel.
- Stay up-to-date with these changes by registering for email alerts. Follow the link, add your email address, select ‘Submit’, select ‘Add subscription’ and choose ‘EU Exit’ then select ‘Submit.