When a pet enters Great Britain (GB) from an EU country, it needs one of the following documents:

  • a pet passport issued in an EU country or a Part 1 listed third country
  • a pet passport issued in GB before 1 January 2021, provided your pet’s journey is direct from the departure country to GB
  • the animal health certificate (AHC) issued in GB and used for your pet’s journey from GB to the EU up to four months ago
  • an export health certificate (EHC) for GB issued by a government vet in the departure country

TRACES / ITAHCs accepted in place of EHCs until 30 June 2021

You may find that the government vet in your departure country can’t yet issue EHCs, as the pandemic has slowed down the EHC process rollout across Europe.

If this is the case for your pet, ask the vet to register your pet’s travel on TRACES (the Trade Control and Expert System) instead. This will generate an Intra-Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC), which your pet can use instead of an EHC to enter GB.

GB authorities will accept ITAHCs until 30 September 2021, at which point they will review the EHC rollout situation and potentially extend the grace period.

get an export health certificate (EHC) if you can

Although ITAHCs will be accepted by the GB authorities until 30 June 2021, pet owners should still ask local government vets to issue EHCs if they can.

The relevant EHC (GB157E) should be available at the government vet’s office in English and the local language. The vet must complete, stamp and sign the EHC.

You can download a model of the EHC (GB157E) from the UK government websiteΒ for your own and the vet’s reference, but bear in mind this is a model only and is not the document for the vet to use.

when do you need an IPAFFS notification?

In addition to an EHC or a TRACES-generated ITAHC, your pet may additionally need an IPAFFS (Import of products, animals, food and feed system) notification. This will only be the case if your pet is arriving in GB more than five days before or after you.

You won’t need an IPAFFS notification if your pet:

  • is travelling with β€” and so arriving at the same time as β€” you
  • is travelling with a nominated person, and arriving up to five days before or after you

get an IPAFFS notification if you need one

If you need an IPAFFS notification, you can get it yourself from the UK government website.

  1. Go to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/import-of-products-animals-food-and-feed-system
  2. Click on the green ‘Start Now’ button at the foot of the page.
  3. Unless you already have a Government Gateway user ID, click on the ‘Create sign in details’ link to set one up.
  4. Continue as an ‘individual’ rather than a ‘company’.

Shortly after starting the IPAFFS process, the system will generate your draft registration number. We suggest you take a screenshot and share it with the vet who is arranging your ITAHC or EHC, so that they can add it to the certificate. If an exporter or transport company is involved in arranging your pet’s journey, send the IPAFFS registration number to them as well. They must receive it before your pet’s final pre-departure vet visit.

At this point, you can exit IPAFFS, and go back to it later once you have the EHC or ITAHC, as you will need to enter information from the certificate into IPAFFS.


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