Defra (the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) publishes advice from the UK government about pet travel for dogs, cats and ferrets between the UK and EU countries post Brexit. Key points from Defra’s advice are summarised here. For the latest guidance, please visit the Defra website, whose information takes precedence over the information below.

pet travel from GB to the EU and Northern Ireland after Brexit (from 1 January 2021)

Great Britain (GB) — England, Scotland and Wales, including the Channel Islands and Isle of Man — is a Part 2 listed third country under the EU PETS (pet passport) scheme.

This means that a current EU pet passport issued in GB is not valid for travel to the EU or Northern Ireland (NI). However, the health information and vaccination history recorded in your pet’s passport remains valid.

Instead, your pet (dog, cat, ferret) needs an animal health certificate (AHC). You’ll need to take these steps.

  1. Have your dog, cat or ferret microchipped, if not already done.
  2. Have your dog, cat or ferret vaccinated against rabies — your pet must be at least 12 weeks old before it can be vaccinated.
  3. Wait 21 days after the primary vaccination before travel.
  4. Visit your vet to get an AHC for your pet, no more than 10 days before travel to the NI or the EU.

getting an animal health certificate (AHC)

Take your pet to your vet no more than 10 days before travel to get an AHC. The AHC must be signed by an official vet. Check with your vet that they can issue AHCs for pets.

Take proof of:

  • your pet’s microchipping date
  • your pet’s vaccination history

Your pet’s AHC will be valid for:

  • 10 days after the date of issue for entry into the EU or NI
  • onward travel within the EU or NI for 4 months after the date of issue
  • re-entry to GB for 4 months after the date of issue

Your pet will need a new AHC for each trip to the EU or NI.

pet travel from the EU to GB

There are no changes to the current health preparations for pets entering GB from 1 January 2021.

Your pet must have one of the following documents when entering GB from the EU or NI:

  • an EU pet passport (issued in the EU, or in GB before 1 January 2021), or a pet passport from a Part 1 listed third country
  • the AHC issued in GB used for your pet to travel to the EU — which you can use up to 4 months after it was issued
  • a GB pet health certificate (for travel into GB only)

FAQs on post-Brexit travel

Naturally our clients have lots of questions around pet travel between GB and NI and EU. We’re maintaining a post-Brexit pet travel FAQ page to help with some of the more typical queries.