EU Pet Travel Scheme & Pet Passports 2021
The EU Pet Travel Scheme. What is it?
Lets do this one question at a time.
1. What must I do post Brexit to travel with pets?
As of the 1st January 2021 the following countries will become a part 2 listed third country under the EU PETS Scheme.
You will need to do the following:
- Your pet must be microchipped
- You will need to receive an Animal Health Certificate from your vet within no more than 10 days before you travel to the EU including Northern Ireland
- Your pet must be over 12 weeks old and vaccinated against Rabies (repeat vaccinations are not required, just ensure they remain up to date)
- You must wait 21 days after the primary vaccination before you travel
- When you arrive at a TPE (Travellers Point of Entry) you will be asked to present proof of all of the above.
Please note - If you are travelling from the EU to GB, then an EU pet passport will still be accepted so long as it was issued before 1st January 2021. A GB health certificate would be accepted too. Don't forget about the internal parasite treatment by a vet in an EU country 24 hours (it can be up to 120 hours) before you return to GB. This has always been the case.
A further note: Finland, Republic of Ireland, NI, Norway or Malta travel with a dog will require treatment against tapeworm 1 to 5 days before arriving.
2. What is the AHC (Animal Health certificate)?
This is THE IMPORTANT document which has to be signed by your vet no more than 10 days before you leave. Make sure you call ahead and speak to the vet to ensure they can supply one of these. Do not leave it until the last minute to check and scupper your travel plans.
The vet should inform you that you will need the following:
a) Your pets microchip date
b) Your pets vaccination history
Well done. You now have 10 days to leave the country before it expires and then it will last you for 4 months within the EU and return to great Britain.
Every trip needs a new Animal Health Certificate
3. What is a pet passport?
The pet passport was the document used for travelling around the EU. A current EU pet passport issued in Great Britain will no longer be valid for travel to the EU or NI from the 1st January 2021. However, pet passports issued before this date will be valid to travel to Great Britain only.
4. What exactly changed and why?
Brexit has meant a change to the rules, it could have been much worse than it is. To summarise the above, pet passports are no longer an accepted document from travelling to the EU but can be used to return to GB. An animal health certificate along with some other requirements is now required as outlined above.
5. DEFRA. Who?
Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. According to Wikipedia they are a government department responsible for environmental protection, food production and standards, agriculture, fisheries and rural communities in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. They are involved in many of the rules. Many laws are framed by EU legislation so to be blunt they are a very busy department with over 1,200 EU laws to review thanks to the inevitable complications of Brexit.
6. Which animals are included?
Dogs, Cats and Ferrets are all included.
7. How much does it cost for a Animal Health Certificate?
Potentially anything from £60 to £120. Then you need to consider the cost for the Rabies Vaccine which can start at £100. I would ensure you have between £200 and £300 available for it to not be too much of a nasty surprise bill.
8. When do the new rules apply?
The new rules apply from the 1st January 2021.
To conclude, yes it is a pain and it is quite an expense to fork out. However, it could have been worse and could have been far far trickier than it is. I hope this guide helps you to understand what you need in place before you travel. Remember, call your vet first to validate everything before you go to see them. So long as you plan for everything we have listed and call to check it all you should find things will run smoothly for you.