How to prepare for travel with your pet to any EU country after EU Exit whether the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal.

To make sure your pet is able to travel from the UK to the EU after EU Exit in any scenario, you should contact your vet at least 4 months before travelling to get the latest advice.

Assistance Dogs and other Guide Dogs

Please note the following information is also applicable when travelling with an Assistance or Guide dog.

Information about Brexit and how it might relate to NI or to people living in NI can be found at the following link:

When the UK leaves the EU, it will become a third country. Within the EU Pet Travel Scheme, there are 3 categorisations of third country:

  • unlisted
  • Part 1 listed
  • Part 2 listed

Pet travel requirements will change depending on what category of third country the UK becomes on the day the UK leaves the EU. Third countries can apply to the European Commission to be listed. The UK is likely to be treated as an unlisted country under the EU Pet Travel Scheme if it leaves the EU without a deal.

Pet travel if the UK is an unlisted country

A current EU pet passport issued in the UK will not be valid for travel to the EU.

You’ll need to take the following steps:

  1. You must have your dog, cat or ferret microchipped and vaccinated against rabies before it can travel.
  2. Your pet must have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after its last rabies vaccination, (whether that is a booster or initial vaccination) Your vet may recommend a booster rabies vaccination before this test.
  3. Your vet must send the blood sample to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory.
  4. The results of the blood test must show a rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml.
  5. You must wait 3 months from the date the successful blood sample was taken before you travel.
  6. The vet must give you a copy of the test results and enter the day the blood sample was taken in an animal health certificate.

You might find that the blood test result is not successful despite your pet being up to date with its rabies vaccinations. If this happens you’ll need a repeat vaccination and blood test taken at least 30 days after the repeat vaccination.

Find out more about rabies vaccination boosters and blood tests.

Dogs travelling from the UK to EU listed tapeworm free countries (Finland, Ireland and Malta) should be treated for tapeworm before travel.

You will not be able to travel with your pet if you have not completed these steps.

Get a health certificate

You must also take your pet to an AVI no more than 10 days before travel to get an animal health certificate.

You must take proof of:

  • your pet’s vaccination history
  • your pet’s microchipping date
  • a successful rabies antibody blood test result
  • tapeworm treatment if travelling to Finland, Ireland or Malta

Your pet’s animal health certificate will be valid for:

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

On arrival in the EU, pet owners travelling with pets will need to enter through a designated Travellers’ point of entry (TPE). At the TPE, you may need to present proof of microchip, rabies vaccination, successful blood test results and tapeworm treatment (if required) with your pet’s health certificate.

You are advised to contact the competent veterinary authority in the country you are travelling to in order to confirm specific entry requirements including locations of TPEs.

Repeat trips to the EU

Pets that have previously had a successful blood test and have an up-to-date subsequent rabies vaccination history do not need to repeat the blood test.

Your pet will need a new health certificate for each trip to the EU.

To get a new health certificate you must take your pet to an AVI no more than 10 days before you travel. Again, you must show proof of your pets:

  • microchipping date
  • rabies vaccination history
  • successful rabies antibody blood test result
  • tapeworm treatment if travelling to Malta, Ireland or Finland

Return to the UK

Please note there will be no change to the current requirements for pets entering the UK from the EU after Exit Day

If you are arriving directly back into Northern Ireland you must have an Import Authorization form issued by DAERA Veterinary Trade Section

The following documents will be valid for entry into the UK:

  • an EU pet passport (issued in the EU or in the UK prior to EU Exit)
  • the animal health certificate issued in the UK used to travel to the EU (which you can use up to 4 months after it was issued)
  • a UK pet health certificate (for travel into the UK only)

Travel from countries not free from tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis)

You need to take your dog to a vet no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours (5 days) before entering the UK for an approved tapeworm treatment. This requirement won’t change after the UK leaves the EU.

You don’t need to treat your dog for tapeworm if you’re coming directly to the UK from Finland, Ireland or Malta.

UK nationals living in the EU

If you’re living in the EU and plan to travel with your pet using a UK-issued pet passport, you should speak to your local vet. They’ll be able to help you understand the impact of EU Exit and ensure you’re compliant with EU Pet Travel Regulations.

If you have a pet passport issued by an EU member state, you can use it to bring your pet to the UK.

You can also use it to return to the EU, as long as your pet has had a successful rabies antibody blood test. You must make sure the blood test is taken at least 30 days after the date of rabies vaccination.

If the blood sample is taken in the UK you must wait 3 months from the date the successful blood sample was taken before you travel back to the EU. You don’t have to wait the 3 months before travelling if your pet has a successful blood test before leaving the EU.

If the UK becomes a listed third country

Third countries have to apply to the European Commission to be listed under either Part 1 or Part 2 of Annex II to EU Pet Travel Regulations.

A small number of countries and territories are Part 1 listed. They operate under the same EU Pet Travel Scheme rules as EU member states but with a different type of pet passport. Most countries are Part 2 listed, which means there are different requirements for travelling with your pet.

You’ll need to obtain documents that will replace the EU pet passport from an official vet. The type of document you need depends on whether the UK becomes a Part 1 or Part 2 listed country.

Part 1 listed country status

If the UK becomes a Part 1 listed country, you must have your pet microchipped and vaccinated against rabies before travel. You will need to make sure your pet’s rabies vaccinations are kept up to date and make sure your dog has tapeworm treatment if needed.

You must also apply for a new document, the UK pet passport. You’ll be able to use this for travel to the EU for your pet’s lifetime (or until full) as long as your pet’s rabies vaccinations are kept up to date.

Part 2 listed country status

If the UK becomes a Part 2 listed country, you must have your pet microchipped and vaccinated against rabies before travel. You’ll need to make sure your pet’s rabies vaccinations are kept up to date and make sure your dog has tapeworm treatment if needed.

You must also visit an official vet no more than 10 days before you travel to get an animal health certificate confirming that your pet is microchipped and vaccinated against rabies.

Your pet will need a new animal health certificate for each trip to the EU if the UK becomes a Part 2 listed country. On arrival in the EU, pet owners travelling with pets need to enter through a designated TPE. At the TPE, you may need to present proof of microchip and rabies vaccination and tapeworm treatment if required.

Pet travel during an implementation period

If a deal is agreed and an implementation period is confirmed, you’ll be able to travel with your pet to the EU under the current pet travel rules using your current EU pet passport.

If you’re travelling with your pet for the first time you’ll have to visit your vet to get a pet passport.

Find an AVI

Speak to your AVI for further information before you plan to travel, you will find a list of Veterinary Practices participating in the Pet Travel scheme at:-

More useful links

DAERA Contact Details

If you require any further information please contact:

Trade Section
Veterinary Service Animal Health Group
1st Floor
Ballykelly House
111 Ballykelly Road
Ballykelly
Limavady 
BT49 9HP
                                                                                   
Tel: 028 77 442141
E-mail: tradeadminpost@daera-ni.gov.uk

Related articles

Back to top