Brexit pet travel update

Italian Greyhound being held by a lake

Following the end of the Brexit transition period on 1 January 2021, rules regarding travelling with your pet will change.

Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales), the Channel Islands and Isle of Man, will become Part 2 listed with regard to EU pet travel rules following the end of the transition period on 1 January 2021.

Please note that the rules regarding travel to/from Northern Ireland will be different to the rest of the UK.

New rules for those wishing to travel from Great Britain to Northern Ireland or the EU

From 1 January 2021, a dog travelling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland or the EU will need an Animal Health Certificate issued by an Official Veterinarian prior to travel.

It is important to note that existing EU pet passports issued to those in Great Britain will not be valid for travel from 1 January 2021. However pet owners are advised to retain any GB-issued EU pet passport, as it may contain important information about vaccinations, treatments, etc.)

To obtain an animal health certificate you will need to follow these steps:

  • You must have your dog microchipped
  • Vaccinate your dog against rabies – your pet must be at least 12 weeks old before it can be vaccinated
  • Wait 21 days after the primary vaccination before travel
  • Visit your vet to get an Animal Health Certificate for your pet no more than 10 days before travel to the EU

The validity of Animal Health Certificates are as follows:

  • 10 days after the date of issue for entry into the EU
  • A single trip for entry to the EU (a new certificate will be required for each entry into the EU)
  • Onward travel within the EU for four months after the date of issue
  • Re-entry to GB for four months after the date of issue

Entry to Northern Ireland or the EU must be via a designated Travellers’ Points of Entry.

Repeat trips to Northern Ireland or the EU

Your pet will need a new Animal Health Certificate for each trip to Northern Ireland or the EU.

If your pet has an up-to-date subsequent rabies vaccination history, it will not need a repeat rabies vaccination before travelling again.

You’ll need tapeworm treatment if you’re travelling to Finland, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway or Malta. This will need to be administered by a vet one to five days before arriving in any of these countries.

Rules for travel from Northern Ireland or the EU into GB

The UK Government has indicated that rules for entry from the EU or Northern Ireland into GB with a pet dog, cat or ferret will not change after 1 January 2021.

If you have a pet passport issued in an EU member state, you can use it to bring your pet to Great Britain. For those travelling from Northern Ireland you will not need a pet passport to enter Great Britain, but you will require a pet passport to return with your dog into Northern Ireland. Northern Irish dog owners should note that EU pet passports issued in NI and GB up to 31 December 2020, will not be valid for travel to the EU (including NI) after the 31 December 2020, please speak to your vet before travel.

There may be additional requirements for returning to specific countries in the EU. If you’re travelling with your dog directly to Finland, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway or Malta, it must have treatment against tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis). Your dog will need to receive treatment one to five days before arriving in any of these countries. Your vet must enter full details on the Animal Health Certificate following treatment.

Travellers are advised to check if any additional requirements are in place before they travel.

Further information and up to date Government advice can be found on the Government website