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Post-Brexit pet travel guide for owners


This guidance applies to people travelling to and from Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) with their pet cats, ferrets or dogs, including assistance dogs. This guidance is only for travel for non-commercial reasons.

You need to follow these guidelines to travel between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as well as between Great Britain and the EU. Travel to other non-EU countries is not covered in these guidelines.


Travelling into an EU country or Northern Ireland from Great Britain

You can no longer use a pet passport issued in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) for travel to an EU country or Northern Ireland (NI). You can still use a pet passport issued in an EU country or issued in NI after 31st December 2020 (for NI see additional guidance below).

When travelling to an EU country or Northern Ireland, your pet needs:

  • microchip placed or read before any rabies vaccination
  • a valid rabies vaccination at least 21 days before certification; the pet must be at least 12 weeks of age before it can be vaccinated
  • Either:


    • a pet passport issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland after 31st December 2020
  • tapeworm treatment for dogs if you’re travelling directly to Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, or Malta

You will need to go through a travellers’ point of entry when you arrive in an EU country or Northern Ireland.

Always check the rules of the country you are travelling to or through for any additional restrictions or requirements before you travel – it is your responsibility to check the current rules for travel and arrange the appropriate documents.

Repeat trips to an EU country or Northern Ireland

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

Your pet’s rabies vaccination must be up to date.

Obtaining an Animal Health Certificate

You must book an appointment with one of our Official Veterinarians to get an Animal Health Certificate. The certificate will be specific to the country via which you are entering the EU but can then be used for onwards travel through other EU countries. The certificate must be issued no more than 10 days before you travel. Please give us as much notice as possible when booking the appointment. Only Official Veterinarians with the relevant qualification can undertake these appointments; this, along with the time required to complete the certification process, means we cannot guarantee a last-minute appointment for an Animal Health Certificate.

We will request you send us information about your pet and the travel in advance of your appointment. When booking the appointment, please tell us your planned country of entry to the EU.

When you come to your appointment for the Animal Health Certificate, you must bring proof of your pet’s:

Your pet’s Animal Health Certificate will be valid after the date of issue for:

  • 10 days for entry into the EU or Northern Ireland
  • 4 months for onward travel within the EU or until the date of expiry of the validity of the rabies vaccination whichever is sooner
  • 4 months for re-entry to Great Britain provided the rabies vaccination is kept up to date

If you are planning a trip which extends beyond the expiry date of validity of your pet’s rabies vaccination, we recommend a booster vaccination prior to completing the AHC. We also advise taking evidence of your pet’s full rabies vaccination history with you on the trip.

Your pet will need a new Animal Health Certificate for each trip to an EU country or Northern Ireland from Great Britain.

Please contact us for estimates of costs for Animal Health Certificates.

Travelling into Great Britain with your pet

An EU pet passport issued in a member state is still valid to enter GB.

Before they enter GB, and in order to be issued with an EU Pet Passport, all pets must be:

  • microchipped
  • vaccinated against rabies (must be at least 12 weeks old before vaccinated)

If this is the first rabies vaccination for the pet, travellers from the EU must wait 21 days after the vaccination before travel into GB. This 21-day wait is not necessary if the rabies vaccination was a booster given before the date of expiry of the validity of the previous rabies vaccination.

Travel from countries not free from tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis)

Unless entering GB directly from Finland, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, or Malta, you’ll need to take your dog to a vet for an approved tapeworm treatment. You must do this no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours (5 days) before entering GB. The vet will certify this treatment on the relevant documentation e.g. AHC or passport.

Pet travel documents

Your pet must have one of the following documents when entering or returning to GB:

  • an EU pet passport issued in the EU (or in GB if issued before 1 January 2021), or a pet passport from another Part 1 listed third country
  • the Animal Health Certificate (AHC) issued in GB used to travel to the EU – which you can use to re-enter GB for up to 4 months after it was issued
  • a GB pet health certificate (for travel into GB only)

Check routes and travel companies

You must travel using approved routes. Check the routes before you travel – they can change or may only operate at certain times of the year. Your pet’s documents and microchip will be checked when entering GB.

Owners of assistance dogs returning to GB do not have to travel on approved routes. You must notify the point of entry in advance that you’re travelling with an assistance dog to ensure the appropriate checks are done.

EU residents travelling to and from the UK

If your pet has an EU passport and their rabies booster is due close to the period of travel we advise you to have the rabies vaccination done in your EU country of residence before travel, as vets in GB are no longer allowed to update EU pet passports.

Additional guidance for people travelling to and from Northern Ireland with their pet cats, ferrets or dogs, including assistance dogs.

Between Northern Ireland and the EU

From 1 January 2021, EU pet travel rules will continue to apply to Northern Ireland. This includes the need to have a pet passport** and a rabies vaccination. There will be no change to the requirements governing pet travel between NI and the EU including the Republic of Ireland (ROI). 

From Great Britain to Northern Ireland

It has been confirmed that from 1 January 2021, Great Britain (GB) will be treated as a Part II listed country.  This means that pet travel from GB to NI, including where a traveller is returning to NI from GB, will require:

  • an EU pet passport** or an Animal Health Certificate
  • rabies vaccination with a 21 day wait from the successful rabies vaccination
  • tapeworm treatment
  • entry to NI via a Travellers Point of Entry (TPE) at Belfast Port; Larne Port, Belfast International, Belfast City or City of Derry Airports.


Northern Ireland residents already in GB needing to travel back

It was expected that on 1 January 2021 a number of pet owners would be unable to comply with the EU Pet Travel Regulation, for movement of pets between GB and NI.  For example, pet owners who had already travelled from NI to GB and intended to return following the Christmas period.  Pets travelling from GB to NI will therefore not be subject to routine compliance checks until 1 February 2021.

**Current 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.  Interim measures have been put in place.  If you are travelling in early 2021, you should contact your vet in Northern Ireland who will arrange to update your pet passport appropriately to allow travel.  A new style UK (NI) branded EU Pet Passport will be available shortly and these will be distributed to veterinary practices in Northern Ireland in due course.

Help and support

You can contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) if you’ve got questions or need more information.

If you’re travelling to the EU or Northern Ireland

Contact the Pet Travel Scheme helpline if you need more information about pet travel.

Pet Travel Scheme helpline
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone: 0370 241 1710
Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm (closed on bank holidays)
Find out about call charges

If you’re travelling to a non-EU country

Contact APHA if you need more information about pet travel to a non-EU country.

Animal and Plant Health Agency
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone: 03000 200 301
Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm
Find out about call charges

If you have questions specific to Northern Ireland

Trade Section
Veterinary Service Animal Health Group
1st Floor
Ballykelly House
111 Ballykelly Road
BT49 9HP
Tel: 028 77 442141
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to do to qualify my pet for the Pet Travel Scheme?

To qualify for the Pet Travel Scheme your pet will need to:

At Maven Vets several of our vets are LVIs and so we are able to issue your pet’s passport.

Prior to coming back to the UK, you will also to arrange an appointment for your pet to be treated by a vet for worms and tick control and this must be stamped in your passport.

Where can I travel with my pet on the Pet Travel Scheme?

The majority of qualifying countries are in Europe.

A full list of qualifying countries can be found on the official Pet Travel Scheme website from DEFRA.

When can I travel with my pet?

You can take your pet out of the UK 21 days after they have had pet vaccinations against rabies and had their passport issued.

Does my pet need a blood sample?

Since January 2013 pets no longer require a blood sample to prove their rabies vaccine has been effective.

How do I keep my passport up to date?

Your pet will require to have a booster rabies vaccination.

The length of time between booster vaccinations will depend in where you are travelling but is normally required every 3 years.

Your LVI Vet will write in your pet’s passport the date by which they must have their rabies vaccination booster.

Please be aware that if you miss the date of rabies booster vaccination your pet will need to restart the passport process.

What is the Possible Impact of Brexit on Pet Travel

Pet owners will still be able to travel to the European Union from the United Kingdom after the UK leaves the EU on 29th March 2019, but the ease of transit and whether the pet passport scheme as it currently stands will remain valid will depend on whether the UK government manages to arrange a deal with the EU. There are a number of options depending on the level of deal reached:

1) A full deal is struck with the EU, no change is necessary

2) No deal is reached but a special arrangement is made for the UK to become a listed country, allowing relatively barrier free passage.

3) No deal is arranged, and the UK does not become a listed country, then stringent rules would be enforced to the following:

i) Your pet must be microchipped then vaccinated against rabies. A blood sample must then be taken 30 days after the vaccination and sent to an approved laboratory.

ii) The results of the blood test must show an adequate response to the vaccine

iii) You are only able to travel three months from the date of a successful blood sample.

iv) Within 10 days of travel you would need to visit one of our Official Veterinarians to get a health certificate. This would need to be done before every journey to the EU.

In the worst case outlined above, the whole process takes 4 months, which brings us to the end of November. We are very hopeful of a deal being reached, which would provide minimal disruption. However, we would recommend you prepare for the worst case-scenario and avoid disruption to your trip if you are thinking of travelling to the EU around the time of Brexit. We recommend making an appointment with one of our Official veterinarians to discuss your individual needs and to get a rabies blood sample taken as soon as possible, before the end of November.

We shall update this page and our social media pages as soon as any new information is released on this matter. If you have any concerns or would like to make an appointment, then please call reception on 02083372214.

For further advice please visit:

1) Government advice regarding pet travel around Brexit:


2) Eurotunnel advice



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