Travelling with a pet if there is a no-deal Brexit

What could change for dog and other pet owners after a no-deal Brexit ?

27 February 2019
By Connexion journalist

If there is a no-deal, there will be additional requirements for pet travel between the UK and EU, notably as British EU pet passports will no longer be valid.

The following comments relate to dogs, cats and ferrets (other rules may apply to different kinds of animals and birds).

The UK has stated that it will not change the requirements for entering.

This means a French pet passport will still be acceptable for taking an animal to the UK but there will be extra formalities required to bring the pet back.

The requirements will vary depending on whether or not the UK is placed on a list of approved countries and there is a risk of such formalities not being carried out in time in the event of an abrupt exit.  

If the UK is on the list, then it could issue a third-country pet passport acceptable in the EU and blood tests would not be needed. However, other requirements, as described below, would still apply (health certificate/checks at a designated point of entry).

 

Pet owners in France visiting the UK

  • At present

To travel to the UK – You need an EU pet passport, which you can obtain from a vet in France. The vet will check the pet is chipped and has an up-to-date rabies vaccination; the passport certifies this. The UK also requires dogs coming in to have had a tapeworm treatment from a vet within five days of travelling.

To return to France – Customs in France may check your pet has its passport.

  • No-deal Brexit and UK is unlisted

To travel to the UK – The UK says it will still accept EU pet passports and the rules will not change. However, so as not to have problems coming back to France, before you leave France to visit another country you will have to have a blood test done to show your pet’s rabies vaccine is working properly. The test should be done by a vet at least 30 days after the pet’s last rabies vaccination jab (check with the vet if it is due for any boosters).

The vet then sends a sample to a laboratory and the results must show the vaccination was successful. Three months need to pass between a successful test and the date when you will come back to France.

To return to France – As mentioned above, your pet will need to have had a test to show the rabies vaccine is working, at least three months before coming into France (usually you would have it done in France before leaving in view of the time periods involved). The test is valid until the next rabies booster jab is due (every three years).

A “health certificate” (see below) from a UK vet is not needed, just the EU pet passport issued by France.

You need to bring the pet back to France via a designated traveller’s point of entry for third-country compliance checks (they include most of the usual ports and airports; see tinyurl.com/ydbd7spx).

 

Pet owners visiting France from the UK

  • At present

Only the EU pet passport is required

  • No-deal Brexit and UK is unlisted

A UK pet passport would not be recognised in France.

The pet must be presented to Customs for checks on arrival in France, which would include checking its health certificate (see below).

You would need to enter via one of the designated points of entry (see above).

You will need to take the pet to a vet in the UK for a blood test before you plan to travel and they will send it to an EU-approved laboratory (non-EU country labs may apply to be approved by the EU).

You will only be able to enter France three months after a successful test.

If there are future trips, the test will still be valid as long as the corresponding rabies vaccination is also up to date.

It would therefore be advisable to visit your vet about four months before travel to France. You also need to take your pet to an “official veterinarian” (OV) to obtain a health certificate (which checks chipping, rabies jab and blood test) no more than 10 days before travel (for every trip).

Not all vets are OVs, so you would need to check with them.

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