If you have ever traveled to Europe with your four legged friends you’ll be used to the easy ‘EU pet passport’ and vet check on return. Well… thanks to Brexit that’s about to changed. We found this out too little, too late. 

We’d started planning our Christmas trip to Europe when we suddenly thought we should check on what happens with pet travel after Brexit if we left without a deal. To our horror we discovered it would all change. 

The first time you travel to the EU (depending on the brexit deal outcome), regardless on whether you have previously traveled with pets before, will become a four month process. At time of writing this blog we were only three months away from our Europe Christmas Trip, thus you see our problem. So our research began.

Willow and Cali travel

If we become a unlisted country (we presume most likely on a no deal brexit) this would mean you need to take the following steps;

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

Dogs travelling from the UK to EU listed tapeworm-free countries (Finland, Republic of Ireland and Malta) must be treated for tapeworm 24 to 120 hours (1 to 5 days) before arriving in one of those countries.

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

Cali Posing by Suave

Upon entry to EU counties you will need to use a designated TPE (travellers point of entry)

At the TPE, you may need to present proof of:

  • your pet’s microchip
  • rabies vaccination
  • successful blood test results
  • tapeworm treatment (if required)
  • your pet’s health certificate

Coming back into the UK remains pretty unchanged. Your pet must have one of the following documents when returning to the UK:

  • an EU pet passport (issued in the EU or in the UK prior to Brexit)
  • 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)

There are 2 more options, which are slightly easier!

Part 1 listed country, the process will be the same as it is now, we will however need a UK pet passport. you must have your pet microchipped and vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before travel.

Part 2 listed country, you must have your pet microchipped and vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days 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.

Before you Travel

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, when travelling with pets you’ll 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.

Both of the above options will still mean you’ll need to have your dog checked by a vet before return to the UK a minimum of 24 hours and no more than 120 hours (5 days) before entering the UK for an approved tapeworm treatment.


Cali waiting for her passport

IF a deal is agreed with an implementation period, you can 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.

For anyone planning their first trip to Europe post Brexit (deal or no deal) with pets, please make sure you leave plenty of time. You’ll need to make sure you have all necessary documentation and health checks to avoid disappointment when planning Your Vanlife Experience. To read more information please click here.

Planning a trip to Europe? Check this out.

2 Responses

  1. Hi, I’m asking this in ignorance, but isn’t this the same as before ? I’ve never had to do this but I looked into it a couple of years ago and it seemed just as complicated …

    1. Hey, yes it is pretty much the same apart from the blood tests, which add the extra 3 months to the process!
      It doesn’t look like it will be necessary but we did it just in case!
      It is a little complicated but it’s not too bad, the worst part is finding a vets when away, but well worth it to take all the family away with you.

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