Pet Travel After Brexit: What Are the Changes?

On 31st January 2020, the UK officially left the EU after a long three and a half years of negotiations.

There’s still a lot of uncertainty surrounding trade and the free movement of goods, services and people between the two. Another area where there’s still many unanswered questions is pet travel after Brexit and what will change.

So, if you’re wondering how you can take your furry friend abroad PBS Pet Travel have tried to answer some of your questions here.

  1. The Transition Period
  2. So, what does this mean for pet travel?
  3. Pet Travel and Pet Passports After Brexit
  4. What do these categorisations actually mean?

The Transition Period

The 31st January deadline earlier this year marked the beginning of the transition period which ends on the 31st December 2020. In this period a lot of deals and agreements will be made hence why a few things are still up in the air.

So, what does this mean for pet travel?

Throughout the transition period, everything carries on as normal. You are able to continue to travel with your dog, cat or ferret, between the UK and EU in line with the pet travel scheme.

If you’re looking to travel within the EU during the transition period, you need to ensure you have a valid pet passport from a vet before your trip.

Pet Travel and Pet Passports After Brexit

We’re still unsure exactly how pet travel will look in the future as no formal deal has been agreed yet.

However, on the government’s website, it states that as of the 1st of January 2021, the UK will be a third country when it comes to the EU Pet Travel Scheme.

In the unlikely nature that no formal agreement is made before the 31st December 2020, the UK will leave as an unlisted country under the current EU PETS scheme. This will mean any current pet passport issued in the UK will not be valid within the EU.

The EU PETS scheme outlines 3 categorisations of countries: unlisted, Part 1 Listed and Part 2 Listed. Each categorisation is attached to different formalities and privileges. If a deal is agreed upon before the end of this year, the UK will likely become a Part 1 listed country or a Part 2 listed country.

What do these categorisations actually mean?

Unlisted Country

In the unlikely event, the UK will be categorised as an unlisted country, all current UK-issued pet passports won’t be valid for travel to or within the EU. This will mean that before your pet can travel, you must take the following steps:

  • Your pet must be microchipped and be vaccinated against rabies
  • Once your pet has been vaccinated or has received a booster, your pet must have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after. In some cases, your vet may recommend a booster before the test.
  • The blood samples will be sent to an EU accredited testing lab
  • You will have to wait at least 3 months from the date of the successful blood test before you can travel.
  • Your vet will need to give you a copy of the results and correctly fill out an animal health certificate
  • On arrival into the UK pet owners travelling with an animal will need to enter through a designated Travellers Point of Entry.

For any information on obtaining an animal health certificate, it’s best to speak to your vet.

Part 1 Listed Country

Being a Part 1 listed country will be very similar to the current arrangements under the PETS scheme. The only notable difference would be; you will have to apply for a UK pet passport instead of an EU one. Furthermore, your pet will need to be microchipped and vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before travel.

Part 2 Listed Country

A Part 2 listed country will have more notable differences in regard to the requirements and formalities that will need to be followed before your pet can travel.

If the UK becomes a Part 2 listed country, as with the PETS scheme, you will need to have your pet vaccinated against rabies and microchipped at least 21 days before travel.

You will need to visit an officially registered vet no more than 10 days before the date of travel to obtain an animal health certificate (AHC) to confirm the above requirements.

If you are a regular traveller with your pet to the EU, you will need an individual AHC for every trip. Finally, you will need to keep up to date with your required vaccinations and in some cases tapeworm treatment.

Whilst no formal agreement has officially been made for pet travel between the UK and the EU, we hope that the above information provides you with some reassurance and answers.

If you want to take your pet to Europe or overseas get a quote today and one of our pet travel experts will be in touch as soon as possible to discuss your trip.