Pet Travel Scheme: Will Brexit Affect My Pet Passport?

No official legislation has been released regarding how Brexit will affect pet travel to Europe. Currently, the Pet Travel Scheme is the same as it has always been and uncertainty is rife as to how pet travel will be affected in and out of the UK. DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency have released their best advice based on the little information they do have, and we have compiled this below.

When should I start planning my pet’s trip abroad?

It is currently being advised that anybody wishing to travel with their pet and haven’t got a pet passport should contact their veterinary surgery four months prior to their departure date. If you have a pet passport you may want to contact your vet as many are suggesting rabies blood tests to ensure you will be able to head overseas.

How will a no-deal Brexit affect the Pet Travel Scheme?

In the event of a no-deal Brexit the UK will be classed as an unlisted country. This means that all current pet passports will not be valid for entering EU countries. You will still be able to take your pet to EU countries. However, they will need the following:

  • Microchip
  • Rabies vaccination or rabies booster if already vaccinated
  • Rabies blood test 30 days after the vaccination
  • You can travel 3 months after a clear blood sample
  • 10 days before you travel you will need a health certificate from your vet in both English and the language of any countries you are visiting
    • The certificate will need to state:
      • Your pet’s vaccination history
      • The date they were microchipped
      • The results of a successful rabies blood test
      • Record of tapeworm treatment if heading to Ireland, Finland or Malta

Once you have all of the above you are free to enter the EU up to 10 days after the health certificate has been issued. Once in the EU you can travel to different EU countries and be granted re-entry back into the UK within 4 months.

Veterinary advice

Most veterinary surgeries are advising new and old pet passport holders to go through this process. Although it is more complicated than the current scheme it means you will be 100% covered for your holiday or move abroad if a no-deal Brexit was to occur. Essentially vets are helping you prepare for the worst-case scenario so that you can definitely head to the EU.

What happens if I am in the EU and a no-deal Brexit occurs?

If you follow veterinary advice and complete the steps above you and you pet will be absolutely fine on your travels. By completing the steps above you have prepared your pet as if they are entering from an unlisted country – which the UK would be following a no-deal Brexit. Therefore, you are covered for any eventuality and will be able to continue your travels or re-enter the UK as normal.

Brexit and the EU Pet Travel Scheme

If Article 50 is triggered and the UK leaves the EU with a deal in place the country will be classed as either:

  • Part 1 Listed
  • Part 2 Listed

Part 1 Listed

If the UK is listed as a ‘Part 1’ country, you will need the following to travel with your pet:

  • Microchip
  • Rabies vaccination
  • Dogs treated for tapeworm
  • Specific UK Pet passport
    • Valid for life as long as rabies boosters up to date

Part 2 Listed

If the UK is listed as a ‘Part 2’ country, you will need the following to travel with your pet:

  • Microchip
  • Rabies vaccination
  • Dogs treated for tapeworm
  • Health certificate 10 days before travel
    • New health certificate every time entering the EU

Can I travel to the EU with my pet at the moment?

Until a deal (or no-deal) is confirmed UK citizens are welcome to travel to and from the EU under the current rules. However, as previously mentioned, most vets are taking pets through the ‘unlisted’ criteria so that any future travel plans are not interrupted – this essentially means you are covered in any situation.

If a deal is agreed an implementation period will be confirmed. During this period, you will be able to travel with your pet to EU countries under the current rules with your EU pet passport. However, for those who chose to follow veterinary advice and prepare for the worst, you will be prepared for anything so this will not matter.