Brexit. You’ve probably heard the term, but you may be curious if it will affect your travel plans or those of your pets. PetRelocaiton has been following this story closely as the United Kingdom and European Union are negotiating a deal, and we’re here to bring you all the information you’ll need to have a safe and happy journey after new regulations go into effect.
Who Will Brexit Affect?
The United Kingdom’s vote to depart the European Union will affect pet travel, but only if you are traveling between the United Kingdom and mainland Europe. If you are planning a move from the United States to the UK or anywhere within Europe, your pet's rules for entry will not be changed.
What Will Change?
Previously, pets could travel around the United Kingdom and all countries within the EU (and Switzerland) on the EU pet passport. So, if you were taking the family from London to Paris for a summer holiday, Fido and Spot could join you with little effort as long as they had an EU pet passport. However, these pet passports will no longer be a valid form of documentation for cats, dogs, and ferrets traveling across the English Channel, effective January 1, 2021. So, what are your options now?
Can My Pet Still Travel to the EU?
The good news is, yes. Your pet can still travel with you into the European Union. However, you will need to take a few extra steps to ensure they meet the requirements. According to a new memo released by the Animal & Plant Health Agency, your four-legged friends will simply need to see a veterinarian to receive an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) within 10 days of your trip. Once issued, your pet’s AHC is valid for travel around the EU for 4 months.
Your AHC will need to be issued in English and the official language of the country you are arriving in. So, if you are planning a trip in 2021, contact your veterinarian now to ensure they are familiar with the new process and plan to order the AHC your pet needs.
- Airline restrictions: As of January 1, 2021, Lufthansa airlines will temporarily suspend their flights for pets into the UK.
- Veterinary requirements: The requirements for entering the EU will not change. Your pet will still need to have a microchip and rabies vaccine. Some countries (mainly island countries such as Malta and the Republic of Ireland) will also require a tapeworm treatment.
- Commercial travel: If your pet’s journey is considered a “commercial” move (if you have more than five pets or if your pets are not traveling within five days of you) your pet does not qualify to travel on the new AHC.
- Northern Ireland: Pets traveling from Northern Ireland are exempt from these new guidelines and can continue to travel within the UK and the EU on their pet passports.
PetRelocation works hard to keep you and your family informed as global changes affect your plans to bring your pets wherever life may take you. We will be following this story as it develops. (This story was last edited 12/22/2020)
Have questions about traveling to the EU, or anywhere, with your pets? Let us know! We’d love to be part of your next adventure.