What are the rules if you are travelling to and from GB?

What are the rules if you are travelling to and from GB?

As you know, the United Kingdom has now left the EU, so there are going to be a few changes in how things work. In this article we’ll be explaining what you need to know about travelling abroad with your dog, cat, or ferret, and travelling to Great Britain.

Please note:

‘You can no longer use a pet passport issued in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) for travel to an EU country or Northern Ireland. You can still use a pet passport issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland.’ GOV.UK

Travelling to an EU country or Northern Ireland

If you are traveling to an EU country or Northern Ireland, your pet will need:

  • To be microchipped
  • To have a valid rabies vaccination
  • An animal health certificate (unless you have a pet passport issued in an EU country or NI)
  • A tapeworm treatment (dogs) if you’re travelling directly to Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway, or Malta.

Before you travel, make sure you read up on the rules of the country for any additional restrictions or requirements.

Arriving in an EU country or Northern Ireland

Once you arrive into an EU country or NI, you will need to go through a traveller’s point of entry. When arrived, you may need to show your pet’s animal health certificate along with proof of:

  • Their microchip
  • Their rabies vaccination
  • Their tapeworm treatment (dogs)

Repeat trips to an EU country or Northern Ireland

Animal health certificate

If you are planning on having repeat trips to the EU or NI, then your pet will need a new animal health certificate for each trip. An animal health certificate can only be issued by an official vet, and make sure you visit them no more than 10 days before you travel. When you visit your vet, make sure you bring proof of your pet’s microchipping date and vaccination history.

Your pet’s animal health certificate will be valid after the date of issue for:

  • 10 days for entry into the EU or Northern Ireland
  • 4 months for onward travel within the EU
  • 4 months for re-entry to Great Britain

Rabies vaccination

Your pet will not need a repeat rabies vaccination, but make sure they are up to date.

Tapeworm treatment

If you own a dog, they will need a tapeworm treatment for each trip if you’re travelling directly to Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway, or Malta.

Travelling with more than 5 pets

You CANNOT travel with more than 5 pets to an EU country or NI, UNLESS you are attending or training for one of the below:

  • Competition
  • Show
  • Sporting event

And you will need written evidence of registration for the event when you travel.

All travelling pets must also be:

  • Attending the event or training
  • Be over 6 months old
  • Meet all the other requirements for pet travel to that country

Travelling from an EU country or Northern Ireland

Please note:

‘An EU pet passport issued in a member state is still valid to enter GB.’ GOV.UK

Before you enter in Great Britain, all pets must be:

  • Microchipped
  • Vaccinated against rabies (your vet will need proof that your pet is at least 12 weeks old before vaccinating them)

If you are travelling from the EU with your pet, you will need to wait 21 days after the primary vaccination before entering GB.

There are different requirements for pets entering from certain third countries, such as a rabies blood test.

Pet travel documents

When entering or returning to Great Britain with your pet you will need the following:

  • An EU pet passport issued in the EU (or in GB if issued before 1 January 2021), or a pet passport from another Part 1 listed third country
  • The animal health certificate (AHC) issued in GB used to travel to the EU – which you can use to re-enter GB for up to 4 months after it was issued
  • A GB pet health certificate (for travel into GB only)

However, if you’re traveling from the below into GB you will not need this documentation:

  • NI
  • The Channel Islands
  • The Isle of Man

Check routes and travel companies

Check the routes before you travel. You must travel using approved routes. Your pet’s documents and microchip will be checked when entering GB.

Pet travel helpline

Contact the pet travel helpline if you need more help.

Email: pettravel@apha.gov.uk

Telephone: 0370 241 1710 Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm (closed on bank holidays)

British Pet Insurance Services offers a range of exotic pet, horse and pet business cover levels, select the level of cover to suit your needs.

Get a quote today