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From 1st January 2021, new rules will apply to taking pets abroad from the UK When the Brexit transition period ends on 1st of January 2021, taking your pets abroad from the UK will involve much more red tape. Quite what would be involved was not clear, since it depended on how the UK left the EU and the deal struck. On 9th December, The European Union announced that from 1st January 2021, Britain, except Northern Ireland, will have ‘Part 2’ listed status for pets (dogs, cats and ferrets) travelling to the EU. From 1st January 2021, UK pet passports issued in England, Scotland & Wales are no longer valid What this Means

  1. Your Current UK-issued EU Pet Passport is No Longer Valid – from 1st January 2021, existing Pet Passports issued in England, Wales and Scotland (pictured) are no longer valid for travel to the EU.

  2. Except Northern Ireland – where EU pet passport rules will still apply.

  3. You Will Need an Animal Health Certificate – any pet travelling to the EU or Northern Ireland (NI) from England, Wales and Scotland after 23:00 GMT on 31st December 2020,will need an ‘Animal Health Certificate’ (AHC) issued by your vet.

  4. Tapeworm Treatment (Dogs Only) – in addition, treatment against Echinococcus multilocularis will become a requirement for entry into Northern Ireland, Eire, Finland and Malta in the EU. This remains a requirement for entry into the UK and Norway. It must be administered by a vet between 24-hours and 5 days before travel and certified on the AHC. At present, AHCs are not available for Norway, which is in Schengen but not the EU.

What You Need to Know About Animal Health Certificates (AHCs) Validity

  1. You Must Travel Within 10 Days of Issue – the AHC is valid for entry into the EU & NI for only 10 days from the date of issue.

  2. You Can’t Change the Country of Entry Once Issued – the AHC is a bilingual document; you can only enter the EU if you hold the correct document for the country where you first arrive in the EU. If you wish to change your country of entry, you need a new AHC.

  3. They are valid for 4 months from date of issue:

    1. For onward travel in the EU

    2. For re-entry into the UK

  1. Valid for One Trip Only – AHCs cover only a single trip for entry to the EU or NI. They cannot be reused for a second or subsequent journey.

When/Where Can I Get An AHC?

  1. AHCs can only be completed by a certified veterinary surgeon.

  2. AHCs cannot be issued before 22nd December 2020.

How Long Will It Take to Get an AHC?

  1. The AHC is a substantial, 10-page document that will require a considerable time to complete.

  2. There may be delays in issuing these documents and vets are likely to be limited in the number that they can complete prior to 1st January 2021.

  3. The AHC cannot be issued before 22nd December 2020, or until 10 days prior to travel.

Other Considerations

  1. Animals aged 12 weeks or younger can no longer be exported.

  2. Travel is not permitted until 21 days after the rabies vaccination.

For More Information – The Pet Travel Helpline

  • Email:

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

  • I will keep this blog updated as new information comes available. Please follow my blog to keep updated automatically; click ‘follow’ or enter your email address in the box at the top right hand side of the page.


  1. Here is a link to the Animal and Plant Health Agency briefing note 39/20 to Official Veterinarians, which is the original source of information. The briefing states that detailed guidance for travellers will be published on GOV.UK in due course.

  2. EU declaration of ‘Part 2’ listed status.

Disclaimer Please note that this information is for guidance only. It is new information issued by the APHA to certified vets on Friday 11th December 2020 to help them prepare. No official statement has yet appeared on the government website, but that will likely come in the next few days. I have taken the information from primary sources, but while every effort has been made to ensure that it is correct at the time of writing, I urge you to check the most up-to-date requirements before you travel. Please see my Disclaimer for more details.

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