Article by: Serina Sandhu
EU pet passports would not be valid for travel if the UK becomes an ‘unlisted’ country
Pet owners who wish to travel with their pet to the EU next year are being advised to contact their vet at least four months beforehand to make arrangements for the journey.
The guidance, which forms part of the Government’s new public information campaign to prepare Britain for the end of the Brexit transition period on 1 January 2021, is vastly different to the current pet passport scheme Britons use to take dogs, cats and ferrets to the EU.
What is changing on 1 January 2021?
Before Brexit, pets belonging to Britons could travel freely around the EU with their owner if they had a pet passport, a rabies vaccination and a microchip. UK pet owners could take their dogs, cats and ferrets abroad and bring them back without the need for quarantine under the EU Pet Travel Scheme.
The Brexit transition period is due to end on 1 January 2021, which means the current pet passport scheme will become invalidated for owners in the UK.
This is because the UK will become known as a “third country”.
What does third country mean?
Under the EU Pet Travel Scheme, there are three types of third country; unlisted, Part 1 listed and Part 2 listed. Pet travel requirements will depend on what label the UK is given on 1 January following negotiations with the EU.
Becoming an unlisted country is likely to cause the most headache for pet owners who wish to travel to the EU next year. Any current EU pet passports issued in the UK will not be valid for travel.
In order to take your dog, cat or ferret abroad, you will have to get the pet microchipped and vaccinated against rabies. At least 30 days after the vaccination, a blood sample must be taken from the pet and sent to an EU-approved laboratory for testing. Then owners will have to obtain an animal health certificate (AHC), detailing the successful blood test, from the vet and wait three months from the date of the test before travel is permitted.
Owners can take their pet to get the AHC no more than 10 days before the date of travel. A new certificate is needed for each trip to the EU.
Pet owners and their pets will need to enter through the Travellers’ point of entry when they arrive in the EU, where officials will request documentation about the animal, including the successful blood test results and health certificate.
To return to the UK, an EU pet passport and health certificate will be needed.
For people who wish to take their dog to Ireland, Malta or Finland, tapeworm treatment is required.
Part 1 listed
If the UK applies to the European Commission to become a listed country after 1 January 2021, then it may be labelled a Part 1 listed country under the EU Pet Travel Regulations – this will be most similar to the current arrangements.
Pets will need to be microchipped and vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before you intend to travel. And you will need to apply for the UK pet passport, which can be used for EU travel throughout the pet’s lifetime if vaccinations are up-to-date.
Part 2 listed
As a Part 2 listed country, again owners will have to ensure their pet is microchipped and vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before travel.
Owners will also need to visit a vet no more than 10 days before travel for a AHC to confirm the microchipping and vaccination. A new AHC will be required for each trip to the EU and pet owners and pets will need to enter the EU through the Travellers’ point of entry.
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