How Brexit Will Affect Pet Travel

English BulldogUPDATE: See this post for most recent information concerning Brexit and how it will affect pet travel

The recent Brexit vote by the Brits to leave the European Union will have little effects on pet travel in the near term. The current import requirements for cats, dogs and ferrets will remain intact. (Find them here)?What will change is the ease that EU-Member State pet owners will have traveling to and from the United Kingdom.

More concerning is that the UK will not be bound to EU legislation and?may?strengthen their requirements for pet import. This is likely to happen in some form?considering the pressure the government is receiving from animal welfare and rescue organizations struggling to handle abandoned and unwanted dogs?as well as?problems they are having with the illegal puppy trade.

EU Pet Passports will either be rendered useless or will need to be reissued in the UK, and their status for entering the EU are in question. Will they be universally accepted by the EU?or will the Annex form, which is only good for 4 months, will be required?

The UK will need to apply to the European Commission?for consideration to be included as a non-EU listed country (otherwise known as a Third country). This is likely to happen as the UK is considered a rabies-free country by many countries in the world and their status with the World Organization for Animal Health is in good standing.

Pet travelers need to be informed of any changes that will happen in the next year as the UK readies itself to divest. We will post all changes in legislation, so stay tuned!


How Brexit Will Affect Pet Travel — 22 Comments

  1. Su – in order to return to the EU after Brexit occurs, your dogs will need an EU pet passport (issued in the EU or in the UK prior to EU Exit) OR the animal health certificate issued in the UK used to travel to the EU (which you can use up to 4 months after it was issued) OR a UK pet health certificate (for travel into the UK only). If you cross borders at an inspection post in the EU after October 1, 2019, know that your dogs’ UK Pet Passports will no longer be recognized. They will need an EU health certificate instead. In the abundance of caution, you may want to get your dogs EU health certificates before leaving the UK. The form is valid for 4 months of travel within the EU. You can review regulations to re-import your dogs to the UK here as there is a tapeworm requirement:

    You can enter the UK using the following routes: Your dogs’ rabies vaccinations will be accepted when you return.

  2. I am hoping to spend part of September, October, November, and part of December at my holiday home in Spain, however am concerned about the October date for Brexit and how it might effect our return. All my dogs have pet passports issued within the last three years. My youngest dog had the rabies blood test but was still issued with the old style passport.
    a. Is it safe to travel in September and return after October 31st.
    b. Will my old inoculations and passports be worthless after October 31st.
    Thank you Su

  3. Thank you for this information. I am moving back home to the UK from USA in June 2019. Hoping nothing changes for me so i can bring my cat.

  4. Dean – we cannot predict what the new regulations will be regarding Brexit or whether the UK will reach a deal with the EU, but we should know more in March of 2019. It is highly unlilkely that the UK will be classified as anything other than a Third (rabies-controlled) country unless politics becomes involved.

  5. We are going from UK to France on holidays in June 2019 with our dog – she already has a EU pet passport we used in 2017 , will things change travelling to france and returning to UK after Brexit?

  6. David – your pets will need to have an EU Pet Passport reflecting a current rabies vaccination administered after a microchip was implanted and no sooner than 21 days before travel to enter Ireland from the UK.

  7. We have not yet seen any changes posted with regard to traveling with a pet between the UK and the EU. What will likely happen is that the UK will join the other Third countries and the current EU Pet Passports will be replaced with UK Pet Passports over time. Pet travel between the UK and EU will still continue as always.

  8. Hi

    My parents live in Belgium and i live in the UK. We want to adopt a rescue dog. We always thought we would just pop on the Eurotunnel to visit my family with our dog. Will this no longer be possible?
    Thanks for your help

  9. Hi Bella – undoubtedly, the UK will need to adjust their regulations for pet import as they will no longer belong to the EU. Certainly new pet passports will change but it is unclear if those issued will also. Ironically enough, the original Pet Passport Scheme, upon which all EU legislation is based, came out of the UK. So whether UK regulations will change or EU legislation will change or both is again, not clear. We will say that pets entering the UK from Third countries will continue to be allowed to do that, even if with a health certificate that the UK will approve as opposed to a pet passport. We are monitoring this closely and will publish any changes we hear about.

  10. I am a British Citizen currently living in Mexico. My dogs have Spanish/French Passports. I am wondering when the law may change and my dogs might need British passports/documentation to enter the UK? I am already having difficulty returning with my husband under current immigration law and I am anxious about the changes.

  11. Hello Marilyn – to enter the UK, the dogs should have EU Pet Passports. Also, current rabies vaccinations that were administered after microchips were implanted and at least 21 days prior to import. Your younger son should give you a letter of authorization to represent him in the transport of his dog. The passport will need to be changed at some point, but it should not be as a result of the transport.

  12. Hi, Am returning to live in and will be bringing my own dog who will be living with me and also my younger son’s dog who will be going to live with my older son and family. Both are microchipped and vaccinations are all up to date, we will be travelling from Ireland to UK by ferry. I understand that a Pet passport is required for both but this the the only time they will be travelling – should I still get this paperwork.?

  13. Iliana – get your dog microchipped, then get it vaccinated for rabies. (in that order, but same vet visit is fine) Have your veterinarian issue your dog an EU Pet Passport. Wait for 21 days before travel. You are good to go. One thing, though. Between one and five days of re-entering the UK, your dog must have a tapeworm treatment administered by a registered vet in Bulgaria.

  14. The UK has not posted any updates. A pet owner mentioned that passports will be expiring in 2018 but we have nothing official. No harm in starting the process if the titer test is necessary.

  15. Hi, do we have any new information on this? I am about to start the process of pet passports for my three dogs for a move to Ibiza.. however we are not sure if it will be until after early 2018. Any advice would be appreciated as the 4 month quarantine does not sound like an option!

  16. Hi David – we have been assured that regulations for the import of pets to the UK will not change for 2 years. That said, as your cats are presently in the UK, they must have a current rabies vaccination administered after a microchip was imported and not sooner than 21 days before traveling. Have your veterinarian issue them an EU Pet Passport and you are good to go.

  17. Thanks for the information, that is re-assuring. Since I’m in the process of gearing up for a move to mainland Europe from the UK, Brexit could not have come at a worse time! So in the short term current regulations apply? I will be emigrating to Slovenia, so I assume if I get the pet passport for my cat as outlined on together with all the shots then I’m good to go.

  18. Mr. Shah – if you, your daughter or a representative of your daughter is importing her cat from Sweden to the UK, it will need proof of current rabies vaccination administered after a microchip was implanted and no sooner than 21 days before travel. (assuming here it is not a kitten). It will also need an EU Pet Passport. If it is traveling alone, then it will need to travel under commercial regulations. You can find details here:

  19. hi, Need to bring my daughter’s cat from Sweden within close proximity half hour drive from Gothenburg city area near the sea to London UK. its and adult healthy Norwegian Forest cat neutered long-haired not commercial import preferably by door to door service but advice and quote all possibilities and details of technicalities paperwork and formalities needed procedure and services provided and standards and satisfaction and charges and times and things involved. her vaccinations and passport and other travel documents and formalities were done and prepared last week but due to family illness and other engagements and new baby born etc had to postpone. also provide next travel dates or things needs to be done and period required from there before travel from Sweden to UK and with and without documentation and other formalities charges of travel and services and reliability and also if travelling with or without passenger by air by road and accompanied unaccompanied both thanks regards

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