Pet Travel

Holmer Veterinary Surgery Advice Leaflet

Pet travel to the EU: 

From the 1st January 2021 the UK (England, Scotland and Wales), including the Channel Islands and Isle of Man, become a Part 2 listed third country under the EU Pet Travel Scheme. PET passports issued in the UK will no longer be valid to travel to into Europe, however EU issued PET passports can still be used to travel between the UK and the EU. For pet cats, dogs and ferrets to travel from the UK to the EU the requirements are:

  • The animal must be microchipped.
  • A rabies vaccination must be administered, the pet being a minimum of 12 weeks of age.
  • The pet must wait 21 days after a primary rabies vaccination before travelling (this wait will not be necessary after each subsequent rabies vaccination as long as the vaccination due date has not lapsed).
  • Your pet must be taken to your local Official Veterinarian (OV) to acquire an AHC (Animal Health Certificate), no more than 10 days before travel to the EU. At Holmer vet surgery 6 of our vets are registered OVs.
  • The pet must be examined by a veterinarian 1-5 days before returning to the UK with dogs requiring the administration of a wormer by the veterinarian. This is also a requirement for animals travelling directly to Finland, Republic of Ireland, NI (Northern Ireland) and Malta.
  • On arrival in the EU or NI , pet owners travelling with pets will need to enter through a designated travellers' point of entry (TPE).
ahc pic

Acquiring and using an AHC

To acquire an AHC an appointment must be booked with an OV who will need to have/be shown evidence of:

  • your pet’s microchipping date
  • your pet’s vaccination history

A new AHC will be required for each trip to the EU and will be valid for:

  • 10 days after the date of issue for entry into the EU or NI
  • onward travel within the EU or NI for 4 months after the date of issue
  • re-entry to the UK for 4 months after the date of issue.

AHCs can only be used for travelling with up to 5 pets, for non commercial reasons (owners will need to sign a written declaration to confirm the non commercial nature of their pet's movement), with the exception of travelling for competition, show or sporting events for which evidence of registration in such an event will be required.

Different requirements exist for animals being moved for commercial purposes, for further details please refer to the Border Operating Model (BOM).

Dog in carrier

We advise all owners, planning to travel with their pets, check on requirements several months before they plan to travel.

We continue to advise that you research specific requirements for exportation to your chosen destination. This is particularly important when travelling to non-EU listed countries such as New Zealand and Australia, where strict export requirements must be met. We recommend you visit the DEFRA website for further details on requirements for your chosen destination, you may also need to contact the local embassy. Guidance can be sought by contacting the APHA by emailing enquiries to

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