Pet Passports: Who Issues Them and What’s Brexit Got To Do With It?
Every country has different entry rules for pets.
This article is to help cut the stress of having to learn what the requirements are, but does not substitute of doing your due diligence through each country’s rules. A pet passport cuts down on paperwork entering the U.K. by inches.
What does a pet passport have?
A pet passport contains your dog’s microchip number and other vital details of shots within it. Microchips are scanned during any foreign travel to ensure it is the dog on record.
Britain and Australia are both rabies-free countries. Australia may have cut their quarantine time to a 10-day minimum meant to protect humans and animals from the spread of non-native diseases, yet there’s up to six months of waiting for processing. Thanks Johnny Depp and Amber Heard for using your celebrity to show the utmost disregard for quarantine laws—how’d that work out again? Not so great for anyone. 🙁 Australia has one of the strictest and most costly processes for entry with a pet. It can cost $4000 to enter Australia, including from New Zealand.
Respect the quarantine laws. I witnessed an English woman claiming to be a frequent traveler on the Eurotrain, which takes cars, crying about not knowing the rules at the Pet Border Control Center on the French side. The French government was not amused. Travel is not as easy as it once was, so ask yourself again, although it’s possible to do, is it necessary?
I chose to travel to Scotland, which requires no paperwork traveling from England as a last adventure in the UK. Edinburgh is a four-hour train ride from London St. Pancras Station. Again, each country and the relationship the origin country has with it is different.
A pet passport is currently issued in the UK, Ireland and Europe.
Enter Brexit. What does that mean for pets? There has been great concern if Brexit goes through, those EU passports won’t be valid for travel.
The government has made it clear if BREXIT goes through, UK Pet Passports in existence, are grandfathered into the process.
EU pet passports issued prior to Brexit will still be valid for travel to the UK. At the end of the day it comes down to paperwork and money, so breathe deeply darlings, it will be fine, as long as you do your research. Passports issued following the exit will have more restrictions and can take upwards three months to get approved.
As always, and is the law now in many countries: have your dog microchipped. You cannot travel internationally without it. If you don’t have one, blood samples will be sent to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory, complete with a three-month waiting period after the blood sample was taken before you can travel. If the results are not successful, vaccination and another blood test thirty days later will be the next step. Seriously, if you have the inclination, get the passport now. However if you are American, fly to the EU, then get a passport in the EU before you enter the UK.
Confused yet? If your pet is going back to the UK, they require a shot within five days of travel, otherwise you’ll need to get to a vet in the EU to re-enter the UK.
Your pet must have one of the following documents when returning to the UK:
- an EU pet passport (issued in the EU or in the UK prior to EU Exit)
- 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)
- a UK pet health certificate (for travel into the UK only)
There will be no change to the current health preparations for pets entering Great Britain from the EU after Exit.
UK nationals living in the EU
If you’re living in the EU and plan to travel with your pet using a UK-issued pet passport, you should speak to your local vet. They’ll be able to help you understand the impact of EU Exit and ensure you’re compliant with EU Pet Travel Regulations.
If you have a pet passport issued by an EU member state, you can use it to bring your pet to the UK.
Pet Travel Scheme helpline
Contact the Pet Travel Scheme helpline if you need more information. firstname.lastname@example.org
Pet Travel Scheme helpline 0370 241 1710