Since the 1st January 2021 there have been updates for European Pet Travel which may change the process for preparing your pet. The team at PetAir are working with these new rules all the time, so please don’t hesitate to contact us for advice.

The Fundamentals that have changed:

  • Your pet must be microchipped prior to receiving a rabies vaccination.
  • Your pet must have a rabies vaccine at least 21 days before travel.
  • Your pet must be examined by an Official Veterinarian in the UK within 10 days of travel to Europe.
  • There are also new requirements depending on whether or not you are travelling within 5 days of your pet.
  • The old GB pet passports are no longer sufficient for travel. These can still be used to record your rabies vaccination, but they no longer work as documentation for travel.

These new rules may be slightly confusing, so we want to provide you with some example scenarios.

Scenario 1:

You are travelling to EU within 5 days of your pets.

This is considered a non commercial move for European Pet Travel. You need to sign the owners declaration to confirm that you are travelling within 5 days of your pet. You may be asked for proof (such as an airline ticket or ferry ticket) – so you need to be honest about this. Then go to your vets or ask the PetAir vets to complete an animal health certificate. Vets have a list of unique certificate numbers and can print/download the documents from the Official veterinarian gateway. The vet issues this to you and this allows you to travel to Europe with your pets. The animal health certificate also allows you to travel within EU and to return to UK within 4 months of date of issue.

There is more detail here.

Scenario 2:

You are not travelling within 5 days of your pets.

So you have travelled to EU to set up your new home, for example, and your pets are travelling out by plane more than 5 days after you. Your pets will now be classed as commercial travel. So you will need to apply for an export heath certificate from the APHA (Animal and plant Health Agency). This will need completing by a vet within 48 hours of pet travel. Your pets will need to start their journey from a registered premises – this is unlikely to be your home address. They will need to come to somewhere like the PetAir address first as we have a registered premises. The pets will have to land in EU and then be cleared from a customs point of view and then you can collect them. Generally we highly recommend that you use an agent at the destination airport to help with this process. If you have a friend or relative travelling within 5 days of your pets, then you can nominate them as the “authorised person” and then this means you can sign the owners declaration and the move can become a “non-commercial” move – and you can follow the rules in scenario 1.


Can I use my GB issued passport to enter the EU from GB?

No. You will need to get an Animal health certificate (for travel within 5 days of your pet) OR an Export health certificate (for travel outside of 5 days of your pet).

Can I use my GB issued passport to enter GB from the EU?

Generally yes if you are travelling from a part 1 listed country – the listing of your country is here.

Can I use my EU issued passport to enter the EU from GB?

Yes you can use a EU issued passport to enter EU from GB.

Can I use my EU issued passport to enter GB from the EU?

Yes you can use a EU issued passport to enter GB from EU.

Do I need to get worming treatment for dogs on the way back to the UK?

Yes and this needs marking on the Animal Health certificate or in the passport.

What is the difference between non-commercial move and commercial move?

If you (or a nominated person) travels within 5 days of the pets then this is classed as a non-commercial move and the move is much simpler. If you travel more than 5 days before or after your pets then this will be a non-commercial move and this is a more complicated move and you ought to get a pet shipper like PetAir to help out.

Do I need to get my dog a tapeworm treatment before travel to the EU?

Only if you are travelling to Northern Ireland, Ireland, Malta, Finland or Norway and then it needs to be at least 24 hours before travel and not more than 120 hours.