Ensuring a Seamless Entry


If you’re planning a relocation or vacation to Europe with your pets, here’s what you’ll need to do to ensure they can join you.

It’s that time of year when many of us spend the warmer months in a second home in Europe to make the most of the beautiful weather, food and scenery of summer. For others, it’s also a peak time for permanent relocations for a new life on the continent before school resumes in the autumn. For many pets that means joining their owners on their travels. Whether you’re coming from the UK, USA or anywhere else in the world, it’s a good idea to see what’s needed under EU rules to allow your four-legged friends to accompany you.

If you’re travelling from the UK with your pet, you may be aware that the rules have changed. Since the Brexit transition period ended on 1 January 2021, animal travel has become a little trickier for those planning to spend a few months or more abroad. For those already in the EU, pet travel remains straightforward with the use of pet passports which allow seamless entry and exit around the continent.


New rules for British pets

Under the previous rules, pets from the UK could come and go throughout the EU with a valid pet passport and microchip. Now due to a new agreement between the UK and EU, British pets can no longer travel to EU member countries or Northern Ireland on a pet passport issued in the UK. The new arrangements mean you’ll need to have your pet ready to travel with the right documentation a few weeks before you go.

At least 21 days before you plan to travel, you’ll need to visit your vet to ensure your pet’s microchip is working and for them to receive a rabies vaccination. Your vet will provide you with an Animal Health Certificate to allow your pet to enter the EU and, if returning within four months, come back into the UK.

If you’re likely to be away for more than four months, you’ll need a local vet in your destination to provide a Great Britain Health Certificate no sooner than ten days before your return journey. However long you intend to be away for, dogs will also need a vet-administered tapeworm treatment 1-5 days before entering the UK.


Rules stay the same for furry continental residents

Luckily, pets who ordinarily live in the EU can continue to travel to and from the UK and around the EU with a valid pet passport issued in their home country. Obtaining a pet passport is easily done through a visit to your vet. In order to issue a pet passport, they will implant a microchip (or check that an existing one is working) and administer a rabies vaccination. Your pet will be able to travel 21 days after the vaccination.

The good news is that dogs and cats, whether entering the EU from the UK or vice versa, still aren’t required to quarantine as long as they have the right documentation.

If you’re coming to stay in an EU member state or the UK from anywhere else in the world, it’s worth checking the rules well in advance of travel, as it can take up to four months before departure to get the correct paperwork in place. The rules will vary depending on where you’re arriving from and quarantine may be necessary.

Get professional help with your pet’s travel arrangements

If all this sounds like too much of a headache, you can get help from the experts at Global Pet Relocation. This luxury pet travel company will assist you in arranging door-to-door travel for your furry family members to and from anywhere in the world. Offering a fully inclusive and tailored service, your dedicated pet relocation consultant handles everything from vet visits, boarding, flight bookings and delivery to your door. With animal welfare and safety paramount, Global Pet Relocation takes the stress out of pet travel for owners and their much-loved animals.

To find out more, please visit globalpetrelocation.com, email hello@globalpetrelocation.com or call +44 (0)1480 437946.

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