Animal Health Certificate

Travel to the EU/NI and the Animal Health Certificate

As of 1st January 2021 all GB Pet Passports are no longer valid as travel documents. If you plan to travel with your pet’s to the EU or Northern Ireland you will now need to apply for an Animal Health Certificate (AHC).

  • The AHC is designed for the non-commercial movement of domestic cats, dogs and ferrets
  • Its main purpose is to keep the UK free from rabies and other diseases that do not currently exist in the UK
  • AHCs are dual language and are issued based on the country of entry not necessarily the country of destination
  • An AHC can only be issued by an Official Veterinarian (OV)
  • You do not need an AHC if you have a valid pet passport issued in an EU country or NI with an up to date rabies vaccination given in the EU or NI. UK vets cannot sign EU or NI passports as this will automatically make them invalid.
  • Up to 5 pets can be assigned to one AHC
  • A new AHC is required for each trip to the EU or NI
  • Without a valid AHC your pet may be refused entry or quarantined

NOTE: Please check the specific rules of the country you’re travelling to for any additional restrictions or requirements before you travel.


In order to travel to the EU and Northern Ireland animals must:

  • Have a working microchip or have a legible tattoo imprinted prior to 3rd July 2011. This must be checked by a vet and recorded before the AHC paperwork is completed.

NOTE: the date of implantation/reading of the microchip must precede or match the date of the rabies vaccination.

  • Be vaccinated against rabies. Most UK rabies vaccinations are valid for 3 years.
  • Wait at least 21 days after any primary vaccination (including rabies) before travel
  • Dogs travelling from GB to a tapeworm-free country (Finland, Republic of ireland, Malta or Norway) must be treated for tapeworm prior to travel

NOTE: A rabies antibody titre blood test is NO LONGER required for entry into the EU or NI

The AHC is valid for entry into the EU or NI for 10 days after the date of issue. You will need to go through a Travellers’ Point of Entry (see the European Commission website for more information) when you arrive in the EU or NI where you will be asked to show your AHC. 

The AHC is then valid for a further 4 months for onward travel within the EU or NI and for re-entry into GB.

Before re-entry into the UK dogs are required to have a tapeworm treatment prescribed by a qualified EU veterinarian and the AHC must be signed accordingly. This must be done between 24-120 hours before re-entry.

Applying for an Animal Health Certificate

For completion of an AHC two appointments are required.

During the first appointment your pets microchip information will be checked, rabies vaccination details confirmed/rabies vaccination given and a general health check will be performed. This is to ensure that the correct animal has been identified and they are free from any symptoms of disease.

We do ask that you bring all vaccination history with you to this appointment as well as a completed version of the AHC Details Form (found below).

The more notice we are given for this appointment the more flexible we can be with timings as this appointment should be with an Official Veterinarian.

NOTE: if your animal requires a rabies vaccination the first appointment must be at least 21days before departure

The second appointment is booked within 10 days of departure for signing and collection of the completed AHC. It is from this date that the certificate becomes valid.


The AHC and the 2 appointments required cost £200 for one animal. There is an extra cost of £40 per additional animal up to 5.

The rabies vaccine is ~£75 and can be administered during the first consultation. 

More information can be found on

If you would like to discuss the AHC and the requirements for travel further, please feel free to contact the practice directly.


Keep your pet healthy and happy.