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As of 1st January 2021, all GB Pet Passports are no longer valid as travel documents.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 travel with your pet to the EU or Northern Ireland, you must apply for an Animal Health Certificate (AHC).
- The AHC is designed for the non-commercial movement of domestic cats, dogs, and ferrets.
- Its primary 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 or update EU or NI passports.
- 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 are travelling to for any additional restrictions or requirements before you travel.
To travel to the EU and Northern Ireland, animals must:
- Have a working microchip or a legible tattoo imprinted before 3rd July 2011.
- Be vaccinated against rabies. Most UK rabies vaccinations are valid for three years.
- Wait at least 21 days after any primary vaccination (including rabies) before travel.
- Dogs travelling from GB to tapeworm-free countries (Finland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Malta or Norway) must be treated for tapeworm within five days of travel.
NOTE: A rabies antibody titer 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 ten days after the issue date. 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 another four months for onward travel within the EU or NI and re-entry into GB.
Before re-entry into the UK, dogs must 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.
More information can be found on https://www.gov.uk/taking-your-pet-abroad
An AHC costs £200. When the collection appointment is booked, this must be paid so the OV can start the necessary paperwork.
If you require an AHC within two working days of booking the appointment, there is an additional £50 urgent fee. Please note that this might not always be possible depending on the working schedule of the OV, so the more notice you can give, the easier it is to book.
If your dog requires a tapeworm treatment, there will also be an additional cost of ~£10-20, depending on the dog’s size.
Applying for an Animal Health Certificate
Once you have confirmed your travel plans and your pet has received a rabies vaccination, you must call the practice to book an AHC collection appointment. This should be booked within ten days of departure to the EU (or within five days if travelling with a dog to a tapeworm-free country). As stated above, you must pay the AHC fee when booking so the OV can start the paperwork.
After booking your appointment, you will be emailed a link to a form that must be completed at least two working days before collecting your AHC. If this is not completed within the time frame, an additional £50 urgent fee will be applied and may delay your travel.
Please double-check that the information you enter is correct, as it will be transferred directly to the AHC paperwork. Any incorrect details may delay your travel.
The person named on the AHC and all the animals that intend to travel must attend the collection appointment.
If you want to discuss the AHC and the travel requirements further, please get in touch with the practice directly or email email@example.com