Pet passport

Armed with their own passports, Fido – and even Felix – are now as used to popping across the Channel as their masters. But will their traveling days soon be over?

The rules governing animal movement depend on whether a country is in the EU – a “listed” country or an “unlisted” country.

Currently, pet owners can take their dogs, cats and even ferrets, around the EU as long as they have a valid pet passport and are micro-chipped and vaccinated against rabies. Pets belonging to non-EU owners, however, face more stringent conditions, including possible quarantine.

There are no restrictions on pet rodents, rabbits, birds, invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles within the EU whereas non-EU rabbits need a rabies import licence and have to spend four months in quarantine.

Post-Brexit, of course, Britain can makes its own rules about admitting pets to the UK but it will be up to the EU to set the rules for British pets accompanying their owners on holidays to the continent.

Whilst it is unlikely the EU, unless it feels particularly vindictive towards Britain, would find grounds for failing to recognise the health standard of British pets, current rules sill need to be unpicked and rewritten – another example of the morass of negotiations that lie ahead.

Firstly, as a non-EU country, Britain will have to apply to the European Commission to be considered as a “listed” country – a country outside the EU that is exempt from the tougher conditions for pet travel. Secondly, as the law stands at present, only vets inside the EU can enter information into a pet passport. Without renegotiation, Britain would be unable to issue pet passports.

Instead, pet owners would have to apply for a “third country official veterinary certificate”, which covers the non-commercial movement of cats, dogs and ferrets from non-EU territories. Of course, the EU could rule that only EU and British vets can produce pet passports. But how will other non-EU countries feel about yet another exception for Britain?

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6 Responses to “Pets and pet passports in France after Brexit”

  1. CazInFrance

    Britain already makes up its own rules for importing pets, that’s why the pet passport scheme exists. It is not a European scheme.

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  2. TheObserver

    I wouldn’t argue with the facts regarding EU law, however in all the time we have been bringing our cat to France he has never had his chip or passport checked on the way out – even though we declare him on our travel booking. The only check is on the way back in – so clearly not a big issue for the French – he has made in excess of 10 journeys.

    I voted remain: however this continuing conjecture over what will happen when we leave the EU is a continuation of “Project Fear”. Just wait for the negotiations to take place and then see what will happen.

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    • 976

      If Brexit actually happens (perhaps triggered in 2017, no 2nd referendum, no general election with both parties promising to remain) then, next trip when her 2nd passport is filled up, we were thinking that our dog would get an EU passport from our French vet instead….. If Brexit does happen she will certainly be on her 4th passport by then.

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  3. fairporter

    I have made 40 ferry crossing with our dogs. The system now is much better than it used to be and only possible because the EU made it so. Vets in Europe have to certify your pet and this is done via a universal EU system. I have a dog with a British passport, another with a French passport and another with an Italian passport and they are the same, i.e. to an EU model. How this is to be achieved after Brexit?

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  4. cicero

    I suppose Britain could cancel the passport scheme altogether, if it felt like it and all animals will have to go into quarantine. The passport would still be valid for travelling throughout Europe.

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