Pets and Pet Passports in France After Brexit: 2021 Onwards

   29

Essential Reading

Pets and Pet Passports in France After Brexit: 2021 Onwards

Just as UK travellers will be issued with Britain’s new blue passports from now on (don’t worry, you don’t have to change your passport after Brexit unless it’s up for renewal), Britain’s pet population will also have to give up their EU stars. Pet owners will no longer be able to use the EU’s handy pet passport system – instead, there are new rules to follow if you want to bring Fido to France. 

No More Pet Passports for British Pets

With the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement with the EU now in effect, from 1 January, 2021, pet passports are no longer valid for dogs, cats, and other animals registered in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. 

There’s no need to panic about organizing a dog-sitter or having to leave your beloved furry friends behind, though. Pets will still be able to travel to France after Brexit, as well as to other countries in the European Union and Schengen Area, and they won’t be subject to lengthy quarantines and strict health regulations as they once did before. 

However, the process will require a little more paperwork…

New Rules for Bringing Your Dog To France After Brexit

If you are planning to bring your dog, cat, or other pets on your French holiday: 

  • Your pet must be microchipped
  • Your pet must be vaccinated against rabies
  • You must obtain an animal health certificate (AHC) for your pet, within 10 days prior to travel

Other requirements include a tapeworm treatment for dogs travelling to countries including Ireland and Northern Ireland, but this is not currently required for pets travelling to France. 

On arrival, the entrance process is likely to be similar to before. You will be asked to present the above documents and scan your pet’s microchip. 

What is an Animal Health Certificate?

Animal health certificates (AHC) can be issued by any vet in the country you are travelling from. They must be issued within 10 days of travelling and are valid for four months from the date of issue. In the UK, you should expect to pay around £100 for an AHC – fees may vary, so check with your vet. 

Each AHC is valid for one trip to the EU, so if you’re a second-home owner in France, you will need to do this every time you visit if you want to bring your pets along. The good news is that a single AHC is valid for onward travel in the EU and your return travel to the UK (as long as it’s within the stipulated four months). 

Bringing Dogs and Other Pets From France to England

If you’re a Brit living in France after Brexit, you will still be able to bring your pets with you on your UK visits. Pet passports will remain valid for pets registered in the EU for entry into the UK. However, if your pet currently has a pet passport issued in the UK, you will need to change this for a French pet passport instead. Your vet should be able to do this for you. 

Check the EU travel regulations for the latest on pet travel to the UK. 

Keep checking this page for the latest news on travel with pets in France after Brexit or head to our Brexit zone to learn more about living, travelling, and buying property in France from now on. 

Share to:  Facebook  Twitter   LinkedIn   Email

Previous Article News Digest: Slow Vaccination Rollout Draws Criticism
Next Article News Digest: New Measures to Control the Pandemic

Related Articles


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments

  •  Jean Hinks
    2022-08-11 04:26:09
    Jean Hinks
    My dog has a french passport, but her rabies vaccination was done in England this June and is not in the french passport. Will border control accept a certified rabies vaccination proof in another document? I was told in France by the vet that they would, but I am now not so sure.

    REPLY

    • Zoë Smith
      2022-08-15 11:38:13
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Jean, I can't see any reason why your rabies vaccination wouldn't be accepted, as long as it is an official certificate that states your dog's ID code - this code will match your dog's passport, clearly showing that your dog has been vaccinated. There are no rules that say vaccination must be carried out by a French vet! Safe travels! Zoe

      REPLY

  •  Mark richards
    2022-07-06 03:43:01
    Mark richards
    Hi While driving through France , will our dog need a car seat belt ?

    REPLY

    • Zoë Smith
      2022-07-12 17:04:49
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Mark, The law in France states that animals must be restrained in a way that prevents them from being able to interfere with the driver. So, that could be a separation grill, a seat belt, a crate, or other means. Hope that helps! Zoe

      REPLY

  •  Christine Taylor
    2022-06-14 11:55:48
    Christine Taylor
    Hi Zoe we are due to travel from the UL to France on 26th June then down into Switzerland on 28th. We will be in Switzerland for 2 weeks then will re enter France to come back to the UK - My question is - di we need a new Animal Health certificate to re enter France please? or will the original one be ok? thank you Christine

    REPLY

    • Zoë Smith
      2022-06-24 08:17:54
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Christine, Your Animal Health Certificate will cover you for 4 months for onward travel within the EU and for re-entry to Great Britain within 4 months. So, no worries about your trip to Switzerland from France. Best of luck for your travels! Zoe

      REPLY

  • peter John Fry
    2022-06-05 11:20:20
    peter John Fry
    my dog has had tapeworm treatment to re enter the uk but our return has been delayed due to a road traffic accident. we will be returning 8 days after the tapeworm treatment was given. Do we have to have our dog retreated for tapeworm. If so is it safe for the dog to be re treated.

    REPLY

    • Zoë Smith
      2022-06-06 14:38:10
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Peter, Your pet's passport or travel document must have been stamped by your French vet to confirm that the tapeworm treatment took place - so, if I was you, I would consult the vet, who may well stamp the passport/document for you being as they are aware that the treatment has taken place, or if not, they will be able to advise you whether it is safe to re-worm your dog in such a short space of time and with what treatment. Either way, I definitely recommend going to see a French vet before travelling - don't just take your chances at the border as border guards will only be able to follow the rules in front of them which state that it must have been carried out within 48 hours.
      Best of luck and do let us know how you get on! Zoe

      REPLY

  •  Clare
    2022-05-06 04:41:44
    Clare
    Hi, our dogs have French passports. Can they travel from the UK to France assuming they are microchiped and up to date with rabies vaccination? And is a rabies vaccination in the UK acceptable?

    REPLY

    • PETER COX
      2022-05-27 11:34:25
      PETER COX
      My dog has a French passport issued in France last year. Can we travel to France again this year using this French EU passport or do I have to obtain an Animal Health Certificate which now costs £250 pounds? Defra told me I can but my vet said I need the AHC.

      REPLY

      •  Penny Owen
        2022-07-13 04:35:59
        Penny Owen
        Hi, my dog is a rescue racing Greyhound and has a passport registered in Limerick, Ireland. Can I use this for her to travel to France & Spain without an AHC and back again to the UK? Cheers Penny.

        REPLY

    • Zoë Smith
      2022-05-12 12:38:15
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Clare, Yes, your dogs can travel with you to the UK assuming their vaccinations are up-to-date. They will need to have a wormer administered by a vet 48 hours before travel, but there are no further requirements - our articleTravelling with your dog between France and the UK has the full details including a link to the official guidelines. Hope this helps and enjoy your travels! Zoe

      REPLY

  •  Stephen Murray
    2022-03-01 09:23:06
    Stephen Murray
    Hi, I am an English national with French residency. Could you confirm that I can travel to France with my dog using my original EU Pet Passport please? Also, what else do I need to do? Kind regards Stephen

    REPLY

    • Zoë Smith
      2022-03-02 09:23:57
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Stephen, If you and your dog are French residents and your dog has an EU pet passport then nothing has changed post-Brexit. You can continue using your pet passport to travel, assuming vaccinations are up to date. Your dog will need to be wormed by your French vet within 48 hours of departure for the UK. There are no further requirements for returning to France. Best regards, Zoe

      REPLY

  •  Sophie
    2022-02-17 04:39:34
    Sophie
    Hi there - we are 2nd-home owners in France - does anyone know if it would be possible/legal to take our dog over from UK into France (April 2022) initially using the new Animal Health Certificate system (this part seems unavoidable) - THEN - acquire a French vet-issued EU Pet Passport for our dog when in France - and subsequently be able to travel back and forth between UK and France using the French-issued Pet Passport? Thereby avoiding having to get an Animal health Certificate (at £180 a pop!) for each trip to France? TIA for any definitive info/experiences on this 🙏🏻

    REPLY

    • Zoë Smith
      2022-02-18 16:33:04
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Sophie,
      Unfortunately, EU pet passports are only available to pets (and therefore owners!) who are resident in France. While I am sure there are some second-home owners who have managed to register their pets with a French vet and receive an EU pet passport, I obviously can't recommend that you do this. Even in the event of obtaining an EU pet passport, border control may rightly question why your dog is travelling with an EU passport when the owners are not French residents. While I understand that getting an AHC is expensive, especially for frequent travellers, it is currently the only way to legally travel with your dog to France.
      Best of luck for your travels, Zoe

      REPLY

  •  Christine Mason
    2022-02-04 01:02:29
    Christine Mason
    I shall be moving back permanently to UK with 5 cats, what will be the procedures for them?

    REPLY

    • Zoë Smith
      2022-02-05 21:33:55
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Christine, You can enter the UK with up to five cats using their French pet passports, providing that all their vaccinations are up to date. There are no additional requirements, but you should look to re-register your pets with a vet in the UK to update their microchip details once you become resident there. Best of luck for the move, Zoe

      REPLY

  •  John Aldridge.
    2021-12-13 04:23:16
    John Aldridge.
    Hello, I received my dogs French passport in October and would like to know how soon can I travel to the UK after it was issued please as I am getting conflicting answers.Regards, Jon.

    REPLY

    • Zoë Smith
      2021-12-14 08:44:39
      Zoë Smith
      Hi John, How soon you can travel depends upon the date of your dog's rabies vaccination, not the date the passport was issued. You must wait 21 days after the primary rabies vaccination (or course of vaccinations if required) - there is no wait period for boosters (providing they are kept up to date). The passport itself is valid for travel from the day it is issued. (Note that the above information is correct assuming your dog is from the EU/UK - there are slightly different rules regarding rabies/blood tests if your dog comes from a country outside these zones). Hope this helps! Zoe

      REPLY

  • Patrick Isherwood
    2021-11-02 03:52:47
    Patrick Isherwood
    We are French residents. We have a EU UK pet passport for our dog which I understand is alright to get into the UK. Do I need to get a EU pet passport to come back to France?

    REPLY

    • Zoë Smith
      2021-11-04 21:32:32
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Patrick, If you are a French resident, you are entitled to exchange your dog's pet passport for an EU one - your vet can do this for you (you may be asked for proof of address). Your dog will then be able to travel to the UK and return to France with this passport.

      REPLY

  • melvyn john hudson
    2021-08-07 03:00:05
    melvyn john hudson
    Could you recommend a vet that will issue a EU pets passport for my dog in the Vendee region ? I am a 2nd home owner, and will be visiting France even more. Regards

    REPLY

  • cicero
    2016-09-02 13:57:22
    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.

    REPLY

  • fairporter
    2016-08-27 12:29:18
    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?

    REPLY

  • TheObserver
    2016-08-26 23:37:08
    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.

    REPLY

    • 976
      2016-08-27 09:31:16
      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.

      REPLY

  • KO12
    2016-08-26 18:21:57
    KO12
    It is EU legislation - see http://ec.europa.eu/food/animals/pet-movement/eu-legislation/index_en.htm

    REPLY

  • CazInFrance
    2016-07-27 05:05:23
    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.

    REPLY