Pets and Pet Passports in France After Brexit: 2021 Onwards


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With the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement with the EU now in effect, from 1 January, 2021, pet passports are no longer valid for dogs, cats, and other animals registered in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.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

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  •  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.


    • 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


  • 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?


    • 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.


  • 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


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


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


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


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


  • KO12
    2016-08-26 18:21:57
    It is EU legislation - see


  • CazInFrance
    2016-07-27 05:05:23
    Britain already makes up its own rules for importing pets, that's why the pet passport scheme exists. It is not a European scheme.