Pet Travel to France: Key Changes from January 1, 2021



Pet Travel to France: Key Changes from January 1, 2021

Following a EU policy decision, the UK government has announced details of NEW documentation required by British people travelling to France with a pet dog, cat or ferret from January 1, 2021.

From this date onwards – the end of the Transition Period – Great Britain will become a ‘third country’ with respect to the EU Pet Travel Scheme.

This means that while a pet passport issued in a EU member state remains valid, a current EU pet passport issued in Great Britain will NOT be valid for travel to France.

Instead, here are the new rules and procedures to follow:

You will need a dual language Animal Health Certificate (AHC), which you can get from your vet (an “Official Veterinarian”) no more than 10 days before travelling. UK vets have been ordered to have the AHCs ready to issue from December 22.

In order to get an AHC, you will need to take proof of your pet’s micro-chipping date and vaccination history.

It is important to note that this new ruling will affect any travellers with pets arriving in an EU Member State after 23:00 GMT on December 31, 2020.

A dog, cat or ferret must be micro-chipped, and vaccinated against rabies and you must wait 21 days after the primary vaccination before travel.

Your pet’s AHC will be valid for:

  • 10 days after the date of issue for entry into France
  • Onward travel within the EU or Northern Ireland for 4 months after date of issue
  • Re-entry to Great Britain for 4 months after the date of issue

Your pet will need a new AHC for each trip to France.

On arrival in France, pet owners travelling with pets will need to enter through a designated travellers’ point of entry (TPE).

If you are a UK national living in France and plan to travel with your pet using a UK-issued pet passport, you should speak to your vet. They will help ensure you are compliant with EU Pet Travel Regulations.

There is good news for anyone who has a pet passport issued by an EU member state, however – you can use it to bring your pet to Great Britain.

See our article on travelling to France with your pet after Brexit.

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FrenchEntrée's Digital Editor, Zoë is also a freelance journalist who has written for the Telegraph, HuffPost, and CNN, and a guidebook updater for the Rough Guide to France and Rough Guide to Dordogne & Lot. She lives in the French countryside just outside of Nantes.

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  •  Manki Cheng
    2022-04-07 06:13:24
    Manki Cheng
    Hi Zoe, I’m going to travel with my cat in May 13th, from Edinburgh to Vancouver and there is a one hour transfer in Paris. I was wondering if I need to have the animal health certificate. Because I saw enter France with pet need to have The animal health certificate, but I will not enter France or go through border, it’s just a transfer stop in Paris. I will be appreciate if you can help me with this question. Thank you


    • Zoë Smith
      2022-04-11 21:19:13
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Manki, Generally the rules for connecting flights (where you do not pass through French immigration) are that you (and therefore your cat) must follow the entry requirements for your final destination only (i.e. Vancouver). However, you should always check this with your transport provider (i.e. the airline) prior to travel - they will be able to advisor on the requirements depending on your particular itinerary. Hope this helps and best of luck for your trip!


  • Andrew
    2022-03-21 12:06:39
    Hi Zoe We are going to France at Easter with our dog and we have all the necessary documentation and jabs. The one area that I need clarification on is how the dog needs to travel. Currently we have a dog “hammock” which is secured on four head rests (front seats and back seats). He cannot get through to the front seats as there is netting that prevents this. In this is his bed and whilst in the car he wears a harness which is then attached to an RAC approved dog seatbelt which is locked into the seat belt clip itself so he can move a little bit so he can get comfortable. Is this an acceptable way for him to travel in the car in France?


    • Zoë Smith
      2022-03-23 11:55:51
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Andrew, This sounds fine to me - the rules in France are that your dog must be restrained in a way that prevents him/her from distracting the driver, so this seems to fit the bill! Best of luck for your travels!


  • Grant Williams-Freeman
    2022-02-09 04:06:53
    Grant Williams-Freeman
    Hi There. We are going to France from Canada. We have travelled to France with the same dog twice before ..... the last time was 2015. He is microchipped and has an EU Pet Passport. His rabies vaccine has expired. We are familiar with the requirements on the Canadian side .... from the Canadian Food Inspection Service, but are unfamiliar with requirements by France now. Can you please advise?


    • Zoë Smith
      2022-02-09 09:35:11
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Grant, With a valid EU pet passport, your dog may enter France without any further requirements - however, being as it doesn't sound like your dog is resident in the EU, I would question the validity of his EU passport. You should consult your vet on this as an Animal Health Certificate may also be required. As an absolute minimum, all vaccines must be up to date to enter France, including Rabies - and in the case of an expired vaccine, you must wait 21 days after your dog receives the vaccine to travel to France. You can see the official rules here: Safe travels! Zoe


  •  Jim Goodwin
    2022-02-01 11:28:00
    Jim Goodwin
    My dog has an EU passport and micro chip, I’m returning to France. All vaccines are up to date. Do I need anything to get my dog back into France travelling by ferry?


    • Zoë Smith
      2022-02-02 08:40:47
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Jim, If you're travelling back from the UK to France and your dog has an EU passport you don't need anything other than the passport to travel. (It's only for entrance to the UK from France where you need to have your dog wormed prior to travel). Hope this helps and safe travels!


  • Stephen Bennett Price
    2021-09-27 12:53:47
    Stephen Bennett Price
    Hi there, Like other people on this site, looking for clarity, because of two or three different versions been given by two vets and the P&O office in Dover. Dog returning to France: Vet 1 says that the health Certificate ( a 9 page document.) is not a health check. Vet 2 says that as well as the Certificate, Rabies & Microchip status we need a separate health check. The P&O office in Dover says that we need a Tape Worm Medication detailed on the documentation. I just need clarity. Why do some vets want £120 for the certificate and others want £280. Thanks Stephen Bennett Price


  •  Susan Day
    2021-08-13 02:27:58
    Susan Day
    From this date onwards – the end of the Transition Period – Great Britain will become a ‘third country’ with respect to the EU Pet Travel Scheme. A question please - All three of my dogs have French passports. Due to Covid and not being able to get back to France to get the rabies vaccinations done for two of my three dogs, I got them injected against Rabies here in the UK. So, a British vet clinic entered the new rabies injection into the passport in September 2020; that is, PRIOR to the end of the transition period. So, I have asked for clarity off two vets here and got two different answers, which is a bit worrying. I thought that this would be fine as the new injection was administered and documented PRIOR to the transition. One vet agrees with me and the other says I will need to get AHCs for the two of the three dogs. Can anyone please give me the definitive answer! I know a vet here in the UK CANNOT put an entry into the EU pet passport since 1 January 2021 but surely, as the transition period was just that - transition - then the rabies injections administered in September 2020 should be valid....? Many thanks in advance for clarity on this situation!


  • Philip george Burchett
    2021-07-12 06:35:32
    Philip george Burchett
    Our dog has an euro parrport.He is micro chipped and all vacs are up to date. He also had a blood test last year for anti rabies. Is there anything else he needs to travek from UK to France Thankyou Phil Burchett