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Will Brexit affect pet travel to the United Kingdom?

Ever since the United Kingdom officially left the European Union on 31 January 2020, there has been an enormous amount of speculation on how it will affect citizens in their everyday life. Brexit will also have an impact on pets travelling in and out of the United Kingdom. Read on to understand if you need to change your pet travel plans because of Brexit.

What is the transition period, and how will it affect pet travel to the UK?

The United Kingdom formally left the European Union on 31 January 2020. There will be a period of transition until the end of 2020, while the UK and EU conclude all negotiations. The current rules on pet import into the United Kingdom will continue to apply until the end of the transition period.

New rules for pet travel into the UK will be effective on 1 January 2021. If you are planning to travel into the UK with your pet during the transition period, current import regulations apply. Cats, dogs and ferrets can fly freely across UK and EU countries on the existing EU pet travel scheme.

You will have to make sure your pet has been microchipped, vaccinated, and has a valid pet passport. Cats and dogs travelling from unlisted countries must receive the rabies vaccination and take the rabies titre test before moving to the UK.

Can I still take my pet to the United Kingdom after Brexit?

After the Brexit transition period ends in January 2020, you can still bring your pet with you to the UK. The United Kingdom will continue to accept Pet Passports, and the process of entering the country from other countries will remain unchanged.

Your pet dog or cat will need to be microchipped and vaccinated, and all information must be recorded in the Pet Passport. Import regulations are different for different countries; if your pet is flying to the UK from an unlisted country, they will need rabies vaccinations and an acceptable rabies titre test (RNATT).

How will Brexit affect pets travelling out of the UK?

Pet dogs and cats travelling from the United Kingdom to the EU and other countries will follow the existing regulations until the transition period ends. After the transition year, the United Kingdom will become a third country and will have to apply to the EU to be listed. Under the EU pet travel scheme, a third country can either be unlisted, Part 1 listed, and Part 2 listed.

Pet travel regulations for pets travelling out of the UK will depend on what category the country will become after the transition period. If the UK becomes an unlisted country, pet travel between the UK and other EU countries can get more complicated. Pets will have to undergo the rabies antibody test (RNATT) and wait for at least three months after the test to be able to travel.

If the UK becomes a Part 1 listed country, pet travel to other EU countries is similar to existing regulations. Pets travelling out of Britain will have to be microchipped and vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before the date of travel. Your pet will need a new UK pet passport which is valid for its lifetime as long as all the vaccinations are kept current.

If the UK becomes a Part 2 listed country, your pet dog or cat must be microchipped and vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before the date of travel. Your pet will need an Animal Health Certificate not more than ten days before travelling from a registered vet confirming that your pet is fit to fly, and is microchipped and vaccinated against rabies. You will need a new certificate every time your pet leaves the country.

Once the transition period comes to an end, and there is more clarity on the UK’s country status, robust pet travel regulations will be put in effect by the country.

Travelling to the United Kingdom with your pet?

International pet travel can be a complicated process, especially in uncertain times as these. Regulations can change at any given moment, and it is not always easy to stay on top of things. If you are planning to travel to the United Kingdom with your pet cat or dog, get in touch with Petraveller for a stress-free and safe relocation experience.