Preparing for Brexit – Pet Travel updates

21 October 2019

Preparations for Brexit and Pet Travel will involve changes to the use of pet passports, the ordering and issuing of Animal Health Certificate (AHCs), and information on requesting AHC numbers. To help keep our members informed, we have outlined key information below.

Until the UK leaves the EU, the EU pet passport will still be a valid form of documentation for pet owners travelling with their dog, cat or ferret from the UK to the EU.

For a no-deal Brexit, EU pet passports issued by UK Official Veterinarians (OVs) will no longer be valid. Owners travelling with their pet to an EU Member State or travelling between Member States after 23:00 GMT on 31st October will require an AHC which are valid for 10 days after their date of issue.

From 1st November 2019 a new version of the AHC, reflecting EU Pet Travel regulation changes, will come into effect. This can be issued by an OV from 23rd October 2019 and will need to be issued, instead of pet passports, to owners arriving with their pet in the EU after the UK’s departure. OVs who have received the previous version of AHCs distributed for use from the 30th March 2019, are required to destroy these and confirm by email to the mailbox that all copies have been destroyed and will not be issued for travel.

AHCs are available, free of charge, for OVs to download via the APHA Vet Gateway and specifically at the documents section of the Small Animal Exports page found here. AHCs can be updated electronically or can also be printed and completed by hand. Please ensure the new AHC marked ‘version 3’ is used. To validate the AHC, OVs will need to add a unique certificate number (UCN). UCNs are available from APHA in batches of 50 and will be emailed to OVs upon completion of the AHC order form (PETS10). Orders for UCNs using the PETS10 are available from 14th October. APHA aim to have a one working day turnaround for issuing new batches of 50 UCNs.

If an OV is concerned that an error has been made on an AHC that has been issued, or for any general queries on AHCs, contact the Pet Travel team by e-mail or telephone 03000 200 301.

OVs should receive a letter from APHA informing them in more detail of the above changes and requirements. If an OV has not received a letter by 21st October, please contact the Pet Travel Team by e-mail or telephone 03000 200 301.

Any ongoing political Brexit negotiations during which an extension might be granted to the UK, will mean a period of uncertainty about the outcome for 31st October. If a client cannot wait for the final result of these discussions before making arrangements to travel after 23.00 GMT on 31st October, OVs are being asked to carefully consider which documents they issue and what documents they advise a client to carry during travel. More information can be found here

Further information is available here

Previous BSAVA information on preparations for Brexit can be found here