PET travel between the EU countries like Spain and the UK from January 1, 2021 may see a four-month waiting period to register domestic animals to travel.

As of January 2021, the UK will become a third country with the option of applying to the European Commission to be listed.

In the EU Pet Travel Scheme, there are three categorisations of third country: unlisted, Part 1 listed and Part 2 listed.

Pet travel requirements will change depending on what category the UK becomes after the Brexit transition period ends on December 31, 2020.

At present it’s likely that the UK will become an ‘unlisted’ country which will see stricter restrictions and longer waiting times after rabies tests.


As an unlisted country, pet owners planning to travel between the EU and UK as of January would need to begin preparations at least four months in advance. It means a trip planned across the English Channel in the new year will require preparations to begin in September.

If the UK becomes an unlisted country, a current EU pet passport issued in the UK will not be valid for travel to the EU.

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PET TRAVEL: Requirements will change depending on what category the UK becomes after the Brexit transition period ends.

As an ‘unlisted country’ the procedure for travel from the UK to the EU will be as follows:

  1. Dogs, cats or ferrets must be microchipped and vaccinated against rabies.
  2. Pets must have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after its last rabies vaccination (whether that’s a booster or initial vaccination). Vets may recommend a booster rabies vaccination before this test.
  3. The pet’s blood sample will be sent to a to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory.
  4. A three months waiting period is required from the date a successful blood sample is taken before travel is permitted.
  5. Vets must give a copy of the test results and enter the day the blood sample was taken in an animal health certificate (AHC).

Pet travel will NOT be permitted if the above steps are not completed.

In the scenario that the paperwork is incorrect, the pet could be put into quarantine for up to four months.

Additionally, entry may be denied and pet owners will be held responsible for any fees or charges.

Pets will need to be issued a new health certificate for every journey to the EU regardless of frequency.

For travel back to the UK, pets must have one of the following documents:

  • An EU pet passport (issued in the EU or in the UK before 1 January 2021)
  • The AHC issued in the UK used to travel to the EU (which you can use up to 4 months after it was issued)
  • A UK pet health certificate (for travel into the UK only)

Find more information on the UK government page here.

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