British pet owners will need a new document to enter the European Union with their pets after the Brexit transition period ends on January 1 next year, the government said Wednesday.
Owners will need to obtain an animal health certificate from a vet no earlier than 10 days prior to travel, the government said on its Brexit guide page.
British pets only required a passport while their country was part of the EU.
Only veterinarians officially authorized to inspect animals for export can issue certificates.
The same rule will apply to bringing animals from England, Scotland and Wales to Northern Ireland.
But the UK government has said its approach to enforcing the rule in Northern Ireland will recognize that “these changes will take time to adapt”, without specifying whether there will be a grace period.
However, owners will need to ensure that pets are microchipped and have up-to-date rabies vaccinations, as currently.
The health certificates will be valid for the onward travel of pets for four months.
There will be no new rules on pets traveling from the EU to Britain, which will continue to recognize European pet passports.
The new rules are less complex than if the EU had classified Britain as an “unlisted” country – the least favorable state.
This would have meant that the animals had a blood test to check for rabies at least three months before the trip.
Britain has instead achieved the same status for pet travel as Australia, Russia and the United States.
The UK government is pushing for Part 1 listing status, which would allow pets to travel almost like they do now.
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