An EU Pet Passport will allow you to travel across EU countries and many other countries with a dog, cat or ferret without enduring a lengthy quarantine period. Europe is a popular destination for pet owners as it is extremely pet friendly, with many restaurants and hotels that are happy to welcome furry friends.
Obtaining an EU Pet Passport, is a rather straight forward process that can take between 1 day and 4 months. How long it takes to get a EU Pet Passport depends mostly on where you are traveling from. This is because there are different requirements for pets travelling from different country groups (EU, non-EU listed or unlisted). The process will be quicker when traveling from the EU or listed countries as your pet will only need a microchip and rabies vaccination. However, those traveling from an unlisted country, will require a rabies titer test that will take around 4 months. Only dogs, cats and ferrets are permitted to get EU Pet Passports. However, you can travel to the EU with other pets, there are just other requirements which we will discuss in this article.
In this article we will walk you through the requirements of obtaining an EU Pet Passport for each pet species, and how long it will likely take you.
On October 17, 2019, United Kingdom and the European Union reached an agreement on the conditions for the departure of the UK from the EU and also defined a transition period to negotiate terms for that agreement. The agreement has been approved by both the UK Parliament and the EU Commission.
The next step in the process will be the negotiating period. During this time, all legislation currently in effect for pets traveling to the UK and between the UK and the EU will remain in effect. Until the end of December 31, 2020, UK Pet Passports will be valid for travel within the EU.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What is an EU Pet Passport?
- What does an EU Pet Passport contain?
- What is the process of obtaining an EU Pet Passport?
- What are the requirements of obtaining an EU Pet Passport and how long will each take?
- What are the requirements for pets other than dogs, cats and ferrets?
- How much does an EU Pet Passport cost?
- What breeds are banned from the EU?
- Can I take my puppy or kitten?
- What if I lose my EU Pet Passport?
- Can I travel to the EU without an EU Pet Passport?
- Can I fly with my pet in the cabin of the plane?
- Bottom line
What is an EU Pet Passport?
Since 2000, your dog, cat or ferret can have their very own Pet Passport under the Pets Travel Scheme, which is also known as ‘PETS’. A Pet Passport is basically a pack of documents required to travel with your pet. Having an EU Pet passport means that pet owners are able to bring their pets to the EU countries, and some listed non-EU countries, without having to endure a lengthy quarantine period. A pet passport essentially shows that your dog, cat or ferret is fit and healthy to travel with you.
What does an EU Pet Passport contain?
An EU Pet Passport contains all the documents required to travel with your pet. Essentially, a pet passport will prove that your pet is fit and healthy to travel.
An EU Pet Passport contains the following information:
- Details of ownership (name, address, passport number, telephone, etc.)
- Description of the animal (name, species, breed, date of birth, etc.)
- Microchip details
- Official veterinarian’s details
- Rabies vaccination certificate
- An optional photo
- Rabies antibody titer test results
- Additional treatments and vaccination records
At minimum, your EU pet passport will contain those listed 1-5. These are compulsory in order to travel to the EU. Those listed 6-8 are potential requirements that your pet may need if you are traveling from outside the EU.
All records are signed and stamped by your official veterinarian with official stickers from the medication used.
Where can my pet travel with an EU Pet Passport?
With an EU Pet Passport, dogs, cats and ferrets can travel freely within the EU, and some non-EU countries without quarantine. The countries in each category are listed below.
EUROPEAN UNION (EU) COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES
* When traveling to UK, Ireland, Finland, Norway or Malta, dogs must have a tapeworm treatment within 1 to 5 days of entry.
** Includes St Barthelemy and St Martin (French part of the island)
LISTED NON-EU COUNTRIES
|Antigua and Barbuda
|BES Islands(Bonair, Saint Eustatius and Saba)(6)
|British Virgin Islands
|Russian Federation *
|Saint Maarten ***
|St Kitts and Nevis
|St Pierre and Miquelon
|St Vincent and the Grenadines
|Trinidad and Tobago
|United Arab Emirates **
|Wallis and Futuna
* The Russian Federation consists of 88 subjects (regions). Please note that the following Republics are not part of the Russian Federation: Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
** The UAE consists of the following states Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Al Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, and Al Fujairah.
*** Formally known as the Netherland Antilles. The BES Islands are Bonair, Saint Eustatius and Saba.
**** The mainland United States of America as well as American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
An unlisted country is any country not listed in the list of EU or non-EU countries.
These countries have not applied or been accepted for listed status because of less robust veterinary or administrative systems or higher rabies incidence. The rules for taking your pets to these countries, or returning to the EU from these countries are different than they are for EU member states and listed countries.
What is the process of getting an EU Pet Passport?
The EU Has different entry requirements depending on where you are travelling from, and the species of your pet.
You will need to check the requirements for your pet’s species and where you are travelling from. The rules for bringing your pet dog, cat or ferret into the EU depend on whether you’re coming from:
- an EU country
- a non-EU listed country
- an unlisted country – a country the EU does not accept a pet passport from, and one that is not a listed country
The process will be simple if you are traveling from within the EU. In these cases, it is likely that your pet will only require a rabies vaccination and microchip. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if you are traveling to the UK, Finland, Republic of Ireland or Malta with a dog, he or she will also need a tapeworm treatment.
If you are travelling from outside of the EU, it is likely that your pet will require additional treatments and vaccinations.
Find out the requirements of your destination country before visiting the vet. It’s also helpful to find out if your pet will need any further requirements to return to your home country.
VISIT THE VET
Before booking an appointment, make sure that the vet is authorised to issue EU pet passports. Not all of them are.
At the appointment, your vet will give your pet a microchip and rabies vaccination or rabies booster vaccination, as long as your pet hasn’t already had them. To ensure your pet is healthy enough to travel, your vet will also perform a basic health examination. Once the veterinarian is happy your pet is ready for travel, they will review all the paperwork and complete your pet’s passport book.
The appointment should take no longer than half an hour.
You will need to bring the following with you to the vet appointment:
- Your passport
- Your local address
- Microchip information (if your pet already has one) – date of implantation, chip number and issuing company information (this info is also on the Annex IV)
- Pet’s rabies certificate or rabies titre test results no less than 21 days old (if your pet has one)
- Annex IV form completed by your home vet and endorsed by your country’s official veterinary regulatory body (if you are from outside the EU)
- Pet photo (optional but recommended) – the size should be 2 x 2 inches (5cm x 5cm). It is better to have one as you do not want to give any customs official a reason to deny your pet entry into a country.
If your pet hasn’t yet been microchipped or vaccinated against rabies, don’t worry, your vet will complete these at the appointment.
What are the requirements for an EU Pet Passport and how long will each take?
No matter where you are traveling from, in order to get an EU pet passport, your dog, cat or ferret will need the following basic requirements:
- Rabies vaccination
- Tapeworm treatment (dogs only)
REQUIREMENT 1: MICROCHIPPING
Your pet must have a microchip (“transponder”), if you would like to get them an EU pet passport.
It is important that this is the first step in the process of obtaining a pet passport. This is because if your pet isn’t microchipped before they get their rabies vaccination, then the vaccination will likely not be valid. This would mean your pet would have to get vaccinated again and you may have to wait a certain amount of time before getting another one.
Only dogs, cats and ferrets require microchips. In order to have your pet microchipped, you will need to take them to the vet. Alternatively, some charities offer this service for free, check How to get Dog Microchipping for Free in the UK.
REQUIREMENT 2: RABIES VACCINATION
In order to qualify for an EU pet passport, your dog, cat or ferret must be up to date on their rabies vaccinations. There is no exception to this rule. Other pet species, such as rabbits and birds, do not require rabies vaccinations.
In order to travel to the EU, your dog, cat or ferret must be vaccinated against rabies. Additionally, if you have a puppy or kitten, your vet will need proof that your pet is at least 12 weeks old before vaccinating them.
In order to get your pet vaccinated against rabies, you will just need to book an appointment with your vet. Your vet can do this at the same time as administering their microchip.
TRAVELLING FROM EU COUNTRIES OR LISTED COUNTRIES
You must wait 21 days after the vaccination (or the last of the primary course of vaccinations) before bringing your pet to the EU.
TRAVELLING FROM UNLISTED COUNTRIES
Your dog, cat or ferret must also have a rabies titer test, also known as a rabies blood test. This test will show that your pet’s rabies vaccination was successful. See the rabies blood test section for more information.
REQUIREMENT 3: TAPEWORM TREATMENT
If you are traveling to the UK, Malta, Norway or Finland, dogs will also need a tapeworm treatment. This doesn’t apply to cats or ferrets, or if you are travelling between these countries.
Your dog must be treated against tapeworms between 24 hours (1 day) and 120 hours (5 days) before entering these countries. If you fail to have your dog treated within this time scale, then he or she may be put into quarantine for up to 4 months.
The tapeworm treatment must be administered by a vet and officially recorded in your pet’s EU pet passport. Over the counter treatments will not be valid.
If you are traveling outside the EU your pet may require the following additional treatments or vaccinations:
- Rabies titer test / rabies blood test
- EU animal health certificate
REQUIREMENT 4: RABIES TITER TEST
If you are traveling to the EU from an unlisted country, your pet will require a rabies blood test to show that their rabies vaccination was successful.
- Your pet must have a blood sample taken at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination.
- Your vet must then send the blood sample to an EU-approved blood testing laboratory from either inside the EU or outside the EU.
- Your pet’s blood test results must show a rabies antibody level of at least 0.5 IU/ml.
- You must wait 3 months from the date the blood sample was taken before you travel – this doesn’t apply if your pet was vaccinated, blood tested and given a pet passport in the EU before travelling to an unlisted country.
- The vet must give you a copy of the test results and enter the day the blood sample was taken in a third-country official veterinary certificate.
REQUIREMENT 5: EU ANIMAL HEALTH CERTIFICATE
An EU animal health certificate is another type of document, which contains specific information about your pet (identity, health, rabies vaccinations) and is based on an EU standard model.
If you are travelling from a non-EU country or territory, your pet must have an EU animal health certificate endorsed by an official State vet in the country of departure not more than 10 days before your pet arrives in the EU. The certificate is valid for travel between EU countries for 4 months from this date or until the anti-rabies vaccination expires, whichever lapses first.
Additionally, you should also complete a declaration stating that its relocation is for non-commercial reasons. This declaration is also required if your pet is travelling under the responsibility of another person. In this case, your pet must be reunited with you within 5 days of your relocation.
What are the requirements for pets other than dogs, cats and ferrets?
European pet passports are issued only for dogs, cats and ferrets only. If you are travelling to another EU country with any other pets, such as birds, ornamental aquatic animals, reptiles, rodents or rabbits, check the national rules for the specific country you are planning to visit for information on the entry conditions.
How much does an EU Pet Passport cost?
The price for a complete EU Pet Passport can cost anywhere between €20 and €448+. The price is broken down into the following compulsory and potential costs:
- Pet microchipping
- Rabies vaccination
- Vet visit
- EU Annex IV / EU Health Certificate
- Rabies titer test
- Tapeworm treatment
- Additional vaccines and treatments
The cost for an EU Pet Passport depends on the following:
- The country you obtain your pet’s passport
- Your veterinarian’s fees
- The country you are visiting
- The species of your pet
Firstly, different veterinary clinics will have individual prices for their services. Furthermore, different countries require different vaccinations, treatments and documents for different species of pet.
Additionally, some pets species may require more treatments and vaccines than others. For example, only dogs will require tapeworm treatments when travelling to the UK, Malta, Norway or Finland.
If your pet already has a microchip, and a recent rabies vaccination, you will probably pay less for your UK pet passport. This is because you will only be paying for the health check and the documents.
For more information on the cost of an EU Pet Passport, check How much does an EU Pet Passport cost?.
What dog breeds are banned from the EU?
Each country has different rules and regulations on different dog and cat breeds. You will need to check the rules for your specific destination country.
In the UK, it’s against the law to own certain types of dog. These are the:
- Pit Bull Terrier
- Japanese Tosa
- Dogo Argentino
- Fila Brasileiro
It’s also against the law to:
- sell a banned dog
- abandon a banned dog
- give away a banned dog
- breed from a banned dog
For more information on the UK, please check the government website here.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]
Can I take my puppy or kitten to the EU?
Yes, as long as your puppy or kitten is at least 4 months old. This is because Ireland requires dogs and cats to be vaccinated against rabies, which can only be administered to pets over the age of 3 months. You must then wait 21 days after the vaccination, before entering Ireland. Additionally, proof of age should be available.
Can I travel without an EU Pet Passport or EU Pet Passport
You may enter the EU with a dog, cat or ferret as long as they are mircochipped, vaccinated against rabies. If you do not have an official pet passport, you can enter with a third-country official EU animal health certificate. Your health certificate must be endorsed by the state vet in the country of departure.
What if I lose my EU Pet Passport?
If a passport is lost or stolen, it can be replaced as long as you have evidence of the animal’s vaccination record and blood test result (if applicable). Both records must also show your pet's microchip number. Details of the lost or stolen passport, including its serial number, country and date of issue (if known) should be recorded on the Pet Passport Control Sheet. We recommend that you scan photos of your pet passport in case you lose it.
Can I take my pet in the plane cabin with me?
It is a possibility yes. If you are the owner of a small dog or cat, then you may be able to take them in the cabin with you. However, only some airlines will allow this.
Obtaining an EU Pet Passport is pretty straightforward and should take you no longer than 24 hours. However, there are some strict requirements when it comes to the timings.
Getting your pet’s microchip and rabies vaccination will only an hour or so at the vet.
However, if you are traveling from outside the EU or from an unlisted country, your pet will also require a rabies titer test. In these cases, you should allow yourself at least 4 months. If you want to be extra careful, you should allow yourself even longer in case your pet’s rabies blood test fails. In these cases, your pet will need another rabies vaccination before getting its rabies titer test.
Additionally, if traveling with a dog to the UK, Malta, Norway or Finland, you will need to have him or her treated against tapeworm between 24 hours and 5 days before traveling. This doesn’t apply if you are traveling directly between these countries.
Hope this has been helpful.
Happy & safe travels!