Taking pets to and from the United Kingdom after Brexit

Following Brexit you will no longer be allowed to travel freely from the United Kingdom to the European Union with your pets. You will have to undergo import checks if pets are entering the European Union. This will entail customs officers or the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) checking whether your pet satisfies the import requirements.

If your pet has a microchip and a valid vaccination against rabies, then you are well prepared. This needs to be specified in a valid European pet passport. Keen to ensure that you will be able to return from the UK with your pet (applies to dogs, cats and ferrets) after Brexit? Then get a blood test done to check whether the inoculation against rabies has been successful.

If your pet does not satisfy the import requirements after Brexit, then it will be put in quarantine upon arrival in the Netherlands.

Travelling from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom

If you wish to take pets to the United Kingdom from the EU, then the UK's provisional stance is that nothing will change post-Brexit. What this means is that the following requirements will still apply:

  • identification chip (needs to be inserted prior to the rabies vaccination)
  • rabies vaccination (transport not possible until at least 21 days after the first vaccination)
  • valid European pet passport
  • treatment for tapeworm (Echinococcus). This applies to dogs only. To be done at least 1 day (24 hours) and at most 5 days (120 hours) prior to the time of arrival in the United Kingdom.

Travelling from the United Kingdom to the Netherlands

If you will be travelling from the United Kingdom to the Netherlands, then your dog or cat must satisfy the following requirements as a minimum:

  • identification chip (needs to be inserted prior to the rabies vaccination)
  • rabies vaccination
  • valid travel document: a European pet passport or a health certificate issued by the UK's official authority. An EU pet passport issued in the UK will no longer be valid after Brexit. The UK will no longer be a member of the EU after Brexit.
  • blood test and 3-month wait. The waiting time of 3 months does not apply if you have the blood test done in the EU and the result has been added to your pet passport.

Blood test

At present it is still unclear whether the blood test will actually be necessary. Nevertheless, it is highly likely that the United Kingdom will not be placed on the list of countries with a low risk of rabies and that this import requirement will be imposed as a result after Brexit.

You will need to have the blood test performed by a vet, at least 30 days after the first rabies vaccination. This test will reveal whether the inoculation against rabies has been successful. To this end, you can search for an approved laboratory yourself once the blood test has been carried out by your local vet. Get your vet to add the blood test to the European pet passport.