Animal Health Certificate for Travel to the EU – Pre-Booking Information

Animal health certificates (AHCs) replace Pet Passports for travel from the UK to the EU.

UK Pet Passports can no longer be used to travel to the EU, they can only be used as a record of vaccination.

(The only exception is if you have an up-to-date Pet Passport which originates from a current EU member state eg. Spain, France etc PLUS an up-to-date Rabies vaccine. As we are no longer members of the EU, UK vets cannot update EU Pet Passports, therefore if you have one of these the Rabies vaccine must be kept up to date in an EU country in order to be used for travel. If the Rabies vaccine becomes out of date in the UK your pet will require a Rabies vaccination and an AHC for travel to the EU).

The following information only applies for travel to the EU, for any other pet travel please see the government website for requirements.

Requirements for EU Travel with an AHC

  • Microchip with up-to-date details.
  • Valid Rabies vaccination – These can be given from 12 weeks of age; they must be given more than 21 days before COMPLETING the AHC (Day of vaccination is Day 0). Boosters are given every 3 years if given in the UK (EU vaccines can differ).
  • An AHC must be completed by an Official Veterinarian (a UK vet with a special qualification, not all vets have this) within 10 days of your outward journey to the EU.
  • Dogs travelling to Finland, Malta and Northern Ireland must receive tapeworm treatment at the time of completing the AHC, this must be done more than 24 hours before travel but less than 120 hours before travel. Evidence of this is entered into the AHC.
  • Prior to re-entering the UK all dogs must receive tapeworm treatment, this must be done more than 24 hours before travel but less than 120 hours before they return. Evidence of this must be entered into the AHC by a vet.

Other Considerations

These are not requirements for travel but should be considered to ensure the health of your pet during your trip.

  • We recommend that routine vaccinations are up to date – if you are unsure whether your pet’s vaccines are up to date please call and ask our reception team.
  • Research possible parasites or diseases in the country of destination, there are some that are present in the EU that are not present in the UK eg. Leishmania carried by Sandflies (Useful website to research
  • If you want to discuss any of the above in detail this can be done in a separate consultation with a vet, this cannot be done at the same time as completing the AHC due to the time it takes to complete the certificate.

Animal Health Certificate in Detail

  • Up to 5 animals can be included on one certificate, if you are travelling with more animals than this a different export certificate is required.
  • AHCs are only appropriate if the owner is transporting the animals, or if the owner is travelling within 5 days of the animal. If you are not travelling with your pet directly you will need to provide written permission to the person who is transporting them, which we will need to see.
  • AHCs provide 4 months of onward travel within the EU and subsequent return to the UK within this time.
  • As above, dogs travelling to Finland, Malta, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and Norway must receive tapeworm treatment at the time of completing the AHC, this must be done more than 24 hours before travel but less than 120 hours before travel and entered into the AHC.
  • Prior to re-entering the UK dogs must receive tapeworm treatment, this must be done more than 24 hours before travel but less than 120 hours before they return and entered into the AHC by a vet.
  • You must enter the EU via a ‘traveller point of entry’, you must research this prior to planning your journey as the pets can only enter via these points, these can be found at the following link


£250 for the first animal, then £45 for every additional animal up to a maximum of 5.

The AHC is an extremely long and detailed piece of paperwork which takes a long time to complete, it also requires a vet to have a government approved qualification.

Payment for these must be made at the time of booking otherwise your booking cannot be made, this is because it takes up a huge amount of the vet’s time.

 The cost of these are Non-Refundable due to the amount of the vet time they incur.

AHC Questionnaire

The following questionnaire must be completed in full IN BLOCK CAPITALS OR TYPE and emailed to at least 7 days prior to your AHC appointment.  If you do not receive communication of receipt of this information, please call us to ensure we have received it.

If we do not receive this information, we will not be able to proceed with your appointment and we will have to cancel it.

The person who is named on the questionnaire must then attend the AHC appointment with the animal.

The information must be accurate, if not the AHC may not be correct, and you may be refused entry to the EU at border control.  It is your responsibility to ensure the information entered is correct.

If you are unsure what any of the questions mean, please do not hesitate in contacting us.

Download questionnaire here

Things to bring to your appointment:

  • Vaccine card/old pet passport that contains the rabies vaccine history and your pet’s microchip number. if you have neither of these please ask our reception team to check we have evidence of this on your clinical history.
  • The pets who are travelling.
  • The owner who is travelling with the pets – you will be required to sign an owner declaration. This must be the same person who is named on the pre-appointment questionnaire below.

As advised previously the process of an AHC does take a long time, therefore be prepared to wait for up to an hour per certificate.

Please note, if there is an emergency on the day of your AHC appointment you may not be able to collect it immediately. Please prepare that you may have to come back to collect it another day or later the same day – the vet will advise of this at the time of the appointment.

Have a question or want to get in touch? Talk to one of our friendly team members today!