Pet travel & passports

Pet travel & passports

***Pet Travel Scheme for Pets travelling after 31st January 2020***

For over 20 years, the Pet Passport Scheme has been in operation throughout Europe, allowing animals to travel to and from Jersey without the need for quarantine. However, the Brexit transition period ended at the end of 2020, and Great Britain (including Jersey) has now officially left the EU. This means that the requirements for the movement of pets are changing dramatically. Please ensure you read this information carefully, and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask one of our staff.

Who does this advice apply to?

This guidance applies to people travelling to and from Europe or Northern Ireland from the Channel Islands, England, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man. These rules only apply to pet cats, ferrets and dogs, including assistance dogs, and is only for the movement of up to 5 pets, for non-commercial reasons. Travel to other non-EU countries, for other species, if travelling with more than 5 pets, or for commercial reasons (such as the sale of an animal), is not covered in these guidelines.

What do I need to travel with my pet?

The requirements for pet travel will depend on where you are travelling, and on what documents your pets already have. The following is a brief summary.

· From 1st January 2021, you can no longer use a Pet Passport, issued in Great Britain (except Northern Ireland) or the Channel Islands, for travel to an EU country or Northern Ireland.

· There are no travel restrictions between the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man

· To travel to the EU or Northern Ireland your pet needs the following

o A microchip

o A valid rabies vaccination, given at least 21 days before travel, and given when the pet was at least 12 weeks of age.

o Either

o An Animal Health Certificate (AHC) (in English and the language of your arrival point into the EU) issued within 10 days of travel (see below)

o Or a EU Passport issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland (with a valid rabies vaccine registered in the Passport)

o Tapeworm treatment for dogs if you’re travelling to Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Malta or Norway

o You will need to go through a designated traveller’s point of entry when you arrive in an EU country or Northern Ireland. St Malo is a designated point of entry.

· When you are returning to Jersey or the UK, dogs will need to have a tapeworm tablet administered by a vet between 24 and 120 hours before their time of arrival

· Blood tests will not currently be required to enter the EU, but may be required for other destinations.

· Always check the rules of the country you are travelling to or through for any additional restrictions or requirements before you travel – it is your responsibility to check the current rules for travel and arrange the appropriate documents.

How can I obtain an Animal Health Certificate?

From 1st January 2021, all cats, dogs and ferrets travelling from Jersey into the EU without a valid EU passport will need an Animal Health Certificate (AHC). You must book an appointment with one of our Official Veterinarian’s to get an animal health certificate. Please give us as much notice as possible when booking the appointment. We cannot guarantee a last minute appointment for an Animal Health Certificate, due to the time required to complete these forms.

We will request information about your pet and your travel plans in advance of your appointment. Please do not book your appointment until you know when you intend to travel, as the AHC must be issued within 10 days of travel. We will also need to know the point of your planned entry into the EU, as the AHC must be issued in English and the language of that country. We hold a stock of English/ French forms, but if you are travelling directly into another EU country (including Ireland), please be aware that we will need at least a week’s notice before your appointment, as we have to order forms in languages other than English/French from the Department of the Environment. Unfortunately, as we are charged for ordering these forms, if we have ordered an AHC specifically for you, there will still be a small charge if you no longer require the form for travel.

Please note the following

· The AHC must be issued within 10 days of travel. Beyond this date it will not be valid.

· Each form is valid for only a single trip into the EU, of up to 4 months duration. After 4 months it will not be valid for onwards travel within the EU, or re-entry to Jersey or the UK.

· If you wish to travel onto another EU Member State, you MUST get the AHC endorsed by a Customs Officer at the point of entry into the EU.

· The Health Certificate issued must be in English AND the language of the country by which you are entering the EU.

· When you come to your appointment for the Animal Health Certificate, you must bring proof of your pet’s micro-chipping date and rabies vaccinations. If you have an old British pet passport, this will suffice. The owner (as listed in your pet passport) who will be travelling with the pet should attend the appointment.

I have a foreign Pet Passport, can I still use this to travel?

EU Pet passports (issued in an EU country or Northern Ireland, Switzerland or Norway) will remain valid, even if they belong to a pet which lives in Jersey or the UK. They can be used for entry to the EU, movement within the EU, and re-entry into to the UK, but these passports will only be valid for travel if they contain an in-date rabies vaccine. Please note that whilst Northern Irish Passports will remain valid, they will need to be slightly amended by a vet in Northern Ireland before you can use them (please ask for more information).

The following restrictions will apply

· Jersey/UK vets will no longer be able to enter a rabies vaccination or a rabies antibody titration test into EU Passports.

· Therefore, if owners of pets with EU passports want to keep them valid, and avoid the need for an Animal Health Certificate when they travel for as long as possible, it is important that their pets are revaccinated in the EU instead of on Jersey.

· Vets on Jersey will still be able to enter a tapeworm treatment, other anti-parasite treatments and other vaccinations in the passport, so if your pet has a valid foreign passport, and you want to travel to the EU for less than 5 days, their pre-return tapeworm treatments can still completed at New Era as previously.

I already have a Jersey/UK Pet Passport. Can I still use this for anything?

Pet Passports issued in the Channel Islands/ United Kingdom are no longer official documents and cannot be used for travel to the EU and Northern Ireland, or between European countries. Instead, from 1st January 2021, pets who would previously have travelled with a British Pet passport from Jersey into the EU will need an Animal Health Certificate. However, please do not get rid of your old passport. This is for several reasons.

· They can be used as a vaccination card to record your pet’s rabies vaccinations. This will be useful if you are applying for an AHC, as owner’s will need to provide proof of their pet’s microchipping date and rabies vaccination record.

· Also, whilst GB pet passports will no longer be accepted at the EU borders, they will still be accepted for pets returning to Jersey or the UK, so long as owners keep their rabies vaccinations up to date and they have the tapeworm treatment included where necessary.

Unfortunately, UK vets will no longer be able to issue new British pet passports from 01/01/2021.

How often will my pet need to have a rabies vaccine?

In order to be able to travel to or from Europe or Northern Ireland, your rabies vaccine must be kept up to date. Please note the following:

· Please be aware of how long your pet’s rabies vaccine remains valid. It is very important that it does not go out of date whilst they are travelling abroad, or your pet will need to be revaccinated and then wait 21 days before they can return home.

· Our vaccine provides protection for three years for cats and dogs, and 18 months for ferrets, from the date of the vaccine, although some other brands are only effective for one year. However, our vaccines cannot be entered by a UK vet in an EU passport, so your pet will need to travel using an AHC.

· Rabies vaccines given by an EU vet in the EU can be entered in an EU passport, which can then be used instead of an AHC. However, these vaccines often only remain valid for 1 year.

Can I get an EU Pet Passport so I won’t need an AHC in the future?

Whilst inside the EU, some people are requesting Pet Passports from EU vets. If issued correctly, these passports are valid for travel without needing an AHC. However, please be aware of the following:

· Some vets will insist on seeing evidence that a pet lives in their country before they will issue an AHC. For example, most French vets are now insisting that pets are registered on the French microchip database (I-CAD) before they will issue passports, and some French vets will no longer issue Passports to UK dogs at all.

· As noted above, UK vets cannot enter rabies vaccines in EU passports, so future rabies vaccines will need to be administered in the EU for your EU passport to remain valid.

· It is likely that at some point in the future, UK vets will once again be able to issue passports valid for EU travel, so if you only travel infrequently, it may be simpler and cheaper to not attempt to get an EU passport currently.

What should I do when I actually travel with my pet?

By what route can I travel?

· There is free movement between the Channel Islands, the UK and the Isle of Man. This means that not only does your pet not need a passport for these journeys, but they can travel with any airline or ferry company, or indeed on a privately owned plane or boat.

· For all journeys to and from the EU (including Ireland), an approved carrier travelling to an approved point of entry must be used. The only approved sea route to transport animals to/from Jersey and mainland Europe is the St. Malo to St Helier Condor ferry (and only if travelling in a motor vehicle). Alternatively, animals can travel by air from EU countries (by special arrangement only) with a limited number of specific carriers to a limited number of destinations.

· No animals are permitted to travel on the ferry with foot passengers, nor may they enter Jersey from the continent on private boats or planes.

Will my pet need to be seen by a vet before travelling into the EU?

· Whether cats, dogs and ferrets need to be seen prior to travelling into the EU will depend on where they are travelling, and what documentation they have.

o All cats, dogs and ferrets travelling into the EU with an AHC will need to be seen within 10 days of travel for the certificate to be issued.

o In contrast, animals travelling into the EU with a valid EU pet passport containing an in-date rabies vaccine do not need to be seen prior to entry, unless they are a dog travelling to a country which requires a tapeworm treatment.

o Dogs travelling to Finland, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, or Malta must have been administered treatment against tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis) by a veterinarian between 1 and 5 days (24 -120 hours) prior to their arrival in any of these countries. Full details of this treatment must be entered on the AHC or EU Passport by an Official veterinarian.

· In addition to the requirements of the Pet Travel Scheme, some countries outside of the EU have additional entry requirements which may require extra tests before you can travel. If you intend to travel outside of the EU we strongly advise you contact the local ‘Rural & Veterinary Affairs Department’ (now part of Public Services Department – Tel: 441600), and possibly the ‘Embassy’ of the country to be visited, in order to establish their specific requirements.

· Also, some airlines request a ‘fitness to travel’ certificate, which will require your pet to be examined by a vet. If you are intending to travel by air, please ask your airline if this is required.

What should I do when I arrive in the EU?

· People travelling into the EU will need to enter through a designated “Traveller’s Point of Entry”.

· Please take the appropriate documentation for travel. If asked, you will need to present either a valid EU Pet Passport or an AHC.

· If you are travelling with an AHC and are looking to travel onwards within the EU to another EU Member State, you MUST get your AHC endorsed by a Customs Officer at the point of entry into the EU. This is not required if your pet has a valid EU Passport.

How long can I travel with my pet in Europe?

· The AHC is only valid for a single trip of up to 4 months duration.

· Pets who have a valid EU Pet Passport can remain in the EU indefinitely, and can still return to Jersey as long as their passports contain an in-date rabies vaccine.

· Depending on your destination/reason for travel, there are restrictions on how long British citizens can remain in the EU (this is often restricted to a maximum of 90 days within any 180 day period). Please check gov.je for more information

What do I need to do when I am returning to Jersey ?

· There are no travel restrictions for animals arriving from the UK, other Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man.

· Pets travelling from the EU will need a microchip and valid rabies vaccine. In addition, dogs will need to have had a tapeworm treatment administered by a vet between 1 and 5 days prior to their arrival in Jersey (unless travelling directly from Finland, Northern Ireland, Ireland or Malta), certified in one of the following documents.

o an EU pet passport issued in the EU

o a Pet Passport issued in Great Britain or Jersey that was issued before 1 January 2021

o the animal health certificate (AHC) issued in Jersey or the UK that was used to travel to the EU. This can be used to return home for up to 4 months after it was issued. If your AHC has expired, please contact the Department of the Environment for more guidance.

· Pets being transported for commercial reasons require alternative paperwork. Please contact the Department of the Environment for more information. If you are travelling with more than 5 pets, and they have not been attending or training for a competition, show or sporting event, they also must follow the commercial rules for importing animals.

Will my pet need to be seen by a vet before travelling back to Jersey?

· Cats and ferrets do not need to be seen prior to travelling back to Jersey. This applies to cats and ferrets travelling back to Jersey from the UK or from the EU.

· Dogs travelling to or from the UK, other Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, do not need to be seen before travel back to Jersey.

· Dogs travelling back to Jersey from Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Finland, Norway or Malta also do not need to be seen before travel back to Jersey. Tapeworm treatments are required before travel into these countries, but not when returning.

· Dogs travelling back to Jersey from elsewhere (including France) must see a vet, who will apply a tapeworm treatment before the animal is allowed to enter Jersey. This must be carried out by a vet, rather than by yourself, and must be given between 1 and 5 days (24 to 120 hours) before the scheduled arrival time in Jersey. The authorized wormer used must be certified (date and time) in your AHC or valid EU passport. To try and help, we are able to provide you with details of several Veterinary Practices in the St. Malo area whom are very conversant with the scheme.

· In addition to the requirements of the Pet Travel Scheme, some countries outside of the EU have additional entry requirements which may require extra tests before you can travel. If you intend to travel outside of the EU we strongly advise you contact the local ‘Rural & Veterinary Affairs Department’ (now part of Public Services Department – Tel: 441600), and possibly the ‘Embassy’ of the country to be visited, in order to establish their specific requirements.

· Also, some airlines request a ‘fitness to travel’ certificate, which will require your pet to be examined by a vet. If you are intending to travel by air, please ask your airline if this is required.

Are there any risks to taking my pet abroad?

· From 1st January 2012, the tick requirements for pets entering Jersey have been relaxed. However, this does not mean that taking your pet abroad is entirely without risk.

· There are a number of life-threatening illnesses present in the UK and France, but not yet present in Jersey, that can be contracted after exposure to slugs and snails, ticks, mosquitoes or sand-flies. Some dogs die shortly after their return home, having contracted one of these illnesses abroad, whilst other animals don’t show any symptoms until some years after exposure.

· Preventative medicines which protect your pet against these fatal diseases are widely available. Whilst these are not a legal requirement, we strongly advise their use.

· Discuss the use of these products with your vet to ensure your pet is protected.

Is there anything else I need to consider?

Pet food can no longer be taken into the EU.

· Since Brexit, passengers cannot bring meat, milk or their products into the EU (including Northern Ireland). Unfortunately, this includes all pet food, so owners will no longer be able to take their pet’s regular food with them whilst they travel. Instead they will have purchase pet food after their arrival.

· The only exception to this rule is if your pet requires a special pet food which has been prescribed for medical reasons, and provided that the pack is a proprietary brand of food, which weighs less than 2kg, is in unopened packaging, and the product does not require refrigeration before opening.

· If your pet needs a prescription diet for a medical reason, we can supply you with a legally compliant unopened pack for travel which complies with the legislation, and also provide an accompanying certificate.

Please also check if your pet insurance is valid in the EU, or if you need to notify them before travel.

What happens if I do not comply with the regulations?

· The requirements of the Pet Travel Scheme are legal requirement beyond our control, and absolutely no leeway will be granted by the regulating authorities.

· Please remember, it is the responsibility of the owner (or person(s) transporting the pets) to know the requirements of travel for all countries travelled to and through, not your veterinary practice. We can provide guidance where appropriate, and complete the appointments for rabies vaccinations, certification, tapeworm treatments and any other necessary health checks you require. You must bring all supporting documents and information we request in order to complete these appointments correctly, otherwise we may not be able to provide you with certification.

· If the rabies vaccine becomes overdue, even by a single day, the AHC or passport will no longer be valid for travel, and your pet may not be allowed to travel with you. Although we will do our utmost to ensure that you are reminded that your pet’s Rabies Booster will be due before the appropriate date, it is legally your responsibility to ensure that the vaccine is administered before the expiry date, and we will accept no responsibility for your failure to do so.

· It is also your responsibility to ensure your pet’s microchip is in place and functioning correctly, and that your AHC and accompanying literature or passport is appropriately completed.

· Animals travelling with an AHC must be seen within 10 days of travel. If you are travelling with an EU Pet Passport instead, we advise that you visit us shortly before your departure in order to check that your pet’s microchip is working well, and that the passport remains valid.

· Travel documents may be checked either before travel or at disembarkation. Failure to comply with the precise details of the Pet Travel Scheme may therefore either prevent your pet from traveling, or from being allowed to leave the port. Pets which try and enter illegally will either be held in quarantine until they are legally compliant, or re-exported out of the Island. Please check your passport is valid before trying to travel.

We hope that this information sheet has been helpful to you, but please do not hesitate to ask one of our staff for further information or clarification if you so require.

Any further questions should be directed to the Department of the Environment email: rva@gov.je or tel: 441600


Please choose from the downloads listed below

Animal Health Certificate Request Form – Jersey to the EU Pet Travel

Pet Travel Diseases

 

 

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Saturdays: 8.00am-1pm

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Practice Locations

New Era Veterinary Hospital, Victoria Road, St. Saviour , Jersey, JE2 7QG

Leodis Veterinary Surgery, Route des Quennevais, St Brelade, Jersey, JE3 8LL

Archway Veterinary Centre, The Granite Building, 89 St Saviours Road, St Helier, Jersey JE2 4GJ