Skip to content

What is an Animal Health Certificate?

  • by

If you’re a devoted pet lover, you might be thinking about ways to bring your pet with you on your trip across in the European Union. To accomplish this, you will need to get the Animal Health Certificate.

Do I need an Animal Health Certificate? You must obtain the Animal Health Certificate for your pet when you travel across Great Britain to the EU. A Animal Health Certificate is required by law to ensure that illnesses like rabies don’t be spread. If you are outside the EU You will require an export Health Certificate.

Find out what you need to know about the Animal Health Certificate, such as the steps you must take before your Animal Health Certificate appointment, and the frequency you’ll need to renew your Animal Health Certificate.

What exactly is the definition of an Animal Health Certificate?

The Animal Health Certificate is a document you must have when you plan to bring your pet, cat, or ferret to another nation within the EU or Northern Ireland. It is required that the Animal Health Certificate must be signed and certified by a vet who is approved by the APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) in the first 10 days after traveling beyond Great Britain.

What are the reasons why an Animal Health Certificate Required?

In 2021, the law modified by the government of Great Britain, detailing that Pet Passports issued in Great Britain are not valid anymore to take your pet, ferret, or cat to other countries. Instead the Animal Health Certificate is required to verify that your pet is properly vaccination-free. This Animal Health Certificate is required for travel in any EU country to make sure that diseases like rabies are not spreading.

Do I need an AHC to travel in All Countries?

The Animal Health Certificate is required for traveling with your dog ferret, cat, or dog between Great Britain to an EU Country or Northern Ireland. For countries that are not part of the EU the Animal Health Certificate is not valid, and instead, you’ll need the Export Health Certificate.

The Export Health Certificate is a form of document used to determine whether your pet’s health meets the health requirements specific to the country you’re traveling to. It is crucial to remember that each country that is not part of the EU will have a unique Export Health Certificate application process and, therefore will require different details.

Are the AHC the same as is a Pet Passport?

This Animal Health Certificate is not identical to it is the Pet Passport. The primary distinction between them is the the time they’re valid for. Pet passports are valid the duration of time they are kept up to date and have the correct vaccinations. However an Animal Health Certificate is only valid for one journey to the EU and you will need to renew the certificate each when you go on a trip. While it is true that the Animal Health Certificate is valid for travel within the EU for 4 months, a fresh AHC is required if you leave from the EU at any time during your travels.

What is required to get the issuance of an Animal Health Certificate?

To be eligible to receive the Animal Health Certificate, you must meet a number of standards or you’ll not be allowed to take your pet ferret, cat, or dog to any country within the EU. We have provided the requirements in order to make things a bit simpler for you to meet them.

Mandatory Requirements

To make sure that your pet is eligible for the Animal Health Certificate they need to satisfy the following specifications:

Your pet needs to be microchipped prior to or as well in their rabies vaccine. Your pet must have had a rabies vaccination for at minimum 21 days prior an Animal Health Certificate appointment, or if it’s an additional vaccine. It is important to note that your pet has to at minimum 12 weeks old in order for this vaccine.

Additional Requirements

If you’re planning to travel to countries like Finland, Ireland, Malta, Northern Ireland, or Norway your veterinarian must be able to treat the dog’s tapeworms. They will verify this in the Animal Health Certificate. The treatment must be administered no under 24 hours and no longer than 120 days prior to the date you leave for your trip.

The treatment should be recognized by the country it is given and include Praziquantel or a similar drug that has been shown as effective in battling Echinococcus Multilocularis tapeworm.

What information do I need to Supply Prior to the AHC Appointment?

Before the Animal Health Certificate appointment it is crucial to fill out the appointment form as quickly as you can. It will typically be sent to you by text or email, and will need you to enter the details of your pet, including uploading the copies of your pets vaccine record and the rabies. We cannot fill out the form until the information is completed. Any mistakes in filling out the form can be a cause for the denial of the AHC.

The record of rabies vaccination can be provided in one of the following methods:

A valid GB (or EU Pet Passport
Rabies vaccination certificate/ vaccination card
Previous notes on veterinary clinical practice

The Rabies vaccination certificate is valid insofar as it includes the microchip number of your pet and the specifics of their history with rabies and the date it was administered, the name of the company, date of administration as well as the batch number. It must also be verified by a competent vet.

What Should I Take to an AHC Appointment?

When you go to the Animal Health Certificate appointment, it is important to bring two items:

Your pet

Bring your pet for the visit in the event that additional checks are required to be conducted.

Their evidence of rabies document

Like the rabies vaccination certificate or certificate that has the microchip number of your pet printed on the back, or an older Europe/GB Pet Passport with an active rabies vaccination on it.

How long is the Animal Health Certificate Valid For?

Animal health certificates can be used for entry into in the EU for a period of 10 working days from their date of issue. They is valid to travel within the EU and also for your return journey to the UK for a period of four months. If you want to return across the border and leave of the EU the certificate will cease to be valid and you’ll have to apply for another Animal Health Certificate.

How often do I need to Apply for an AHC?

It is mandatory to obtain an updated Animal Health Certificate each time you intend to travel to Europe. EU after leaving Great Britain. Animal Health Certificates are valid for one journey across the EU border, as well as when you return trip to Great Britain. However, if you decide to leave the EU while on your travels A new AHC will be required in order to return back to EU.

How long does it take to get an AHC?

The moment is a waitlist that can last up to four weeks to schedule your Animal Health Certificate appointment so make sure you book your appointment ahead., AHC paperwork is part-time completed before the appointment time, and the rest completed during your 45-minute appointment. It is crucial that to ensure that the person filling out the appointment pre-formal AHC form is present at the appointment, otherwise the form is not valid.

This is the reason it is essential to plan your trip with all the necessary information and documents that is submitted prior to your appointment. After that it is simple and, within a matter of minutes your pet will be capable of traveling.

What is the time frame before I can travel? I require an AHC?

You must schedule an Animal Health Certificate appointment within 10 days of your travel date. You should allow for additional time to fill out the online form and allow for the paperwork of your pet to be completed. So, you can have enough time to ensure that any issues are corrected prior to the time you need to leave for your trip.

An appointment typically lasts 45 minutes to an hour, however please be aware that we require a 50 percent non-refundable deposit upon scheduling. Make sure there are the proper date and time prior to making an appointment.

How old must a pet be to get an AHC?

To be eligible to be eligible for the Animal Health Certificate and travel to the EU from Great Britain, your pet must be a minimal of twelve weeks old. This is due to the fact that 12-weeks is the minimum age your pet is eligible to get vaccinated against the rabies virus, which is a mandatory requirement for this Animal Health Certificate.

It is also necessary to wait for at least 21 days from the time your pet’s vaccination for rabies before you schedule appointment for an Animal Health Certificate appointment. Be aware of this prior to booking your appointment.

Do Assistance Dogs require an AHC?

Assistance dogs are required to get the Animal Health Certificate when travelling beyond Great Britain into an EU country. The procedure may be more complicated for an assist dog, however if you schedule an Animal Health Certificate appointment within acceptable time before you travel you should not have any issues in obtaining your certificate on time.

What Should You Do If You’re Not with Your Pet

In certain situations, you might not be traveling with your pet, rather, they might be traveling with family or friends, family, or even with an organization that hires pet transport. This is what you should do in these circumstances:

Pet is Traveling All by Himself

If your pet is traveling by itself, using an animal transport company then you’ll need to give the contact information of the company that is providing the transportation to your veterinarian prior to an Animal Health Certificate appointment takes place.

It is a obligation to be returned to your pet in the location within five days after their departure. The company that transports pets must be able to provide documentation detailing how you plan to be reunited with your pet following their journey.

Pet is travelling with Friends/Family

If your pet is traveling with a named family member or family member it is required to present your vet with an authorization letter that states that you’re happy for you to allow the person who is named on your form to go with your pet. It is also mandatory that you return to your pet within five days after their departure and the person named as traveling with your pet must have a document that outlines the details.

I have an Pet Passport – Is It Still Valid?

From January 1st, 2020, Pet Passports are no anymore valid for travel with your pet within the EU except if it was issued in the EU country. In rare instances, Pet Passports can still be used for travel however only if the destination is still accepting the documents.

If you don’t then the Pet Passport doesn’t completely go to waste since it could be used to prove that your pet was immunized against the rabies virus. This is a requirement for applying to get the Animal Health Certificate.

When will you be able to return to UK? UK is Tapeworm Treatment required?

Tapeworm regulations generally are only applicable to dogs, however it is important that you are aware this details to make sure that your pet is able to return to the UK at the time you intend to do that. Every time you return the UK after traveling to the EU it is essential to make sure that treatment for tapeworms is administered within 24-120 hours from the time you intend to return to the UK by a licensed vet.

The vet surgeon must note the treatment for tapeworms in the section two of the Animal Health Certificate in order to permit your pet permission to return to UK. This is not the case when you plan to return directly to Northern Ireland, Ireland, Malta, Finland or Norway.

Tips for Traveling in Europe EU With Pets

Travelling overseas can be an overwhelming experience at the worst of times, and even more so the need to plan transport for your pet, too. We’ve provided our top strategies for travelling across the EU with your pet to ensure your trip is as effortless as you can.

Make Your Reservation For The Certificate For Your Animal Health Certificate In Advance

The process of obtaining an appointment to get your Animal Health Certificate in advance is essential to ensure an enjoyable journey to EU along with your animal. Because of the time it takes to process paperwork, it is crucial to leave sufficient for time in between an Animal Health Certificate appointment and the day you are scheduled to travel to make sure you have enough the time to correct any changes that you make to the paperwork.

It is also suggested to leave some room in your travel schedule, and to account for delays in travel on your way to or from Great Britain.

Make sure you check the requirements for the country you are traveling to.

Certain countries might have additional requirements to travel with pets, which aren’t an all-inclusive rule across all countries.

For instance, The Faroe Islands only allow pets when you plan to stay longer than three months, whereas Iceland requires a long 30-day quarantine period. In France there are many breeds of dogs that are classified as dangerous (which could impose additional requirements).

Make sure your pet has Had Vaccination for Rabies

At the very minimum you must ensure that your pet is immunized against rabies within 21 days prior the Animal Health Certificate appointment. If you do not have the appropriate vaccines in place, the pet may not be able to travel in the EU and could result in a significant delay in the Animal Health Certificate process.

Find out if the Country is pet-friendly.

Certain EU countries are considered to be more pet-friendly than other countries. If you’re planning to travel on holiday, in contrast to visiting relatives or friends it is worth investigating which countries are most accommodating to pets. One of the last things you want would be for your dog to be trapped within the hotel for the entire duration.