Frequently Asked Questions
You can now apply online to order an AHC to travel across the Channel to the EU via France with Eurotunnel Folkestone or with the Ferries at Dover.
Our service is specifically designed for pets to travel with their owners to France with Eurotunnel or Dover Ferries.
We are conveniently located 5 minutes off the M20 and we are open evenings and weekends. This allows you to collect your AHC on your way to the coast.
How does it work?
Understanding the requirements for an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) is crucial for a hassle-free journey. This guide provides essential information to ensure a smooth and successful trip for you and your pet.
your pet must be microchipped
your pet must have an up to date rabies vaccination
you have to provide documents as proof of all the information above
you have to be the owner of your pet and travel with your pet
apply online by filling in the application form with your personal details and your pet’s details
confirm your travel date
send any supporting documents as scans or photos, or ask your vet to e-mail us your pet’s clinical history including the rabies vaccination details
we will confirm your application has been received and that all the information is correct and valid
after payment we will issue your AHC and we will arrange a date and time for you to collect the AHC on your way to Eurotunnel Folkestone or Dover’s Ferries
on your way to the coast, come off the M20 Jct 9 Ashford, Kent, to collect your AHC. We will scan your pet’s microchip and you will be asked to sign a declaration which is part of the AHC
you can then continue your journey in confidence that all formalities are in order for a hassle free crossing. It will take you less than 15 minutes on the M20 to reach Eurotunnel Folkestone in normal traffic conditions, 35 minutes to get to Dover
enjoy your holiday
What is an Animal Health Certificate (AHC)?
An Animal Health Certificate (AHC) is a document which allows you to travel with your pet from the UK to the EU.
The AHC is a certified document issued by an Official Veterinarian appointed by the Animal and Plant Health Agency.
The AHC is issued in English and the language of the country where you enter the EU - in this case the AHC will be in English and French, as you will be travelling from Kent to France.
It is valid for 10 days from the date of issue.
It is a minimum of 11 pages thick.
It is single use and it allows you to travel within the EU for up to 4 months (or until the rabies vaccination expires) and to also return to the UK.
The AHC only allows you to re enter the UK within 4 months as long as the rabies vaccination has not expired.
The AHC does not cover travel outside of the EU, ie Turkey.
An AHC allows you to travel with your dog, cat or ferret.
An AHC allows you to travel with a maximum of 5 pets in total.
An AHC does certify that your pet meets the requirements to travel into the EU: your pet has a working microchip, it is vaccinated with a valid rabies vaccination and it states that you are the owner traveling with your pet for non commercial reasons, ie holiday.
An Animal Health Certificate does not certify your pet’s health and it does not include an examination or a health check.
An AHC is not intended for pets to be taken into the EU to then be sold or given away to a new owner in the EU.
AHCs cannot be posted. We are required to check your pet’s microchip and we have to witness you signing a declaration confirming the non commercial nature of your trip.
AHCs cannot be issued more than 10 days before you travel. We cannot issue an AHC unless 21 days have elapsed since the rabies vaccination unless this was a booster of a previous vaccine that had not expired.
What about Pet Passports?
Pet Passports issued in the UK are no longer valid for travel. Instead, an AHC is now required.
However, if you possess a valid EU Pet Passport issued in an EU country by an EU vet it can still be used for travel. Please read carefully below what makes an EU Passport valid or invalid.
I have an EU passport for my pet. Do I need and AHC?
No, you can travel freely with a valid EU passport, but please ensure all the details are correct in your EU passport:
your personal details are entered in the owner section and you have signed the passport
your pet’s microchip number is correctly entered and the date below (reading or implantation date) is before or the same date as the rabies vaccination date
the EU vet details are all entered and signed by the issuing EU vet
most importantly, an in date rabies vaccination is entered in the passports with a vaccination date (not before the microchip date), a ‘valid from’ date and a ‘valid to date’ as well as your EU vet’s signature and stamp
You cannot travel with your EU Passport when the rabies vaccination in a separate document (old UK passport or vaccination card)
You cannot travel with your EU passport if the rabies vaccination entered is signed and stamped by a vet in the UK after the 1st January 2021.
What you need to know about Rabies vaccinations?
An up to date rabies vaccination is required for entry to the EU. Most rabies vaccinations given in the UK are valid for three years before a booster is required.
Your rabies vaccination must remain valid for the duration of your trip including your return travel date back to the UK.
If your rabies vaccination is currently in date but will expire before you return to the UK you should visit your usual vet to get a booster vaccination.
If your pet’s rabies vaccination has expired you need to visit your vet for a rabies vaccination restart at least 21 days before travelling so we can issue an AHC.
puppies or kittens have to be at least 12 weeks old to be vaccinated against rabies
The earliest you can travel is 21 days after the rabies vaccination unless the vaccination was a regular booster.
If your pet’s previous rabies vaccination has lapsed and you had a new rabies vaccination, you again will need to wait 21 days before you can travel
different countries will have different regulations on how many years the rabies vaccination is valid for. The ‘valid to’ date of your pet’s rabies vaccination is determined by the country the vaccine was given in. For example Spain, Portugal and most Eastern European Countries will demand yearly rabies vaccinations.
Don’t confuse the ‘expiry date’ on the rabies vaccination sticker with the ‘valid to’ date. The rabies vaccination ‘expiry date’ is a ‘use by’ date after which your vet has to dispose of the vial if unused.
Can I take Puppies or Kittens across the Channel?
You cannot travel to France with puppies or kittens unless they have been vaccinated against rabies and at least 21 days have passed since the vaccination.
Puppies and Kittens must be at least 12 weeks old to be vaccinated against rabies.
So the earliest age a puppy or kitten will be able to travel is at 15 weeks of age.
As a breeder you cannot send a puppy or kitten across the channel to it’s new owners in the EU. This would be seen as a commercial export and requires a different form. Eurotunnel and the ferries at Dover are not accepting commercial animal transports.
What about the Tapeworm Treatment for Dogs?
To enter France your dog does not need a tapeworm treatment.
Certain destinations, such as Finland, Norway, Ireland, Northern Ireland or Malta, require tapeworm treatment for dogs before travel. Understand the specific timing requirements for administering the treatment, and ensure it is recorded on the AHC by a vet.
Your pet does need a tapeworm treatment before returning to the UK. though. This needs to be administered by a vet 24-120hrs before returning to Eurotunnel in Coquelles or the ferries in Calais.
Cats do not need any tapeworm treatments.
For short trips lasting less than five days the tapeworm treatment can be administered before your departure.
You are not the owner but you want to take a pet across the channel for a friend or family member
You want to take more than 5 pets across the channel
you have an EU passport but you are not sure the EU vet issued it correctly
you want to enter the EU through another country but France
What else you might want to consider?
If you travel to the Mediterranean we strongly recommend you purchase the sandfly repellent Seresto collar for your dog and consider a course of Leishmania vaccinations. A Leishmania infection, transmitted by sandflies (sand coloured mosquitos) are the cause for a debilitating disease affecting dogs. Leishmaniosis is a terrible disease and difficult and expensive to treat. There is no legal requirement to protect your dog. Cats are not affected.
To protect your dog against disease carrying ticks which exist anywhere apart from Northern Europe, a tick killing product like the NexGard Spectra or Bravecto Chew is recommended. Spot on products are less effective against ticks.
Bravecto or Stronghold plus spot ons work well to protect cats from ticks.
Please contact your vet in good time to purchase these products as we cannot prescribe treatment for your pet
By following these guidelines and understanding the AHC and necessary travel requirements, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable journey for your beloved pet. Stay informed, prepare in advance, and make your pet's travel experience stress-free.