Animal Health Certificates were introduced in January 2021, when the UK left the EU, and they replaced GB-issued pet passports. An AHC is a document required to travel to the EU with a dog, cat or ferret, and the key requirement for an AHC is that the pet must be vaccinated against rabies.
An Animal Health Certificate is valid for travel within the EU for 4 months from the date it is issued, or until the rabies vaccination expires, whatever date is earlier. You can see the date it was issued on the page with the details of the official veterinarian that issued the AHC (normally page 7 or 8, but this can vary depending on the language the AHC was issued in).
However, once you leave the EU (for example to come back to the UK), the Animal Health Certificate is invalidated, and you would require another AHC in order to re-enter the EU again. Each AHC is valid for only one trip to the EU.
What if I am planning on staying in the EU for longer than 4 months?
If you are planning on staying in the EU with your pet for longer than 4 months then you will need another document in order to return to the UK. This can either be an EU-issued pet passport, or a GB Pet Health Certificate issued by a vet in the EU.
What if my pet's rabies vaccination expires while they are in the EU?
If the pet's rabies vaccination expires while you are out in the EU, then they would need another rabies vaccination in order to return to the UK.
If this rabies vaccination is administered after the previous one has expired, then you would need to wait 21 days before you can travel. However, if it is administered before the previous rabies vaccination has expired, then you would not need to wait the 21 day period.
Are repeat Animal Health Certificates discounted?
At PassPets, we charge £99 plus £50 per additional pet for the first time we issue you an Animal Health Certificate, but for repeat AHCs with no changes, we offer a 10% discount.