AHC: travelling with a dog to Greece and beyond after 01/01/21

Jun 28, 2020
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As an Animal Health Certificate will be valid for just a single entry into the EU, will this mean a journey to say Greece would require several AHC's if taking my usual route through Serbia which is not in the EU? (I avoid Romania because of all the additional paperwork and as I particularly like spending some time in Bulgaria I don't take the option of a ferry from Italy to Greece). And what of my planned journeys to the Balkan countries, Morocco and Turkey once things start getting back to normal; surely there would be no way of avoiding the need for additional certificates?

Assuming it was possible to obtain AHCs in places like Turkey and Morocco, would the document be acceptable when re-entering the EU? Would this have an implication for returning to the UK? I guess more information will be forthcoming over the next few months. Apart from the frustration of a load more paperwork, I am concerned of being stuck in some kind of Kafkaesque nightmare unable to get my dog back to the UK.

I read the AHC would be valid for four months, but the government website clearly states it is for a single entry into the EU. Has anybody else been reading up on this? Am I interpreting the implications correctly?

Apologies if this question has already been raised elsewhere.
 

DBK

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Jan 9, 2013
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Interesting question and my understanding based on what's been published is the dog would need a new AHC. However, there are a lot of missing details in the agreement which were kicked into the long grass for now and need to be worked out later. Hopefully, there may be a concession for animals in transit.

Otherwise, its a ferry to Greece from Italy. :)
 
OP
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Jun 28, 2020
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Thanks for your response. Seems we have similar conclusions based on available information. I wanted to ask the question in case I was missing something. As you say, all will be revealed in time. Always enjoy and respect your posts by the way.

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Mar 28, 2017
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As an Animal Health Certificate will be valid for just a single entry into the EU, will this mean a journey to say Greece would require several AHC's if taking my usual route through Serbia which is not in the EU? (I avoid Romania because of all the additional paperwork and as I particularly like spending some time in Bulgaria I don't take the option of a ferry from Italy to Greece). And what of my planned journeys to the Balkan countries, Morocco and Turkey once things start getting back to normal; surely there would be no way of avoiding the need for additional certificates?

Assuming it was possible to obtain AHCs in places like Turkey and Morocco, would the document be acceptable when re-entering the EU? Would this have an implication for returning to the UK? I guess more information will be forthcoming over the next few months. Apart from the frustration of a load more paperwork, I am concerned of being stuck in some kind of Kafkaesque nightmare unable to get my dog back to the UK.

I read the AHC would be valid for four months, but the government website clearly states it is for a single entry into the EU. Has anybody else been reading up on this? Am I interpreting the implications correctly?

Apologies if this question has already been raised elsewhere.
What's the additional paperwork for Romania please ?
 
OP
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Jun 28, 2020
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What's the additional paperwork for Romania please ?
I may have inadvertently misled you. If memory serves me right I originally opted to miss Romania because paying for road use seemed complicated at the time and it just seemed easier to go via Serbia. This may well have changed. (Nothing against Romania - I have been there several times, but not by motorhome!).

Latest rules getting in and out of Romania for yourself and a dog needs checking as my understanding is Romania is not part of the Schengen agreement in spite of being in the EU. Everything has got so complicated!
 
Aug 18, 2014
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I read the AHC would be valid for four months,
It is , for re-entry INTO the UK
I read the AHC would be valid for four months, but the government website clearly states it is for a single entry into the EU.
My understanding is once you are in that is it. Transiting into other EU states doesn't count.The fly in the ointment is leaving the EU into another eu state? If you still have th epert passport I'd be suing that in them?
Even if you were out over 4 months ,by all accounts you could obtain another AHC from an eu vet.

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Oct 12, 2014
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Road use in Romania isn’t a problem. Like the UK, they are not in Schengen, so you have to show your passport on entry and exit.

As far as the road use, it’s effectively a vignette but instead of being given a paper or disc to display it is ‘virtual’, so your ref number is put on a database. When we went a few years ago we expected to pay the over 3.5 tonnes rate - about £50, but when I passed over that money along with the V5 the guy handed me back most of the money and we were charged the car rate, so they are one of the few countries to recognise a motorhome as a private vehicle. It couldn’t have been easier or more properly dealt with. For us it was a good start to a great trip round a lovely country with lots to see and do😄😄😄
 
OP
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Jun 28, 2020
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Road use in Romania isn’t a problem. Like the UK, they are not in Schengen, so you have to show your passport on entry and exit.

As far as the road use, it’s effectively a vignette but instead of being given a paper or disc to display it is ‘virtual’, so your ref number is put on a database. When we went a few years ago we expected to pay the over 3.5 tonnes rate - about £50, but when I passed over that money along with the V5 the guy handed me back most of the money and we were charged the car rate, so they are one of the few countries to recognise a motorhome as a private vehicle. It couldn’t have been easier or more properly dealt with. For us it was a good start to a great trip round a lovely country with lots to see and do😄😄😄
Good to know, thanks. Perhaps going to Greece via Romania is the answer. I agree, Romania is indeed a lovely country.
 
Jul 23, 2013
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Do you think we’ll still have to get the vet check up (worming tablet) before coming back to the uk?
 
OP
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Jun 28, 2020
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Yes you do.it goes on the Ahc.
I am confused. If the AHC is produced prior to entry into the EU how can it include evidence of anti-echinococcus treatment when this has to be done within 5 days of returning to the UK? And yet, you are quite right, there is a box on the specimen form I found that asks for this information. Is this for going to another member state that required your dog to be treated? When I went to Norway in the summer, (yes, I know it's not in the EU), I had to get my dog wormed prior to arrival.
The specimen certificate also says it is valid for just 10 days, and yet my understanding is 4 months validity. Are there different AHCs for different situations I wonder? I read on another thread you needed the original AHC to get your dog back into the UK, but is that true?
So many questions!
 
Aug 18, 2014
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The specimen certificate also says it is valid for just 10 days, and yet my understanding is 4 months validity.
It has a validity of 10 days to EXIT the UK. It has a validity of 4 months for returning.
Are there different AHCs for different situations I wonder?
I don't believe so. There used to be a 4 page one specifically to export animals.
I read on another thread you needed the original AHC to get your dog back into the UK, but is that true?
No idea. Best answer is to email DEFRA & ask the individual items you have asked here.
pettravel@apha.gov.uk

If they give an ambiguous answer ,ask again. If they answer questions you haven't ask clarify & ask again.
 

DBK

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I am confused. If the AHC is produced prior to entry into the EU how can it include evidence of anti-echinococcus treatment when this has to be done within 5 days of returning to the UK? And yet, you are quite right, there is a box on the specimen form I found that asks for this information. Is this for going to another member state that required your dog to be treated? When I went to Norway in the summer, (yes, I know it's not in the EU), I had to get my dog wormed prior to arrival.
The specimen certificate also says it is valid for just 10 days, and yet my understanding is 4 months validity. Are there different AHCs for different situations I wonder? I read on another thread you needed the original AHC to get your dog back into the UK, but is that true?
So many questions!
The AHC is a ten (?) page document and has a blank space on it for the worming treatment to be added by the French vet - or whoever you get to do it before returning to the UK.

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Jul 3, 2008
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I believe the ten days is the maximum time it can be issued before travel to the EU, the certificate is valid for four months from issue date
 
OP
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Jun 28, 2020
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I believe the ten days is the maximum time it can be issued before travel to the EU, the certificate is valid for four months from issue date
You are quite right, thank you.

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OP
K
Jun 28, 2020
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The AHC is a ten (?) page document and has a blank space on it for the worming treatment to be added by the French vet - or whoever you get to do it before returning to the UK.
I think I've been looking at the wrong specimen form.
 

DBK

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I think I've been looking at the wrong specimen form.
You can find a link to download an example of what I believe is the correct form on this page. But your vet is probably the best place to get a definitive(ish) answer


It's 7 pages and the worm treatment seems to be recorded on page 3. Presumably, a topless photo of the dog is not required. :)
 
OP
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Jun 28, 2020
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It's 7 pages and the worm treatment seems to be recorded on page 3. Presumably, a topless photo of the dog is not required. :)
Haha! Got us jumping through enough hoops as it is!

Thanks for the info. I initially dismissed the form as only for entering the UK. Can't say I fully understand it but I guess it will gradually become clear. I have written to pettravel@apha as per the suggestion of Gus Lopez (many thanks), and will no doubt be discussing the ins and outs with my vet in due course.

Perhaps I worry too much, perhaps I love my dog too much, but I fear being trapped somewhere because someone has used the wrong colour ink for a signature (one of the rules), or have exited the EU/Schengen region without realising it (San Remo? Andorra?).

Isn't it great taking back control?

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Jun 5, 2020
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Just get the ferry! Camping on board, dog and campers happy.
 
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Just get the ferry! Camping on board, dog and campers happy.
If only it was that simple! I'm trying to get a handle on all the new regulations and implications so I'm fully prepared for future trips to the continent. Last thing I want is the hassle of a freezer load of food being confiscated at the border or being stuck somewhere because I don't have the right paperwork for the dog. I haven't seen anything so far that would prevent me from continuing to travel around the continent. I'm sure it'll become easier once we are back into the swing of travelling again.

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May 26, 2012
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The only border that I have ever been checked at for a dog was between Croatia and Slovenia and both were in the EU at the time. I didn't have one so have no idea what would have happened had they found a dog. On that occassion I was returning after working for the EU in Montenegro for 5 years. During that period I regularly drove in and out of the EU from Albania and Macedonia in a motorhome with a fully stocked fridge and no-one raised the issue of importing meat and milk. As a matter of interest it has ALWAYS been prohibited to import meat and milk products into Northern Ireland from GB and in my lifetime I have never been checked. It would seem that these regulations have never been enforced
 
OP
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Jun 28, 2020
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The only border that I have ever been checked at for a dog was between Croatia and Slovenia and both were in the EU at the time. I didn't have one so have no idea what would have happened had they found a dog. On that occassion I was returning after working for the EU in Montenegro for 5 years. During that period I regularly drove in and out of the EU from Albania and Macedonia in a motorhome with a fully stocked fridge and no-one raised the issue of importing meat and milk. As a matter of interest it has ALWAYS been prohibited to import meat and milk products into Northern Ireland from GB and in my lifetime I have never been checked. It would seem that these regulations have never been enforced
I have to admit I am not particularly bothered about being caught with a full fridge; it wouldn't be the first time I've crossed a restricted border with a full fridge... and wine cellar!
You mention Albania and Montenegro - I've started planning a trip there for maybe next September - any tips? Is reporting to police stations on arrival essential? Have you used the Bari-Durres ferry?
 
Jan 10, 2013
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This was just posted on Facebook. Seems a bit draconian that you have to have a separate AHC depending on which EU country you arrive in. One of my dogs has a Portuguese passport and the last bit sounds like his rabies booster jab has to be done in an EU country!! Also, £110 for the AHC - really??!!!

Some not so good news since we have left Europe. PET PASSPORTS. If you have UK issued pet passports they are no longer valid and you must obtain an Animal Health Certificate prior to travel to the EU maximum 10 days before travel. I have enquired with our local vet .He is charging £110 per pet and remember you will need one every time you travel to the EU. Also ,they are country specific so if you book the ferry to travel to Spain Santander or Bilbao and it gets cancelled you will need another Animal Health Certificate for France if Brittany ferries offer to transfer you to Portsmouth Caen /Le Havre. Once you arrive in the EU the AHC is valid for 4 months and for all EU countries. For those who already have a pet passport issued in France Spain etc be aware that a UK vet can no longer update this pet passport with a booster rabies vax, this will have to be done in the EU.

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Jun 4, 2019
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Not forgetting if train or ferry cancelled or delayed, the AHC will be no good if new crossing later than the 10days. This is very bad news for pet owners.
 
Sep 3, 2012
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How many times has anyone been stopped ,anywhere in Europe and been asked to show a pet passport?
I think the answer would be an emphatic no.
The AHC is only required to get your pet out and back in to the UK
When we were in the EU no one was interested in even checking if we had a dog ,when leaving the UK,or even the paperwork for it untill we were coming back into the UK. ( Via the tunnel)And I am sure the same will happen again.
 

Riverbankannie

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This was just posted on Facebook. Seems a bit draconian that you have to have a separate AHC depending on which EU country you arrive in. One of my dogs has a Portuguese passport and the last bit sounds like his rabies booster jab has to be done in an EU country!! Also, £110 for the AHC - really??!!!

Some not so good news since we have left Europe. PET PASSPORTS. If you have UK issued pet passports they are no longer valid and you must obtain an Animal Health Certificate prior to travel to the EU maximum 10 days before travel. I have enquired with our local vet .He is charging £110 per pet and remember you will need one every time you travel to the EU. Also ,they are country specific so if you book the ferry to travel to Spain Santander or Bilbao and it gets cancelled you will need another Animal Health Certificate for France if Brittany ferries offer to transfer you to Portsmouth Caen /Le Havre. Once you arrive in the EU the AHC is valid for 4 months and for all EU countries. For those who already have a pet passport issued in France Spain etc be aware that a UK vet can no longer update this pet passport with a booster rabies vax, this will have to be done in the EU.
My daughter sitting next to me so I just mentioned your post. She decided not to pay for and do the training required to be able to do the AHC. One of her friends has just done one and the hurdles to jump through sound like getting to be a vaccinator. The AHC itself is online and is a 21 page document. Her friend has been trying to get the first one completed and is struggling to get it done into third day now. Once first one done, it should get quicker and easier she hopes but thinks that £110 will be cheap.

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