French tax

News Digest: French tax deadlines this week

2. Clarification of French rules on pet passports

Since Brexit, the rules for traveling with your pet from the UK to France have changed, with UK pets no longer entitled to a pet passport and now requiring an Animal Health Certificate (AHC ) for traveling. However, many second home owners have wondered if their pet can get a pet passport in France and use it to travel.

So far, the official rules on this have left some gray areas, but I previously answered this question as follows:

Unfortunately, EU Pet Passports are only available to pets (and therefore owners!) who reside in France. while I’m to be aware of there are owners of second homes who have managed to register their animals with a French veterinarian and receive a European pet passport, I obviously cannot recommend that you do this. Even in the event of obtaining a European pet passport, border control may rightly wonder why your dog is traveling on a European passport when the owners are not French residents. Although I understand that obtaining an AHC is expensive, especially for frequent travelers, it is currently the only way to legally travel with your dog to France.

It seems that the French authorities have taken notice of this and the French Ministry of Agriculture has now issued specific guidelines for French vets regarding pets registered in the UK. You can read the official guidelines (in French) here, but here is a summary:

  • French pet passports can only be issued to an animal holding a UK/EU passport issued before 1 Januaryst2021, if the animal is also registered in National Domestic Carnivore Identification File(I-CAD) (National Pet Registry).
  • French vets can register a UK-registered pet on the I-CAD only if “the animal’s stay in France is longer than three consecutive months”.

This means that if you are visiting France from the UK with your pet for more than three consecutive months (for which you will need at least a temporary long-stay visa), then your pet can be registered with the I-CAD and therefore receive a French pet passport. Note that your pet will still need an AHC to travel with you to France initially, but obtaining a French pet passport would cover it for further travel. You should expect to be asked to prove the length of your stay in France, and although no official guidelines on this have been issued, this will probably mean that you will have to present your long-stay visa or your residence card.

For UK residents visiting France under the 90/180 day rule, your pet will need an animal health certificate to travel with you. Proof of a French address (such as a French second home) will no longer be sufficient proof that your dog resides in France.

Find out more about traveling to France from the UK with your dog.