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Changes to OCQ(V) Export modules and OV instructions in the event of a no-deal EU Exit

25 January 2019, at 12:39pm

There would be changes required for the movement to the EU of pet cats, dogs and ferrets and commercially traded dogs, cats and ferrets travelling under Directive 92/65/EEC (as amended) as well as other pets (birds, rabbits, etc) in the unlikely event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal. Changes will also be required for the export to the EU of other commercial small animals (eg laboratory animals, primates, zoo carnivores), excluding ungulates, travelling under Directive 92/65/EEC (as amended).

The Technical Notices published on 24 September 2018 set out the possible implications of “EU Exit without a deal” on the UK’s ability to export animals and animal products or move pet animals (ie pet dogs, cats and ferrets) to the EU. The conditions that apply to pets travelling into the EU are set out in the EU Regulations. As explained in the Technical Notice on “Taking your pet abroad if there’s no Brexit deal”, pets would continue to be able to travel from the UK to the EU in the event of “no deal”, but the requirements for documents and health checks would differ depending on what category of third country the UK becomes after Exit.

There are three categorisations of third country: listed: Part 1; listed: Part 2; or unlisted. Third countries can apply to the European Commission to be listed under Part 1 or Part 2 of Annex II to EU Pet Travel Regulations. A small number of countries and territories are Part 1 listed; pet animals from these countries and territories can enter the EU in a similar way to pets from other EU Member States.

The majority of countries are Part 2 listed. This means that health preparation requirements for pets originating from those countries are the same as those from Part 1 listed countries but pet owners can only enter the EU with a valid “EU Model Animal Health Certificate (MHC) for the non-commercial movement into a Member State from a territory or third country of dogs, cats or ferrets in accordance with Article 25(1) and (2) of Regulation (EU) No 576/2013”. If a country has not applied or been accepted as a Part 1 or Part 2 listed country, it is an unlisted third country, and pet owners must take some specific actions several months before they wish to travel.

Defra is seeking technical discussions with the European Commission to allow the UK to become a listed third country on the day we leave the EU. The APHA will continue to press the Commission to discuss this option with them. However, to allow for effective contingency planning, the APHA has provided a briefing note that explains the impacts of all three different types of listed status and the preparations needed under each possible scenario. The briefing note also covers the movement of other pets not covered by the EU Pet Travel Regulations.

Further briefing will be provided once the outcome of negotiations is known. Until then, as part of sensible contingency planning, pet owners who wish to travel with their pet(s) from the UK to the EU on or after 30 March 2019 will need to be aware of the steps they may need to take, and OVs need to be prepared for pet owners to contact them with queries and to start pre-travel preparations.

OVs can read and understand the implications of the Technical Notices on “Exporting animals and animal products if there’s no Brexit deal” and “Taking your pet abroad if there’s no Brexit deal”. In particular, note that the APHA is advising pet owners who plan to travel on or after 30 March 2019 to contact their vet at least four months in advance to check what health preparations they need to undertake.

Note that the module content/guidance/assessment for OVs as part of their initial training and subsequent revalidation (ie for the OCQ(V)-SX and CA modules provided by Improve International) and the OV instructions available through the APHA Vet Gateway will be amended once the final EU Exit position is known and these will clarify the health and documentation requirement for movement of pet dogs, cats and ferrets to the EU.

Note that if the UK becomes a Part 2 or unlisted third country, pet owners would need to obtain a new MHC each time they wish to take their pet from the UK to the EU. This would increase demand for OV services from pet owners that travel more than once with their pet (currently they obtain a pet passport that covers multiple trips). If the UK becomes an unlisted third country (or whilst the outcome of the application for listed status is unknown) blank MHCs and accompanying Notes for Guidance will be produced by APHA and issued from March 2019.

More information on the documents that would be required to enter or re-enter the UK if the UK leaves the EU without a deal will be available on gov.uk in due course.

For more information, read the full briefing note here.