Great news for British pet owners who have a second home or a regular domicile in Italy: as long as you possess the necessary requisites (below), you can apply for a European Pet Passport. It is recognised by the UK authorities and lasts a lifetime, meaning you can avoid having to apply for the UK Animal Health Certificate (AHC) every time you head for Europe.
The passport which in Italy is issued by the local health authority’s veterinary service - ASL (Azienda Sanitaria Locale – servizio veterinario), can be applied for by scheduled appointment: Here are some useful tips shared by a couple who recently applied for two pet passports at the Casa della Salute in Camucia.
Getting the Italian pet passports was remarkably (and unexpectedly) easy. These are the points that you need to bear in mind:
1. You have to have an appointment. In Cortona pet passports seem to be dealt with only at certain times - I think only Thursday mornings. The process takes about an hour, but would possibly be a bit quicker for one dog. No one there speaks any English and some questions are a bit technical.
2. You don’t need to queue in the reception area of the Casa Della Salute in Camucia, but can walk straight through to the Servizi Veterinario section (up to the glass booths in the reception area, take a right turn to the end of a corridor, then turn left). Basically, you just hang about until someone appears and tell them you have an appointment for a dog passport. You can take the dogs in with you, but they only need to see them in order the scan their microchips, so it’s a good idea to have someone with you who can then take them out afterwards.
3. You need the following documents
· Owner’s passport, copy of codice fiscale certificate and evidence of an Italian address (I showed them an internet bill and a Comune tax bill). You also need to provide a phone number and confirm that you spend long periods of time in Tuscany.
· Dog’s previous EU/UK passport if you have one plus the 16 pages of A4 which constitutes the current UK passport. Presumably if you don’t have the former they just use the latter.
4. There’s a one-off fee to be paid. For 2 dogs it was €169.28.
5. For this sum you are provided with a Passaporto per Animali di Compagnia, a Certificato di Iscrizione and a Rilascio Passaporto and then it’s all done.
The only recommendation I would make is to check the paperwork carefully. When we got home I found that, for one of the dogs, the vital vaccinazione antirabbica section hadn’t been completed so I had to go all the way back.”
NB: A European pet passport is a document, which follows an EU standard model and is essential for travel between EU countries and it would seem, the UK – despite Brexit. It contains a description and details of your pet, including its microchip or tattoo code as well as its rabies vaccination record, your contact details and those of the vet who issued the passport. A European pet passport is valid for life as long as your pets rabies vaccination is up to date.
IMPORTANT: ACCORDING TO THE UK GOVERNMENT WEBSITE WWW.GOV.UK - Only vets in EU countries can enter rabies vaccination details into an EU pet passport. By implication this means that all rabies booster shots must be done in the EU.