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Travelling to the EU

Important: Information for hauliers

Hauliers heading to the EU can now travel straight to the port for paperwork checks. Find out more.

You must test negative for Covid-19 before you cross the border into certain countries. Check if you need to get a test, and when you should get one at GOV.UK.

Changes to accepted travel documents

From 1 October 2021, most EU, EEA and Swiss citizens can only travel to the UK using a valid passport, unless they have:

  • applied to the EU Settlement Scheme, or have an application pending.
  • or otherwise have protected rights under the Citizens’ Rights Agreements.

Until this date, European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss citizens can currently travel to the UK with a valid passport or a national identity (ID) card.

The change from 1 October means an ID card will no longer be accepted for travel to the UK, unless the exemptions apply.

Anyone travelling to the UK on an invalid travel document is liable to be refused entry at the border.


There are some changes to travel requirements now the UK-EU transition period is over. Although some things may be different, passengers are still be able to book and travel by ferry to and from the UK with ease.

For the latest information on the changes to ferry travel, speak to your operator or more details can be found here.

Please note that there are also temporary travel restrictions in place for passengers travelling to France and Spain, due to coronavirus. You can find the entry requirements information on the Foreign Office's website using the links below:

Travelling with pets

From 1 January 2021 onwards, the UK will have Part 2 listed status under the EU Pet Travel Scheme, meaning that people travelling from Great Britain with their pets and assistance dogs will need to follow new requirements in order to travel to the EU.

Before taking their dog, cat or ferret to the EU for the first time after 1 January 2021, pet owners must complete the following steps. The only new requirement for travel to the EU is the use of a certificate, rather than a pet passport:

  • Ensure their dog, cat or ferret is microchipped.
  • Ensure that their dog, cat or ferret is vaccinated against rabies – pets must be at least 12 weeks old before they can be vaccinated.
  • Wait 21 days after the primary vaccination before travel
  • Dogs must be treated against tapeworm 24-120 hours before landing, if they are travelling to a tapeworm free country.
  • Visit their vet to get an animal health certificate (AHC) for their pet, no more than 10 days before travel to the EU.

Find out more on the government's website here.

Pets and assistance dogs will also need to enter the EU through a travellers’ point of entry (TPE), which includes all the ports that you can sail to from Portsmouth.

There will be no change to the current health preparations or documents for pets entering Great Britain from the EU from 1 January 2021.

Customs support

If your business needs help with navigating the potential impact of Brexit on your imports and exports, Portico, based here at the port, has an experienced in-house customs agency. With all the necessary systems in place to make customs declarations, they are here to help with the challenges that lie ahead.

Contact them on imports@porticoshipping.com,  +44 (0)23 9289 0503 or visit the website.