17 May

ABTA reminds trade of post-Brexit passport rules to share with customers

Ahead of the busy summer season for European departures, ABTA – The Travel Association is reminding members and the wider industry of the new post-Brexit passport rules to share with their customers so they can check that their passport will be valid for their travel dates.

Now that the UK is no longer in the European Union, British passport holders travelling to countries in the EU (except Ireland), as well as Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or Vatican City, are now subject to two main passport validity requirements, which are independent of each other.

Holidaymakers must have a passport that:

  1. Was issued less than 10 years before the date they enter the country. 
  2. Is valid for at least three months after the day they plan to leave.

ABTA is therefore encouraging its members and the wider industry to make sure their customers check both the date of issue and the date of expiry of their passport, ahead of their travel dates to ensure it will be valid. 

ABTA has an online advice page (abta.com/passports) which includes the following example of the rules in practice: a passenger entering the EU on 21 July 2023 and returning to the UK on 4 August 2023 would need to have a passport that was issued less than 10 years before 21 July 2023 and is valid for at least three months after 4 August 2023.

The association explains that checking the date of issue is particularly important for any customers who had extra months added to their current passport when they last renewed, which means their passports could be up to 10 years and nine months old. These passengers need to take extra care that their passport meets the requirement of being less than 10 years old when they enter the EU.

In addition to the detailed guidance available at abta.com, ABTA has also created a series of social media assets that members are encouraged to share on their channels to help make their customers aware of the rules. These can be downloaded from the marketing toolkit in the Member Zone.

Graeme Buck, Director of Communications at ABTA – The Travel Association said:

“With the industry gearing up for a bumper summer of trips to Europe, we’re keen to support our members in making sure it’s as hitch-free as possible. The new post-Brexit passport validity rules have the potential to catch some holidaymakers out, so we’re reminding members of the rules and providing guidance they can share with their customers."