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Practical Advice for Importers and Exporters

Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Import Controls  - animals and animal products

  • If you import live animals or animal products from the UK you will need to apprise yourself of, and comply with, the EU regulations governing the imports of such products from Third Countries (i.e. non EU countries)
  • This means that live animals and animal products coming from the UK into Ireland must, after 29 March 2019, be subjected to veterinary (sanitary) checks in accordance with the relevant regulations.
  • The list of live animal and animal products subject to the veterinary (sanitary) checks is set out in EU legislation;
  • In the majority of cases these animals and animal products will have to be accompanied by health certificates, and be presented at an approved Border Inspection Post (BIP) for checking by DAFM;
  • The UK establishments from where  the animal products are dispatched must be listed as an EU approved establishment by the EU, in order to export that category of animal product to the EU;
  • It is expected that the lists of EU approved establishments will be updated to include UK establishments, when the UK leaves the EU. These lists are available on the website of the EU’s Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES)
  • The person responsible for importing the consignment must be registered on TRACES and the application to register is made through DAFM;
  • Pre-notification of imports of live animals and of animal products from the UK, must be submitted at least 24 hours before the consignment arrives at the point of entry in Ireland;
  • Pre-notification is done by the completion of the relevant document in TRACES;
  • The person responsible for importing the consignment is also required to submit copies of the relevant health certificates and any other documentation required by EU legislation to an electronic mailbox at the same time as the TRACES document is completed;
  • Failure to submit the relevant health certificates and documents in advance, will lead to significant delays in processing consignments at the point of entry. Consignments for which documents are not received in advance will be required to wait until all other consignments are cleared;
  • If you are using wood packaging material, including pallets or crates in the importation and transport of your goods, ensure that the packaging material is International Standard for Phytosanitary Measure No. 15 (ISPM15) compliant;
  • In summary, if you are the person responsible for importing animals or animal products from the UK you are advised to:
    • Register with DAFM   AnimalProductImports@agriculture.gov.ie
    • Register on TRACES,
    • Check on TRACES that your exporter is approved by the EU to export the category of product required to you in the EU,
    • Make sure your transporter or haulier is in possession of the required EU authorisations,
    • Contact your suppliers and advise them to familiarise themselves with the details set out in the FAQs, and
    • If you are using wood packaging or pallets with your consignments – then ensure that they are (ISPM15) compliant.

SPS Controls – plant and products

  • If you import plants or certain plant products from the UK you will need to apprise yourself of, and comply with, the EU regulations governing the imports of such products from Third Countries,
  • This means that plants and plant products coming from the UK into Ireland must, after 29 March 2019, be subjected to phytosanitary checks in accordance with the relevant regulations.
  • Importers and Exporters of such products must register with the Horticulture and Plant Health Division of DAFM as soon as possible and follow the steps necessary to allow the consignments and their accompanying documents to be inspected, as required. The specific details are set out in EU legislation;
  • Pre-notification of imports of plants and plant products from the UK, must be submitted at least 24 hours before the consignment arrives at the point of entry in Ireland. Relevant plant health certificates must also accompany the pre notification notices.
  • If you are using wood packaging material, including pallets or crates in the importation and transport of your goods, ensure that they are ISPM15 compliant;
  • In summary, if you are the person responsible for importing the plants or plant products from the UK, you are advised to:
    • Register with DAFM’s Plant Health and Horticulture Division plantandpests@agriculture.gov.ie;
    • Ensure that your supplier is in a position to supply the appropriate documentation;
    • Make sure your transporter or haulier is in possession of the required EU authorisations;
    • Contact your suppliers and advise them to familiarise themselves with the details set out in the FAQs;  and  
    • If you are using wood packaging or pallets with your consignments – then ensure that the wood packaging is International Standard for Phytosanitary Measure No. 15 (ISPM15) compliant.

Import controls – Animal Feed

  • If you import animal feed from the UK you will need to apprise yourself of, and comply with, the EU regulations governing the imports of such products from Third Countries,
  • This means that animal feed coming from the UK into Ireland must, after 29 March 2019, be subjected to SPS checks in accordance with the relevant regulations.
  • Importers of such products must register with DAFM as a Feed Business Operator (FeBO) and must ensure that the Third Country establishments from whom you wish to import feed has a Third Country Representative established within the EU, as provided by Regulation (EU) No 183/2005.
  • Register with the Department as soon as possible.
  • Pre-notification of animal feed from the UK, must be submitted at least 24 hours before the consignment arrives at the point of entry in Ireland.
  • In the event that the animal feed being imported contains animal by-products or is an animal by-product, additional regulatory requirements arise and please refer to the information provided at this link.
  • Further information on animal feed imports is also available here.

Exports of animals, animal products, plants and plant products to the UK 

  • While the UK has indicated that it does not intend to impose export certification requirements at this stage in respect of animal products, it will require the pre-notification of such exports.
  • Plants and plant products will require a phytosanitary certificate in respect of each consignment. See Export Certification 

New Official Controls legislation

  • The information provided in this document relates to legislation as it currently operates. 
  • However, from December 14th 2019, all official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products will be governed by a new Regulation - Regulation 2017/625.

General

  • After 29 March 2019 customs formalities will commence for all existing and new traders with the UK.  As a result, such traders will be required to make customs declarations and will therefore need to register for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.  Registration with Revenue for this number should be completed as soon as possible at Revenue.ie
  • Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) certification is an internationally recognised quality mark affording certain benefits from a Customs perspective to compliant customers. The status does not confer any advantages in respect of agri-food product consignments that are required to be checked in accordance with EU SPS legislation.
  • The Health Service Executive (HSE) is responsible for carrying out  SPS import controls  in respect of  food of non-animal origin. DAFM is responsible for carrying out all other SPS controls.
  • DAFM is obliged, under EU legislation, to charge fees for the official controls in order to recoup the full cost of inspections.
  • Comprehensive information is available on agri-food supply chains, customs requirements, currency issues and Government supports on the Bord Bia website, while comprehensive information on SPS requirements is available on the DAFM website. DAFM, Bord Bia, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, the Sea Fisheries Protection Agency and Enterprise Ireland are all available to assist agri-food companies in understanding the new requirements necessary to maintain trade in agri food products with the UK; and they can direct the businesses to appropriate trade bodies if necessary.