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Brief Guide to Importing Animal Products from Third Countries

  1. Importation of animal products from third countries (i.e. non EU countries)  must comply with import conditions laid down by the EU.
  2. These import conditons ensure the animal products meet the required animal and public health standards before being released into free circulation within the EU.
  3. The products must come from a country that has been listed as an approved country to export the relevant animal products into the EU territory.
  • See the following link for further information.
  1. The products must be dispatched from an establishment that has been listed as an approved establishment by the EU, which is under the supervision and control of the competent authorities.
  • See the following link for further information.
  1. The country of export must be listed as having a residue montoring plan to show that the animal products it produces are free from unwanted residues, pesticides or contaminants.
  2. A health certificate relevant to the type of product in question, conforming to the models laid down in EU legislation must accompany the consignment.
  3. The products must be appropriately packaged and labelled for transport into the EU.
  4. The consignment must be presented to a designated Border Inspection Post (BIP) at the point of entry into the EU territory to undergo veterinary checks.

  1. The animal products requiring veterinary checks are listed by customs commodity code or ‘CN Code’ in Annex I to Commission Decision 2007/275/EC
  2. Any queries in relation to a specific animal product should be directed to the Border Inspection Post at the intended point of entry into the EU territory, with all relevant information and documentation available to help deal with the query efficiently.

  1. Border Inspection Posts (BIPs) are approved by the European Commission, and designated to deal with specific categories of animal products
  2. The EU approved Border Inspection Posts in Ireland and their  associated approved animal product designations are as follows:

BIP Location


Dublin Port

  • Packed animal products for human consumption
  • All other animal  products not for human consumption

Dublin Airport

Not approved for animal products

Shannon Airport

  • Packed animal products for human consumption
  • Packed animal products not for human consumption


Procedure for Importation of Products of Animal Origin

1. The ‘person responsible for the load’ refers to the person who is in charge of the consignment when presented at the Border Inspection Post.

a. This person is responsible for making the necessary declarations (including customs declarations) to the competent authorities on behalf of the importer.
b. In most circumstances this will be a customs agent working on behalf of the importer (as opposed to the importer him/herself).

2. This person who is responsible for the load must be registered with the Dept. of Agriculture Food and the Marine, through their Corporate Customer System (CCS).

3. To register with CCS, email who will forward on the relevant registration form for completion.

TRACES  (Trade Control and Expert System) is the European Commission’s online management tool for all sanitary requirements on intra-EU trade and importation of animals, semen and embryo, food, feed and plants. TRACES facilitates the exchange of information between all involved trading parties and control authorities and speeds up the administrative procedures.

Both the organisation and the individual people within that organisation requiring access to TRACES need to be registered in order to be able to have access to it.

1 . Importers of products of animal origin are required to register with the relevant authority in charge of the category of the product to be imported

2. The destination establishment for consignments of products of animal origin imported for human consumption must be registered as a Food Business Operator: 

3. Importers of fish and fishery products should be registered with the Dept. of Agriculture Food and Marine's Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA)

4. The destination establishment of Animal By-Product imports (including samples for Research and Diagnostic Samples) should be registered with the Dept. of Agriculture Food and Marine's Milk & Meat Hygiene/ABP/TSE Division

1. The person responsible for the load being imported (the importer or a customs agent acting on their behalf) must give the BIP at the intended point of entry advance notification of the arrival of the consignment

2. There is a required minimum pre-notification notice period of at least 24 hours' notice in advance of the consignment’s arrival

3. Failure to submit correct documentation within this timeline may result in significant delays in the consignment being processed through the Border Inspection Post.

4. Pre-notification is given by the submission of Part 1 of the Common Veterinary Entry Document (CVED-P) through the online TRACES system

5. Copies of other supporting documentation associated with the consignment should be submitted at this time as well - such as the Health Certificate, Invoice, Packing list etc.

6. Wild caught fishery products must have a Catch Certificate submitted to the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA)

7. Fishery product imports that do not require catch certificates should also be routed through the SFPA

8. Catch certificates and other relevant documentation should be submitted to the SFPA at least 72 hours prior to the arrival of the consignment

1. Providing all the documentation has been submitted correctly and within the correct timeframes, a large proportion of the documentary check can be commenced in advance of the consignment’s arrival. This includes examination of the veterinary certificate and other documents accompanying a consignment.

a. Please note the original hard copy of the health certificate must travel with the consignment, and will be checked and held at the BIP at the point of entry into the EU.

2. Provided all is in order with the documentary check, the consignment will then be subject to an identity check at the BIP to ensure it identifies with the consignment that was declared in the documentation.

3. A proportion of consignments will be selected for a full physical inspection with/without sampling as appropriate.

4. Upon satisfactory completion of the required checks, the decision is entered in Part 2 of the CVED which must accompany the consignment to the first place of destination referred to in the CVED. If the consignment does not meet the import requirements, the consignment may be rejected and either re-exported or destroyed.