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Hatching Eggs

  1. Council Directive 2009/158/EC harmonises the rules and establishes the general animal health conditions for the import of hatching eggs into the territory of the EU.
  1. The Directive defines ‘hatching eggs,’ as ‘eggs for incubation, laid by poultry.’
  1. This Directive describes the animal health principles on which importation is based, and the requirements to be fulfilled by a non-EU country to be authorised to export hatching eggs in particular in relation to:

    • The health status of poultry,  other domestic animals and wildlife in the non-EU country
    • The country's rules on the prevention and control of animal diseases
    • The organisation, structure, competence and power of the veterinary services
    • The organisation and implementation of measures to prevent and control contagious animal diseases
    • The guarantees which the non-EU country can give with regard to compliance with the Directive
    • The regularity and rapidity of supply of information on infectious animal diseases provided by the non-EU country to the Commission and the OIE
    • Compliance with Community rules on hormones and residues

  1. The list of non-EU countries, territories or parts thereof authorised for the export of hatching eggs are laid down in Commission Regulation (EU) No 798/2008.
  1. Hatching eggs may be imported from the territory of a third country or part of the territory of a third country as laid down in Commission Regulation (EU) No 798/2008 only if they come from flocks which:
    • Prior to consignment have been held without interruption in the territory or part of the territory concerned of such country for a period to be determined in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 33(2) of Council Directive 2009/158/EC.
    • Satisfy the animal health conditions adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 33(2) of Council Directive 2009/158/EC for imports of poultry from the country in question.
  1. Hatching eggs must be imported from third countries in which avian influenza and Newcastle disease are legally notifiable diseases and which are either free from these diseases

Or

Although not free from these diseases, apply measures to control them which are at least equivalent to those laid down in Directives 2005/94/EC and 92/66/EEC respectively.   

  1. Where examination, sampling and testing for avian influenza, Mycoplasma, Newcastle disease, Salmonella, and other pathogens of animal or public health significance is required for imports of commodities into the Community in accordance with the health certificates, such commodities shall only be imported into the Community where those examinations, sampling and testing have been carried out by the competent authority of the third country concerned or where appropriate by the competent authority of the Member State of destination in accordance with Annex III of Commission Regulation (EU) No 798/2008.
  1. Commodities shall only be imported into the Community from third countries, territories, zones or compartments, where the third country concerned:
    • Informs the Commission of the disease situation within 24 hours of confirmation of any initial outbreaks of LPAI, HPAI or Newcastle disease.
    • Submits virus isolates from initial outbreaks of HPAI and Newcastle disease, without undue delay to the Community reference laboratory for avian influenza and Newcastle disease.
    • Submits to the Commission regular updates on the disease situation.

  1. Hatching eggs shall only come from establishments which have been approved by the competent authority of the Third Country concerned.
  1. Hatching eggs for import into the Community shall bear the name of the third country of origin and the word ‘hatching’ that is more than 3mm high in one of the official languages of the Community.
  1. Each package of hatching eggs as referred to in point (2) above shall contain only eggs of a single species, category and type of poultry from the same third country, territory, zone or compartment of origin and consignor, and shall bear at least the following particulars:
    • The information shown on the eggs as provided for in point (2) above
    • The species of poultry from which the eggs come
    • The consignor's name or business name and address.
  1. Breeding and productive poultry (non-ratites) which have been hatched from imported hatching eggs shall be kept for at least three weeks from the date of hatching in the hatchery or for at least three weeks on the establishment(s) to which the poultry has been sent after hatching.

  2. During the relevant periods, as referred to in point (4) above, imported breeding and productive poultry (non-ratites) which have hatched from imported hatching eggs shall be kept in isolation in poultry houses where no other flocks are present.
  1. However, they may be introduced into poultry houses where breeding and productive poultry and day-old chicks are already present. In that case, the relevant periods referred to in point (4) above shall commence from the date of introduction of the last imported bird and no poultry present shall be moved from the poultry houses before the end of those periods
  1. Imported hatching eggs shall be hatched in separate incubators and hatchers.
  1. However, imported hatching eggs may be introduced into incubators and hatchers where other hatching eggs are already present.
    • In that case, the periods referred to in point (4) above shall commence from the date of introduction of the last imported hatching egg.

  1. Imported hatching eggs of ratites shall be marked with a stamp indicating the ISO code of the third country of origin and the approval number of the establishment of origin.
  1. Each package of hatching eggs as referred to in point 1 shall contain only eggs of ratites from the same third country, territory, zone or compartment of origin and consignor, and shall bear at least the following particulars:
    • The information shown on the eggs as provided for in point (1) above
    • A clearly visible and legible indication that the consignment contains hatching eggs of ratites
    • The consignor’s name or business name and address
  1. After the import controls have been carried out in accordance with Directive 91/496/EEC, consignments of hatching eggs shall be transported directly to the final destination.
  1. Ratites which have hatched from imported hatching eggs shall be kept for a period of at least three weeks from the date of hatching in the hatchery or for at least three weeks on the establishment(s) to which they have been sent after hatching.
  1. During the relevant periods as referred to in point (4) above, ratites which have hatched from imported hatching eggs shall be kept in isolation in poultry houses where no other ratites or poultry are present.
  1. However, they may be introduced into poultry houses where other ratites or poultry are already present.
    • In that case, the periods referred to in point (4) above shall commence from the date of introduction of the last imported ratite and no ratites or poultry present shall be moved from the poultry housing before the end of those periods.
  1. Imported hatching eggs shall be hatched in separate incubators and hatchers.
  1. However, imported hatching eggs may be introduced into incubators and hatchers where other hatching eggs are already present.
    • In that case, the periods referred to in point (4) above shall commence from the date of introduction of the last imported hatching egg and the measures as provided for in that point shall apply.

  1. Consignments imported from third countries must be accompanied by the relevant health certificate, which conforms to the model laid down in Commission Regulation (EC) No 798/2008 and which is signed by an official veterinarian or inspector of the veterinary authority in the country of origin.

  2. HEP: Model veterinary certificate for hatching eggs of poultry (non-ratites)

  3. HER: Model veterinary certificate for hatching eggs of ratites

  4. LT20: Model veterinary certificate for single consignments of less than 20 units of poultry other than ratites, hatching eggs and day-old chicks.

  5. The certificate shall:
    • Be issued on the day of loading for consignment to the Member State of destination
    • Be drawn up in the official language or languages of the Member State of destination
    • Accompany the consignment in the original
    • Attest to the fact that the poultry satisfy the requirements of this Directive and those adopted pursuant to this Directive with regard to importation from third countries
    • Be valid for five days
    • Consist of a single sheet
    • Be made out for a single consignee
    • Bear a stamp and a signature of a different colour from that of the certificate

  6. In the case of New Zealand for which full equivalence has been agreed, animals must be accompanied by the model health certificate provided for in Annex 1 of Decision 2015/1901.

1. Consignments of hatching eggs entering the EU must be inspected at an EU-approved Border Control Post (BCP) where Member States' official veterinarians ensure they fulfil all the requirements provided for in EU legislation.

2. The operator responsible for the consignment must give the BCP at the intended point of entry advance notification of the arrival of the consignment.

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

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

5. Pre-notification is given by the submission of Part 1 of the Common Health Entry Document (CHED-P), as is laid down in Commission Implementing Regulation (EC) No. 2019/1715, through the online TRACES NT system.

6. Other supporting documentation associated with the consignment should be submitted at this time as well - such as the health certificate, invoice, packing list, bill etc.

  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.
    • Please note the original hard copy of the health certificate must travel with the consignment, and will be checked and held at the BCP at the point of entry into the EU.
  1. Provided all is in order with the documentary check, the consignment will then be subject to an identity check at the BCP to ensure it identifies with the consignment that was declared in the documentation.
  1. A proportion of consignments will be selected for a full physical inspection with/without sampling as appropriate.
  1. Upon satisfactory completion of the required checks, the decision is entered in Part 2 of the CHED which must accompany the consignment to the first place of destination referred to in the CHED.
  1. If the consignment does not meet the import requirements, the consignment may be rejected and either re-exported or destroyed.