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Ovine & Caprine Semen, Ova and Embryos

1. Council Directive 92/65/EEC establishes the general animal health conditions for the import into the territory of the EU of ovine and caprine ova, semen and embryos. It also lays down the conditions for approval of semen collection and storage centres and embryo collection and production teams.

2. Ovine & caprine ova, semen and embryos must be produced in accordance with the rules laid down in this Directive. Particular attention should be paid to the various Annex D chapters as follows :

  • Chapter I on the conditions applicable to semen collection centres, semen storage centres, embryo collection teams and embryo production teams
  • Chapter II on the conditions applicable to donor animals
  • Chapter III on the requirements applicable to semen, ova and embryos
  • Chapter IV on the requirements applicable to donor females

3. Commission Decision 2010/472/EU lays down the lists of third countries from which Member States are authorised to import semen, ova and embryos of the ovine and caprine species from.

  • Annex I: Lists the countries authorised to import ovine/caprine semen from
  • Annex III: Lists the countries authorised to import ovine/caprine ova and embryos from

4. Imports must also only come from an approved semen collection or storage centre or an approved embryo collection and production team within these approved countries. 


5. Commission Decision 2010/472/EU also lays down the transport conditions for consignments of ovine& caprine ova, semen and embryos including that:

6. The semen shall not be transported in the same container as other consignments of semen that are:

(a) not intended for introduction into the Union


(b) are of a lower health status

7. The semen shall be placed in closed and sealed containers and the seal shall not be broken during transport.

  1. Consignments of ovine & caprine ova, semen and embryos from third countries must be accompanied by a health certificate, which conforms to the model as laid down in Commission Decision 2010/472/EU, which is signed by an official veterinarian or inspector of the veterinary authority in the country of origin.

  2. Model health certificates for ovine & caprine semen can be found in Annex II of Commission Decision 2010/472/
  3. The model health certificate for ovine & caprine ova and embryos can be found in Annex II of Commission Implementing Decision 2014/802/EU:

1. Consignments of germinal products 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, this 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.