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Equine Animals

  1. Council Directive 2009/156/EC establishes the general animal health conditions for the import into the territory of the EU of equidae.
  1. The Directive defines ‘equidae’ as wild or domesticated animals of the equine (including zebras) or asinine species or the offspring of crossingof those species.
  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 equidae in  particular in relation to:
  • The health status of the equidae, of other domestic animals and wildlife in the non-EU country
  • The legislation of the non-EU country in relation to animal health and welfare
  • The country's rules on the prevention and control of infectious or contagious animal diseases
  • The organisation, structure, competence and power of the veterinary services
  • The assurances the competent veterinary authority of the non-EU country can give regarding compliance or equivalence with the relevant animal  health conditions applicable in the Community
  • Membership of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)
  • The regularity and rapidity of information on infectious animal diseases provided by the non-EU country to the Commission and the OIE
  • Any experience of previous imports of live equidae from the non-EU country
  • The results of any Community inspections/audits carried out on the non-EU country

1. ‘Registered equidae’ means any equidae registered as defined in Council Directive 90/427/EEC on the zootechnical and genealogical conditions governing intra-Community trade in equidae identified by means of an identification document issued by:

a. The breeding authority or any other competent authority of the country where the animal originated which manages the studbook or register for that breed of animal

Or

b. Any international association or organisation which manages horses for competition or racing.

2. ‘Equidae for slaughter’ means equidae intended to be transported either directly or after transit through an approved  marshalling centre, referred to in Article 7 of Council Directive 2009/156/EC, to the slaughterhouse for slaughter.

3. ‘Equidae for breeding and production’ means equidae other than those referred to in points (1) and (2) above

1. Equine animals must be identified in accordance with Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/262

2. The list of non-EU countries, territories or parts thereof authorised for the export of equidae are laid down in Annex I of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/659.

3. These authorised countries, territories or parts thereof are categorized into Sanitary Groups (A-G) within which specific animal health guarantees must be met prior to import into the EU.

a. Each of the 7 Sanitary Groups requires that serological tests for certain equine diseases are performed, and negative results obtained.

4. Special animal health requirements exist for transport by air  including:

a. The crates, containers or jet-stalls and the surrounding airspace in the transport compartment must be sprayed with an appropriate insect repellent in combination with an insecticide immediately after the closing of the doors of the aircraft. 

b. The captain of the aircraft must complete and sign the declaration set out in Part 1 of Annex V of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/659.

5. Special animal health requirements exist for transport by sea including:

a.The vessel is scheduled to dock directly at a port in the Union without calling into a port of a third country or in a part of the territory of a third country not included in Annex 1 of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/659

b. The crates, containers or stalls and the surrounding airspace in the transport compartment are sprayed with an appropriate insect repellent in combination with an insecticide immediately after the closing of the compartment.                                                         

and

c. The captain of the ship completes and signs the declaration set out in Part 2 of Annex V of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/659.

1. All equidae must comply with the animal health requirements laid down in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/659 and be accompanied by the relevant original health certificate, signed by an Official Veterinarian of the veterinary authority in the country of export under one of the following six designations:

2. Temporary admission of registered horses for a period of less than 90 days:

See Annex II Part 1 Section A

3. Re-entry into the Union of registered horses for racing, competition and cultural events after temporary export for a period of less than 30 days:

See Annex II Part 2 Section A

4. Re-entry into the Union of registered horses for competition after temporary export for less than 90 days to participate in equestrian events organised under the auspices of the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI):

See Annex II Part 2 Section B Chapter 1

5. Re-entry into the Union of registered horses for racing after temporary export for a period of not more than 90 days to participate in specific race events in Australia, Canada, the United States of America, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates or Qatar

See Annex II Part 2 Section B Chapter 2

6. Imports into the Union of an individual registered horse, registered equine animal or equine animal for breeding and production

See Annex II Part 3 Section A

7. Imports of equidae for slaughter:

See Annex II Part 3 Section B

8. In all circumstances, the health certificate must:

  • Be issued on the day of loading or, in the case of registered horses, on the last working day before embarkation
  • Be in English and the official languages of the country of export and the Member State in which the import inspection is carried out
  • Consist of a single sheet or linked sheets following the principles of certification
  • Be made out for a single consignee
  • Be valid for a period of 10 days

  1. Live animals entering the Union must be inspected at an EU-approved Border Inspection Post (BIP) where Member States' official veterinarians ensure they fulfil all the requirements provided for in the EU legislation.
  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.
  1. There is a required minimum pre-notification notice period of at least 24 hours’ notice in advance of the consignment’s arrival.
  1. Failure to submit correct documentation within this timeline may result in significant delays in the consignment being processed through the Border Inspection Post.
  1. Pre-notification is given by the submission of Part 1 of the Common Veterinary Entry Document (CVED-A), as is laid down in Commission Regulation (EC) No 282/2004, through the online TRACES system.
  1. Copies of other supporting documentation associated with the consignment such as the Health Certificate should be submitted at this time as well.
  1. The CVED provides a standardised format for documentation relating to declaration and checks for live animals arriving into the Union so that data on imported consignments can be properly managed and processed within TRACES, the EU's integrated veterinary traceability system.

1. All live animals from third countries require veterinary checks at their point of entry into the European Union, as listed in Annex I to Commission Decision 2007/275/EC.

2. EU harmonised import controls are carried out at an approved Border Inspection Post (BIP) that is designated to deal with that species of animal. The consignment may only enter Ireland through an approved Border Inspection Post (BIP) designated for that species.

3. There are three different types of designation:

a. ‘E’ for equine animals,

b. ‘U’ for ungulate animals

c. ‘O’ for other animals

4. The following locations in Ireland have approved Border Inspection Posts in operation for live animals:

a. Dublin Port – Designation for Equine (E) animals, Ungulates (U) animals (excluding bovine, ovine, caprine or porcine species) and Other (O) live animals

b. Rosslare Port – Designation for Equine (E) animals, Ungulates (U) and  Other (O) live animals

c. Dublin Airport - Equine (E) animals only

d. Shannon Airport - Equine (E) animals only

5. Consignments of live equine animals must be presented to an approved Border Inspection Post no later than 10 days from the date of certification of the consignment in the third country of dispatch.

6. Where equidae are transported by sea, the period of 10 days referred to above shall be extended by the time of transport on sea.

7. 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. 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

8. Provided all is in order with the documentary check, the consignment of live animals will then be subject to an identity check and physical check with/without sampling as appropriate at the BIP.

9. 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. The consignment of live animals may then circulate freely within the EU.

10. If the consignment does not meet the import requirements, the consignment may be rejected entry and re-exported, or in exceptional circumstances, humanely euthanized if necessary.