Guidance

Import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS)

Use IPAFFS to notify enforcement authorities about imports to Great Britain.

Importers and import agents must use IPAFFS to notify authorities in Great Britain before the following goods arrive from EU and non-EU countries:

  • live animals
  • germinal products
  • animal by-products (ABP)
  • high-risk food and feed not of animal origin (HRFNAO)
  • products of animal origin (POAO)
  • composite food products
  • plants and plant products

You do not need to notify authorities about imports from the Republic of Ireland of:

  • ABP and HRFNAO
  • POAO
  • composite products
  • plants and plant products

Start now

Before you start

Before you can use IPAFFS you must have a Government Gateway account.

If you do not have a Government Gateway account, you can set one up when you select ‘start now’.

Once you’ve set up your account you’ll be able to register for the Defra service you want to use, including the IPAFFS service.

If you already use other Defra services, you can register for IPAFFS by selecting ‘register for more services’.

If you’re an import agent acting on behalf of an importer you must register for IPAFFS using your own business details. You should not select ‘intermediaries’ on the ‘Manage account’ screen in the IPAFFS service as this does not apply to IPAFFS users.

When you raise a notification in IPAFFS, you are responsible for the consignment from when it enters Great Britain until the authorities complete their checks.

Check import rules

Find out when you need to notify authorities about your goods and other rules you must follow to import:

Get help

If you need technical help with import notifications:

If you need help to complete import notifications for:

If you need help with your customs declaration

You can call the HMRC helpline 0300 322 9434. Monday to Friday 8am to 10pm, and Saturday to Sunday 8am to 4pm.

Published 18 March 2019
Last updated 22 April 2022 + show all updates
  1. Added information for import agents acting on behalf of an importer.

  2. Updated the section 'If you need help with your customs declaration'.

  3. Added a 'If you need help with your customs declaration' section.

  4. Updated to include plants and show change in rules from 1 January 2022 for imports from the Republic of Ireland to Great Britain.

  5. Updated with new dates for the introduction of controls on imports of products of animal origin, animal by-products and high risk food and feed not of animal origin.

  6. Updated to show IPAFFS must be used for imports from the EU and European Economic Area (EEA) from 1 October 2021.

  7. Updated to show when importers can use IPAFFS to import their type of goods.

  8. Explained what you need to submit a notification, when to submit it, and added a registration on IPAFFS guide.

  9. Removed the registration guides PDFs - you can now use the service to understand how to register.

  10. Explained that you can enrol into IPAFFS if you have registered for another Defra service by signing into your service.

  11. The dates agreed with the EU commission for using IPAFFS (7 and 15 September 2020) are no longer valid - TRACES will still be the process to follow.

  12. Explained that "from 7 September 2020, you must use IPAFFS to notify authorities of GB imports of products of animal origin (POAO) from non-EU countries." Clarified processes about importing from EU and non-EU countries.

  13. Added registration guides.

  14. Removed "If your notification is shown as ‘in progress’ you’ll need to call the relevant border control post (BCP) to ask them for access to make your changes" because it only applies to non-EU imports.

  15. Added information on how and when to submit and update a notification.

  16. Updated information about IPAFFS and added a link to TRACES New Technology (NT), which must be used from 14 December 2019.

  17. IPAFFS is open for registration.

  18. Revised page to explain more about what IPAFFS is - page will be updated when IPAFFS is open for registration and when any new import processes are confirmed.

  19. Edited call out to make it clearer how TRACES and IPAFFS can be used before and after Brexit.

  20. Added note that IPAFFS is currently for testing and training only. Importers should continue to use TRACES to notify authorities of imports into the UK.

  21. First published.