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

How to use the UK’s new notification system to import animals and animal products from non-EU countries.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, from 11pm on 12 April, you’ll no longer be able to use the EU’s TRACES (Trade Control and Expert System) to notify the UK authorities about an import.

Until 12 April you must continue to use TRACES.

If you’re importing into the UK from countries outside the EU you must use the ‘import of products, animals, food and feed system’ (IPAFFS) to create part 1 of a:

  • CVED (common veterinary entry document - for live animals and products of animal origin)
  • CED (common entry document - for high-risk food and animal feed of non-animal origin)

Until 12 April, to make sure that you do not lose any notifications, you may want to notify using both TRACES and IPAFFS for consignments that will arrive in the UK:

  • after 11pm on 12 April 2019
  • before 12 April 2019 but may not receive full clearance until after 11pm on 12 April - for example if a consignment is sampled for lab tests and is not released while the results are pending

If a deal with the EU is agreed

If a deal with the EU is agreed, you must continue to notify imports using TRACES during the implementation period.

When IPAFFS will be available to use

You can register for IPAFFS from early March.

From 12 April you’ll only be able to use it to import from non-EU countries and non-European Economic Area (EEA) countries. The European Economic Area (EEA) includes EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

You’ll be able to use it if you’re importing from the EU by late summer. Until then, for EU imports (and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) you’ll need to use the EU to UK import notification form from GOV.UK, which will be available shortly. Find out more in the guidance on importing animals, animal products and high risk food and feed not of animal origin after EU exit.

How to register for and access IPAFFS

You’ll need to create a Government Gateway account for the business or organisation you represent, if you do not already have one. When you enter the service you’ll be taken to Government Gateway where you can register or sign in.

You need your email address, phone number and postal address.

If you’re registering on behalf of a business or organisation, you also need the:

  • main contact details for your business or organisation (for example, for head office)
  • Companies House number if you’re registering on behalf of a limited company

Register for or sign into IPAFFS on GOV.UK.

Before you start

You must submit your notification at least:

  • one working day before your consignment is due to arrive for animals
  • one working day before the consignment is due to arrive for high-risk food and animal feed of non-animal origin
  • before the consignment is unloaded for animal products

Submit your notification as early as you can, even if you do not have all the details, so the border inspection post (BIP) or designated point of entry (DPE) can plan for its arrival.

This is especially important if your consignment is arriving out of hours.

You can return to the information to update it, even after you’ve submitted it, as long as it’s not ‘in progress’. If you need to update your notification while it’s in ‘progress’, call the BIP and ask them to send it back to you.

You need to know:

  • what you’re importing
  • the date and the estimated time the consignment will arrive at the BIP or DPE
  • which country it will come from, and the country in which is its consigned if they are different
  • the entry requirements for your consignment - the import information notes on APHA’s website give import requirements for live animals and animal products, and the Food Standards Agency has advice on high-risk foods and animal feed
  • the purpose of the consignment
  • how the consignment will be transported to the BIP or DPE
  • details of the consignor or exporter, consignee, and importer
  • the consignment’s destination

How to create a notification on IPAFFS

Complete all parts of the first section, ‘About the consignment’, to get a draft CVED or CED number.

You can continue to complete the notification or you can save and return to fill out the rest later.

About the consignment

Use this section to explain what you’re importing, where it’s from, and why you’re importing it.

If you’re importing products of animal origin, you need to say if the consignment conforms to UK regulations.

Consignment details

Use this section to include information about what you’re importing, such as number, gross and net weight, what it’s intended for and how it’ll be transported.

You must enter a flight number or ship name in the ‘identification’ field of the ‘transport to the border inspection post (BIP)’ or ‘transport to the designated point of entry (DPE)’. Enter, for example, a flight number ‘BA123’ or ship name ‘SS Atlantic Causeway’.

If your consignment is being transported in a shipping container, give the container and seal numbers. If you have more than one seal in the same container, add an additional container, entering the same container number and a new seal number.

Enter the number for the document that will accompany the consignment in the ‘document’ field, for example an air waybill, a bill of lading or ship manifest. Enter the number with no gaps or dashes.


You must add the veterinary document (health certificate) number or commercial document reference number. The document you need depends on the import requirements of the consignment.

You may be asked for an accompanying document number if you’re importing livestock, for example from a horse passport or cattle identification document.

If you’re importing a product of animal origin from a non-EU country you need to add the product’s establishment(s) of origin (for example a slaughterhouse or processing plant).

When the UK leaves the EU, the UK will still use the EU lists of approved establishments for non-EU countries. These are listed in IPAFFS.

If you cannot find the establishment you want, leave this section blank and tell the BIP as soon as possible.

Report the missing establishment to the APHA service desk on 03300 416 999 or email and include:

  • your name, email address and telephone number
  • your CVED reference number
  • the country the establishment is in
  • the name of the establishment
  • the type of establishment

If you’re importing after the UK leaves the EU, you’ll need to get an Economic Operator Register and Identification (EORI) number.


Select a trader by first searching for an existing entry for the:

  • consignor or exporter
  • consignee
  • importer

If your trader is not listed, you can create a new trader by scrolling to the bottom of the search results and selecting ‘Add new consignor or exporter’. Search for a trader’s information before creating a new entry.

For some imports you will not be able to create a new trader because it’ll need to be approved. You cannot change existing entries.

If you think your trader is approved and should be on the list, enter a note saying this in one of the fields. This will allow you to submit your notification and the establishment will be checked to see if it has been approved.

Then select the place of destination or delivery address.


You must complete this section if you’re importing live animals by giving the transporter details for when the consignment leaves the BIP. It’s sometimes needed for products of animal origin depending on the commodity or the purpose of the consignment - check the import requirements.

What happens after you submit your notification

When you submit your notification, it’s sent to the BIP or DPE. The status of your notification changes from ‘draft’ to ‘new.’

You can see the status of your notification at all points of the process.

When the consignment is checked at the BIP or DPE, the status will change to say if your consignment is ‘rejected’ or ‘valid’.

The BIP or DPE will contact you if there are any issues.

You can make changes to your notification after you’ve submitted it, using the ‘amend’ link. This is only until its status changes to ‘in progress’, ‘valid’ or ‘rejected’. If you make changes you must resubmit the updated version.

Amending the notification will create a new version number, but the reference number will stay the same.

When a notification is ‘in progress’ it can be changed by the BIP or DPE. It’ll change to the ‘amend’ status, for you to amend and resubmit.

You can delete a notification if you need to.

You can also duplicate an existing notification, using ‘copy as new.’ ‘Copy as new’ will copy all of the fields apart from net and gross weight, transport and arrival information, and the veterinary document (health certificate) information.

If you need help

If you’re having problems completing your notification, contact the APHA service desk on 03300 416 999 or

Published 20 February 2019
Last updated 18 March 2019 + show all updates
  1. URL for IPAFFS system updated
  2. Updated with new information about imports process after 29 March if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, and the link to the IPAFFS system.
  3. First published.