Guidance

Importing live animals or animal products from non-EU countries: general licences and authorisations

List of general licences and authorisations which allow certain animals and products of animal origin to be imported into Great Britain.

Certain animals and products of animal origin that are not covered by European Union legislation or where EU legislation states that the animal or product must be authorised, require an general import licence or authorisation before they can be imported into Great Britain.

Read our guidance on general licences.

If the general licence or authorisation you need is listed below, you don’t have to apply, but you must make sure you follow the conditions in the published licence. If there’s no general licence or authorisation for the commodity you wish to import, you must apply for a specific licence or authorisation.

Genetic material

This is for semen, ova and embryos of livestock, canine, feline, rodent, lagomorph and equine species entering England from the Channel Islands, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, or countries outside the EU (known as “third countries”).

Live animals

These general licences cover domestic and non-domestic livestock (cattle, pigs, sheep, goats), poultry, birds and equidae (horses, ponies, donkeys) entering England from the Channel Islands, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man or countries outside the EU.

Captive or pet birds

Cattle

Sheep and goats

Poultry

Pigs

Other non-domestic hoofed animals

Products for human consumption

These general licences cover animal products entering England from EU and non-EU countries.

Products not for human consumption

These general licences cover animal by-products not for human consumption entering England from EU and non-EU countries (known as “third countries”).

Research and diagnostic samples, trade samples and display items

Import conditions for research and diagnostic samples, trade samples and display items are provided for in the animal by-product legislation. They must be authorised before they are imported.

Some general licences and authorisations may need to be read together with a separate amendment notice, listed alongside it in the list below.

Research and diagnostic samples, trade samples and display items coming from other member states do not need to be licenced or authorised, but must comply with EU rules on animal by-products.

You may wish to include a copy of the facilitation letter with any consignments from EU countries.

Research and diagnostic samples

Heat treated animal products

Other products

Published 18 March 2015
Last updated 12 July 2018 + show all updates
  1. Updated general licences for research and diagnostic samples - added IMP/GEN/18/03 and IMP/GEN/18/04 which replaces IMP/GEN/14/03 and IMP/GEN/14/04.
  2. Amendment notice about Jersey being declared officially free of EBL disease for IMP/GEN/2014/09 (cattle) added.
  3. Updated the licence for "Imports of pearls in oyster shells (containing oyster flesh) in ready to sell containers not for human consumption".
  4. Removed the 'Certain finished manufactured products general licence (TAY/GEN/94/1144)' as it is out of date.
  5. Updated to reflect that the 'Certain products not subject to veterinary checks (IMP/GEN/2007/01)' licence has been revoked.
  6. Captive or pet birds general licences - added IMP/GEN/2017/02 which replaces general licences IMP/GEN/2011/07 and IMP/GEN/2004/7
  7. Updated IMP/GEN/2016/12 to version including signature, date of issue and stamp.
  8. Added general licence for the import of meat extracts or meat concentrates (IMP/GEN/2017/01).
  9. Updated to reflect that the 'Glucosamine, chondroitin and chitosan-livestock, poultry, fish (IMP/GEN/2015/05)' authorisation has been revoked.
  10. Added general authorisations for gelatine capsules for human consumption: IMP/GEN/2016/07, IMP/GEN/2016/08, IMP/GEN/2016/09, IMP/GEN/2016/10, IMP/GEN/2016/11 and IMP/GEN/2016/12.
  11. Removed the Pet health feed and supplements (TAY/GEN/2005/912) licence as it is out of date.
  12. Added general licence for import of bovine ova and embryos from Northern Ireland (IMP-GEN-2016-05).
  13. Updated the licence: Import of laboratory produced Rodent or Lagomorph Embryos/Ova/Semen to a research facility in Great Britain (IMP/GEN/RM37).
  14. Added general licence for import of laboratory produced Rodent or Lagomorph Embryos/Ova/Semen to a research facility in Great Britain (IMP/GEN/RM37).
  15. Added licence for fresh or chilled hides and skins from ungulates for further processing from The Channel Islands and Isle of Man (IMP/GEN/2016/04).
  16. Replaced Cattle from Isle of Man (IMP/GEN/2015/01) with Cattle from Isle of Man (IMP/GEN/2016/03).
  17. Added licence for imports of pearls in oyster shells (containing oyster flesh) in ready to sell containers not for human consumption (IMP/GEN/2016/02).
  18. Added 'Dog or cat semen from donors compliant with regulation 576/2013 or 998/2003' to genetic material
  19. Replaced licence: IMP/GEN/2010/13 with IMP/GEN/2016/01 (Cattle aged 15 days and over from Northern Ireland)
  20. IMP-GEN-2015-07 licence has been revoked and replaced with IMP-GEN-2015-09
  21. Uploaded Non-domestic ungulates from Northern Ireland (IMP/GEN/2015/08) which replaces the revoked licence IMP/GEN/2013/02.
  22. Added licence for non domestic ungulates from Isle of Man (IMP/GEN/2015/07).
  23. Added the licence "certain products for in vitro use with 10% or less animal by-product carrier/stabilizer" under 'Products not for human consumption'
  24. Updated Glucosamine, chondroitin and chitosan-livestock, poultry, fish due to an amendment to EU legislation.
  25. Replaced Sheep and goats from Isle of Man (IMP/GEN/2015/02) with Sheep and goats from Isle of Man (IMP/GEN/2015/04) as there was an error in original licence (missing conditions).
  26. Added the general licences for Cattle from Isle of Man (IMP/GEN/2015/01), Sheep and goats from Isle of Man (IMP/GEN/2015/02) and Pigs for slaughter from Isle of Man (IMP/GEN/2015/03).
  27. First published.