Guidance

Movement Assistance Scheme: get help with moving agrifood goods to Northern Ireland

Get advice and help to meet new requirements, and understand how you can claim money back if you provide an inspection and certification service.

There are new requirements for moving live animals, products of animal origin, plants and plant products (agrifood goods) from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

The Movement Assistance Scheme means that if you’re a:

  • trader moving live animals and other animal or plant products you do not need to pay to have them inspected and certified
  • official veterinarian or other certifier you must not charge for inspecting and certifying - you can invoice the government for the costs

Government inspectors will not charge for inspecting and certifying plants or plant products.

Traders: inspection and certification of goods

If your business is moving live animals or products of animal origin from GB to NI, you do not need to pay for the export health certificates (EHCs) you will need.

Official veterinarians and other official certifiers will not charge you for inspecting and certifying your goods. Instead, they’ll invoice the government for the certification costs.

Read guidance on the requirements you’ll need to meet when moving animals and products of animal origin:

If your business is moving plants or plant products from GB to NI, you do not need to pay for the phytosanitary certificates (PCs) you will need. Government inspectors will not charge you for inspecting and certifying your goods.

Read guidance on the requirements you’ll need to meet when moving plants and plant products.

Contact the helpline

You can get advice from the Movement Assistance Scheme (MAS) helpline on moving agrifood goods from Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) to Northern Ireland.

Advisers can help with the new requirements including advice on export health certificates, live animals, animal products, plant and plants product types.

Movement Assistance Scheme helpline

Telephone: 0330 0416 580
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm on weekdays (excluding bank holidays)
Find out about call charges.

Certifiers: get help with costs

If you’re an official veterinarian (OV) or other certifying officer, you’ll need to invoice the government for the costs of the service you provide. You must be registered on Export Health Certificate Online to claim back your costs.

Get started and carry out checks

You need to register on EHC Online.

You’ll be notified of new certification requests on EHC Online.

After your first request you’ll be contacted by Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) with details of how to receive payment. You’ll then be given a purchase order number by email, which you can use when raising invoices.

If you have issues getting set up, further guidance will be available on the Vet Gateway.

Follow the current inspection process to perform an EHC check. If the goods pass inspection you can sign the certificate as you do now.

You’ll need to sign in to EHC Online after the inspection to confirm that the:

  • checks have been completed
  • details in are in line with the certification you’ve provided on the EHC

Get a reimbursement

For GB to NI certificates, you should consolidate your invoices into regular batches, at least monthly.

You need to make sure the invoices include the:

  • individual GB to NI EHCs which have been certified
  • cost of each certificate
  • purchase order number provided to you by APHA

You will need to email the invoices to APHA for reimbursement. This email address will be available on the Vet Gateway.

You’ll receive a payment in your bank account held on file.

You can claim up to £150 excluding VAT for each non-equine EHC, or up to £500 excluding VAT for each equine EHC. These caps cover the cost of the EHC with additional allowances for reasonable travel expenses allowed at 45p per mile, in line with current HMRC rates.

Government will monitor the performance of the scheme, and review it after 3 months to determine how to best provide ongoing support to traders.

Certifying goods to be exported from GB to EU and non-EU countries

You should continue to invoice traders for certificates for GB to EU and GB to non-EU countries as normal.

Published 16 December 2020