Guidance

Trading with the UK: exporting animals and animal products to the UK

Guidance for trading partners that want to apply to or are currently approved to export animals and animal products into the UK.

The UK Office for Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Trade Assurance

The UK Office for Sanitary and Phytosanitary Trade Assurance will co-ordinate SPS trade assurance in the UK to ensure trading partners meet import conditions for food and feed safety and standards and for animal health and welfare.

Different procedures may apply in Northern Ireland to Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) because Northern Ireland is aligned with the EU through the Northern Ireland Protocol on SPS matters.

Trading partners can contact the UK Office for SPS Trade Assurance at ukassurance@defra.gov.uk for information on:

  • applications to export animals and animal products to the UK
  • co-ordination of inspections following new market access applications, incidents or outbreaks
  • updates to the UK’s database of establishments that are approved to export animal products to GB
  • the UK’s biosecurity and SPS assurance regimes

Existing approved countries and commodities

EU rules became UK law under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 on 1 January 2021.

The UK continues to recognise countries that were approved to export live animals and animal products to the UK on 31 December 2020.

GB manages its lists of approved countries and commodities independently from the EU.

Details of countries and commodities approved to export to GB can be found on www.legislation.gov.uk or by emailing ukassurance@defra.gov.uk.

Northern Ireland remains aligned with EU lists under the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Existing approved establishments

The UK continues to recognise establishments that were approved to export animal products to the UK on 31 December 2020.

GB manages its lists of establishments independently from the EU.

If there are any additions, deletions or changes to your country’s approved establishments you should fill in the relevant form and email it to ukassurance@defra.gov.uk.

New market access applications to GB

If you want to export animals or animal products to GB that you are not currently approved to trade in, your competent authority must submit a market access application to the UK Office for SPS Trade Assurance. It will only process applications sent from a competent authority.

If you need to apply for market access to export to GB:

  • live animals, products of animal origin, germinal products, animal by-products and hay and straw to the UK, email ukassurance@defra.gov.uk
  • controlled plants and plant products, email the UK National Plant Protection Organisation at uknppo@defra.gov.uk

Requirements for trading partners approved to export to GB

Countries approved to export to GB must:

For EU member states, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland, additional certification requirements may apply.

Use IPAFFS to pre-notify of your exports to GB

GB no longer uses the EU’s TRACES system.

To import live animals, animal by-products, animal products, and high risk food not of animal origin, you should contact your GB importer. They will pre-notify the GB authorities using the Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS).

You should use the EU TRACES system to pre-notify Northern Ireland of imports.

Residue control plan results

If you have an approved residue control plan listed in the Annex of EUR 2011/163 you must submit results annually to ukassurance@defra.gov.uk.

Published 16 December 2020
Last updated 26 March 2021 + show all updates
  1. We've changed the email address of who to contact for market access applications for plants and plant products and added Iceland to the list of countries that may need additional certificates.

  2. Updated with the name of the UK Office of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Trade Assurance which will co-ordinate SPS trade assurance in the UK.

  3. Added a link to GB lists of approved establishments.

  4. First published.