Guidance

Transiting animals and animal products through Great Britain

Rules to follow if you’re moving animals or animal products from one third country to another third country and transiting Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales), known as ‘landbridge’ movements.

EU to Great Britain to EU transits

This guidance covers the sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements for EU goods moving from:

  • the EU to Great Britain to the EU
  • the EU to Great Britain to Northern Ireland
  • Northern Ireland to Great Britain to the EU

Live animals

Live animals transiting through Great Britain must:

  • be pre-notified on IPAFFS (Import of products, animals, food and feed system)
  • have an Intra Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC) created in TRACES (Trade Control and Export System)

You do not need a Great Britain transit health certificate.

You must attach a copy of the ITAHC to the IPAFFS notification. IPAFFS pre-notification will not replace your intra EU movement on TRACES.

High health status horses moving between France and the Republic of Ireland will travel on a DOCOM (created in TRACES).

Animals can enter and exit Great Britain through any port with no identity or physical inspections carried out at entry or exit to Great Britain.

You must email APHA at ImportsRiskManagement@apha.gov.uk to confirm that the consignment has left Great Britain territory. Use the subject line ‘Confirmation that a consignment has left Great Britain territory’.

The email needs to include the following information:

  • IPAFFS notification reference number
  • details of means of transport
  • date the consignment has left Great Britain territory
  • copy of commercial documents (bill of lading or airway bill)

You must follow animal welfare requirements for animals transiting Great Britain.

All live animals will need:

  • transporter authorisation issued by APHA
  • certificates of competence
  • vehicle approval certificates from the relevant bodies in Great Britain or Northern Ireland

You need an EU and UK journey log if you’re moving cattle, sheep, pigs, goats or unregistered horses for trade:

  • from Great Britain to the EU
  • from the EU to Great Britain
  • if your journey is more than 8 hours

You cannot use EU-issued documents (which includes Republic of Ireland) in Great Britain.

To apply for a transporter authorisation from APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency), the transporter must be represented in Great Britain. For more information contact:

The maximum permitted journey time varies by species and life stage. A consignment of animals may need to be rested for 24 hours. There are approved control posts where animals can be unloaded.

Germinal products and POAO (products of animal origin) subject to safeguard measures

Germinal products or POAO subject to safeguard measures transiting through Great Britain must:

You do not need a Great Britain transit health certificate.

You must attach a copy of the ITAHC to the IPAFFS notification. IPAFFS pre-notification will not replace your intra EU movement on TRACES.

Goods can enter and exit Great Britain through any port with no physical or ID checks required on entry or exit.

You must email APHA at ImportsRiskManagement@apha.gov.uk to confirm that the consignment has left Great Britain territory. Use the subject line ‘Confirmation that a consignment has left Great Britain territory’.

The email needs to include the following information:

  • IPAFFS notification reference number
  • details of means of transport
  • date consignment has left Great Britain territory
  • copy of commercial documents (bill of lading or airway bill)

High risk animal by-products only (Category 1 and 2 material and Category 3 Processed Animal Protein)

High risk ABP (animal by-products) transiting through Great Britain must:

You do not need a GB transit health certificate.

You must attach a copy of the DOCOM to the IPAFFS notification.

IPAFFS pre-notification will not replace your intra EU movement on TRACES.

Goods can enter and exit Great Britain through any port with no physical or ID checks required on entry or exit.

You must email APHA at ImportsRiskManagement@apha.gov.uk to confirm that the consignment has left Great Britain territory. Use the subject line ‘Confirmation that a consignment has left Great Britain territory’.

The email needs to include the following information:

  • IPAFFS notification reference number
  • details of means of transport
  • date the consignment has left Great Britain territory
  • copy of commercial documents (bill of lading or airway bill)

EU to Great Britain to EU transits from 1 January 2022

POAO not subject to safeguard measures and low risk ABP

From 1 January 2022, all other POAO and ABP from the EU to the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland via Great Britain will need to be pre-notified on IPAFFS at least 24 hours before they arrive into Great Britain.

You will also need to inform authorities in Great Britain once the consignment has left Great Britain by emailing GBtransit-notification@defra.gov.uk. Use the subject line ‘confirmation that a consignment has left Great Britain territory’.

Your email must include the following information:

  • IPAFFS notification reference number
  • details of means of transport
  • date the consignment has left Great Britain territory
  • copy of commercial documents (bill of lading or airway bill)

These goods can enter and exit Great Britain through any point of entry until 30 June 2022.

From 1 January 2022, all other POAO and low risk ABP moving from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to EU countries via Great Britain do not need to be pre-notified.

EU to Great Britain to EU transits from July 2022

Guidance on transits from the EU to Great Britain to EU from July 2022 will be available in spring 2022.

EU to Great Britain to non-EU countries transits

The SPS requirements you must meet for EU goods moving from the EU to Great Britain to non-EU countries will depend on the products you’re sending.

Live animals

Live animals transiting through Great Britain must:

  • be pre-notified on IPAFFS
  • have an Intra Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC) created in TRACES

You do not need a Great Britain transit health certificate.

You must attach a copy of the ITAHC to the IPAFFS notification. IPAFFS pre-notification will not replace your intra EU movement on TRACES.

High health status horses moving between France and the Republic of Ireland will travel on a DOCOM (created in TRACES).

Animals can enter and exit Great Britain through any port with no identity or physical inspections carried out at entry or exit to Great Britain.

You must email APHA at ImportsRiskManagement@apha.gov.uk to confirm that the consignment has left Great Britain territory. Use the subject line ‘Confirmation that a consignment has left Great Britain territory’.

The email needs to include the following information:

  • IPAFFS notification reference number
  • details of means of transport
  • date the consignment has left Great Britain territory
  • copy of commercial documents (bill of lading or airway bill)

You must follow animal welfare requirements for animals transiting Great Britain.

All live animals will need:

  • transporter authorisation issued by APHA
  • certificates of competence
  • vehicle approval certificates from the relevant bodies in Great Britain or Northern Ireland

You need an EU and UK journey log if you’re moving cattle, sheep, pigs, goats or unregistered horses for trade:

  • from Great Britain to the EU
  • from the EU to Great Britain
  • if your journey is more than 8 hours

You cannot use EU-issued documents (which includes Republic of Ireland) in Great Britain.

To apply for a transporter authorisation from APHA, the transporter must be represented in Great Britain. For more information contact:

The maximum permitted journey time varies by species and life stage. A consignment of animals may need to be rested for 24 hours. There are approved control posts where animals can be unloaded.

Germinal products and POAO subject to safeguard measures

Germinal products or POAO subject to safeguard measures transiting through Great Britain must:

Goods can enter and exit Great Britain through any port with no physical or ID checks required on entry or exit.

High risk ABP only – (Category 1 and 2 material and Category 3 processed animal protein)

High risk ABP transiting through Great Britain must:

  • be pre-notified on IPAFFS
  • have a commercial document

You must notify Defra when the consignment leaves Great Britain, by emailing GBtransit-notification@defra.gov.uk. Use the subject line ‘confirmation that a consignment has left Great Britain territory’.

Goods can enter and exit Great Britain through any port with no physical or ID checks required on entry or exit.

Products with no requirements for EU to Great Britain to non-EU transits until 1 January 2022

There are no requirements for transit across Great Britain for POAO not subject to safeguard measures.

No notification is required and the goods can enter and exit Great Britain through any port, with no physical or ID checks required on entry or exit.

EU to Great Britain to non-EU countries transits from January 2022

POAO not subject to safeguard measures and ABP

POAO not subject to safeguard measures and low risk ABP transiting through Great Britain must be pre-notified on IPAFFS.

You must notify Defra when the consignment leaves Great Britain, by emailing GBtransit-notification@defra.gov.uk.

Use the subject line ‘confirmation that a consignment has left Great Britain territory’.

Goods can enter and exit Great Britain through any port with no physical or ID checks required on entry or exit.

EU to Great Britain to non-EU countries transits from July 2022

Guidance on transits from the EU to Great Britain to non-EU countries from July 2022 will be available in spring 2022.

Transits from non-EU countries

You’ll need to meet specific requirements for SPS goods transiting:

  • from a non-EU country to Great Britain to a non-EU country
  • from a non-EU country to Great Britain to the EU
  • POAO, ABP and germinal products

POAO, ABP and germinal products from a non-EU country transiting through Great Britain must:

  • be pre-notified on IPAFFS at least one working day before your consignment is due to arrive
  • have a Great Britain health certificate

The goods must enter and exit Great Britain at an established point of entry with an authorised BCP (border control post) for documentary and identity checks. Physical checks are only carried out in cases of suspected non-compliance.

Live animals

Live animals transiting through Great Britain must:

  • be pre-notified on IPAFFS at least one working day before your consignment is due to arrive
  • have a Great Britain health certificate

The goods must enter Great Britain at an established point of entry with an authorised BCP for document, ID and physical checks.

You must follow animal welfare requirements for animals transiting Great Britain.

Imports from non-EU countries to Great Britain that travel through the EU

This guidance covers the requirements for imports of live animals, germinal products and ABP, that originate in a non-EU country and transit the EU before being imported into Great Britain.

Live animals, germinal products and ABP

Live animals, germinal products and ABP subject to veterinary checks that originate in a non-EU country and transit EU territory before arriving in Great Britain do not need to enter Great Britain at an established point of entry with an authorised BCP if:

  • the goods have a Great Britain health certificate certified in the third country of origin
  • a Great Britain importer has pre-notified on IPAFFS at least one working day before the expected time of arrival at the point of entry
  • you can show proof of a successful health inspection – you can upload the CHED to the IPAFFS notification

On IPAFFS, select the EU member state the goods are travelling from as the ‘country of origin’.

If the goods have not met these criteria then they must:

  • be pre-notified on IPAFFS at least one working day before the expected time of arrival at the point of entry – select the non-EU country the consignment originated from as the ‘country of origin’
  • have a Great Britain export health certificate
  • enter Great Britain at an established point of entry with an authorised BCP so they’re available for document, identity and physical checks

High risk food and feed not of animal origin (HRFNAO)

HRFNAO are goods which have specific import conditions on entry into Great Britain. See a list of goods with restrictions.

HRFNAO from a non-EU country that transit the EU before import into Great Britain will need to enter Great Britain through an established point of entry with an authorised BCP for those HRFNAO goods.

HRFNAO must:

  • be pre-notified on IPAFFS at least one working day in advance of the goods’ arrival – select the non-EU country the consignment originated from as the ‘country of origin’
  • enter Great Britain at an established point of entry with an authorised BCP so they’re available for document, identity and physical checks

HRFNAO listed in Annex 2 of 2019/1793 will need to be accompanied by:

  • an official certificate from the country of origin
  • laboratory analysis from the country of origin

Check if your product must be checked at a BCP by looking for the CN code for the product in the following regulations:

Products of animal origin (POAO)

Consignments of POAO originating from a non-EU country, transiting EU territory, before being imported to Great Britain must enter Great Britain at an established point of entry with an authorised BCP.

Check if your product must be imported through a point of entry with an authorised BCP by looking for the CN code for the product in regulation 2019/2007.

POAO must:

If your consignment of POAO has undergone full animal and public health checks and has been cleared for circulation on the EU market, follow the guidance for importing POAO to Great Britain from the EU.

If you need help with import notifications

Call the APHA helpline on 03300 416 999 or email APHAServiceDesk@apha.gov.uk.

If you need help with your customs declaration

Call the HMRC helpline on 0300 322 9434

Monday to Friday 8am to 10pm

Saturday and Sunday 8am to 4pm

Published 18 December 2020
Last updated 20 December 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated the section 'If you need help with your customs declaration'.

  2. Guidance updated to show change in rules from 1 January 2022 for imports from the Republic of Ireland to Great Britain.

  3. Added a 'If you need help with your customs declaration' section to the bottom of the page.

  4. Updated the guidance with new dates for the introduction of controls on transit goods.

  5. Removed references to unique notification numbers (UNN) for health certificates as they do not apply to imports from non-EU countries transiting the EU to Great Britain.

  6. Updated to reflect the new timetable for the introduction of the next stage of UK import requirements for transit goods.

  7. Added the email address for receiving countries to notify APHA when a consignment has left GB.

  8. First published.