Exporting equines to EU Member States

'Equidae' is defined as wild or domesticated animals of the equine (including zebras) or asinine species (or the offspring of crossings of those species) and are governed under Council Directive 2009/156/EC. Intra-Community trade in equidae is subject to harmonised EU animal health and welfare rules.

Equine Approved Authorised Veterinary Inspectors

The following link provides details of the veterinary practices in Northern Ireland that have equine approved Authorised Veterinary Inspectors (AVIs):

Tripartite Agreement

Prior to 1st January 2021 the TPA allowed for free movement of horses on the island of Ireland and to and from GB without the need for veterinary certification and also allowed movement of high health horses from UK and Ireland to France for racing/competition/breeding with a DOCOM issued from TRACES.

At the end of the transition period the UK became a 3rd country and is no longer party to the TPA. Unfortunately this includes NI as well.

However DAERA and DAFM have agreed a new Bipartite agreement that allows the continued movement of horses (except those for slaughter) on the Island of Ireland without the need for Veterinary export health certification.

Movement between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

For the movement of horses (other than animals for slaughter) between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland free movement is allowed without the need for Veterinary export health certification as long as each horse is accompanied by its passport.

NB: In these cases, the Passport can be issued by any Passport Issuing Organisation.

Movement between Northern Ireland and Great Britain

For the movement of horses between NI and GB (from NI to GB only) free movement is allowed without the need for Veterinary export health certification as long as each horse is accompanied by its passport.

NB: In these cases, the Passport can be issued by any Passport Issuing Organisation.

Summary table of trade requirements

The table below outlines the documentation required for the trade in horses to EU Member States.

Class of export from Northern Ireland

Documentation required

Horses for slaughter to the Republic of Ireland (ROI)

Intra Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC) and notified to the member state via TRACES

a passport (issued by any Passport Issuing Organisation – PIO)

Horses (other than those for slaughter) to the ROI covered under the Bipartite Agreement (BPA)

a passport (issued by any Passport Issuing Organisation – PIO)

Horses for breeding, production or slaughter to EU Member States

Intra Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC) and notified to the member state via TRACES

a passport (issued by any Passport Issuing Organisation – PIO)

Horses (other than those for breeding, production or slaughter) to EU Member States  i.e. registered horses

Intra Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC) and notified to the member state via TRACES

a passport that has been issued by a Passport Issuing Organisation (PIO) designated for that purpose

Export certification for breeding, production or slaughter horses to the EU

Horses in this category must be accompanied by a passport.  In these cases the passport can be issued by any passport issuing organisation. Equidae for slaughter means equidae intended to be transported directly to the slaughterhouse for slaughter. 

Export certification for registered horses

Registered equidae are equidae registered in studbooks established in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2016/1012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on zootechnical and genealogical conditions for the breeding, trade in and entry into the Union of purebred breeding animals, hybrid breeding pigs and the germinal products thereof, or with national bodies of international sporting organisations managing competitions.

To further clarify, the presence of a passport does not necessarily equal 'registered' status for export and trade purposes and certain passport issuing organisations can issue passports to both registered and unregistered horses. Registered status implies a higher health and welfare status for trade and export purposes because of either studbook entry or the regularity of veterinary checks and compliance with governing bodies’ vaccination policies and veterinary regulations for horses registered to compete internationally.

How do I obtain the required export certification?

Please see Live animals exports.

Export certification for equine semen collected after 31 August 2010

The documentation linked below is for the export of equine semen collected after 31 August 2010 and dispatched from the approved semen collection centre at which it was collected. This trade should be certified using TRACES health certificate 2010/470 Equine Semen Part A.

Export certification for equine semen collected before 1 September 2010

The documentation linked below is for the export of equine semen collected before 1 September 2010 and dispatched from the approved semen collection centre at which it was collected. This trade should be certified using TRACES health certificate 2010/470 Equine Semen Part B.

Export certification for equine semen despatched from an approved storage centre

The documentation linked below is for equine semen collected before 1 September 2010 or after 31 August 2010 and dispatched from an approved semen storage centre having been moved there from another centre in the EU or a Third Country. This trade should be certified using TRACES health certificate 2010/470 Equine Semen Part C.

Export certification for equine ova or embryos collected or produced after 31 August 2010

The documentation linked below is for the export of equine ova or embryos collected or produced after 31 August 2010 and dispatched by the approved embryo collection/production team of origin. This trade should be certified using TRACES health certificate '2010/470 Equine Ova or Embryos Part A'.

Export certification for equine ova or embryos collected, processed and stored before 1 September 2010 and dispatched after 31 August 2010

The documentation linked below is for the export of equine ova or embryos collected, processed and stored before 1 September 2010 and dispatched after 31 August 2010 by the approved embryo collection team of origin. This trade should be certified using TRACES health certificate '2010/470 Equine Ova or Embryos Part B'

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