Exporting equines to EU Member States

Registered and Unregistered equines and horses:

‘Equine’ animal means an animal of the species of solipeds belonging to the genus Equus (including horses, asses and zebras) and the offspring of crossings of those species. ‘Horse’ means an animal of the species Equus caballus

Registered equine animal means an animal defined in Article 2 of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/692

  1. a purebred breeding animal of the species Equus caballus and Equus asinus entered or eligible for entry in the main section of a breeding book established by a breed society or breeding body recognized in accordance with Article 4 or 34 of Regulation (EU) 2016/1012
  2. a kept animal of the species Equus caballus registered with an international association or organisation, either directly or through its national federation or branches, which manages horses for competition or racing

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.

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.

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.

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.

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) EQUI-INTRA-CON 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 (consignments of more than 1 animal) for breeding, production or slaughter to EU Member States (including registered horses) Intra Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC) EQUI –INTRA-CON and notified to the member state via TRACES

a passport (issued by any Passport Issuing Organisation – PIO) or for registered horses a passport that has been issued by a PIO designated and approved for that purpose
Movement of an individual horse not intended for slaughter to EU Member States including registered horses Intra Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC) EQUI-INTRA-IND and notified to the member state via TRACES

a passport (issued by any Passport Issuing Organisation – PIO) or for registered horses a passport that has been issued by a PIO designated and approved for that purpose

Export certification for breeding, production or slaughter horses to the EU - For Exports prior to 11 October 2021

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 horses (consignments of more than 1 animal) for breeding, production or slaughter to EU Member States (including registered horses) - For Exports from 11 October 2021

Horses in this category must be accompanied by a passport. In these cases the passport can be issued by any passport issuing organisation or for registered horses a passport that has been issued by a PIO designated and approved for that purpose. Equidae for slaughter means equidae intended to be transported directly to the slaughterhouse for slaughter. 

Export certification for registered horses - For Exports prior to 11 October 2021

Export certification of an individual horse (not intended for slaughter) to EU Member States – For Exports from 11 October 2021

Horses in this category must be accompanied by a passport. In these cases the passport can be issued by any passport issuing organisation orfor registered horses a passport that has been issued by a PIO designated and approved for that purpose.

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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