This page provides information on the import conditions which will apply from 1 January 2021 to equines from Great Britain (GB). Any equines moving from GB to Northern Ireland (NI) will require an EU Export Health Certificate (EHC) and pre-notification on TRACES NT 24hrs in advance. This includes registered equines returning from racing / competition or cultural event in GB.

Port of entry

Landing must take place at the port of Larne or Belfast and the person in charge of the animals must report immediately following disembarkation to a Portal Inspector and must co-operate with DAERA staff as required. Animals may not leave the Port until a Portal Inspector has authorised such departure.

Health certificate guarantees

The animals to be imported must be accompanied by

In summary equines will need to:

  • Be tested for certain diseases
  • Meet isolation and residency requirements
  • Have the right equine identification (ID)

Tests for equines before export

Tests required are:

  • equine infectious anaemia - within 90 days before travel for temporary exports (of under 90 days) for registered horses, or within 30 days before travel for permanent exports and all other temporary exports
  • equine viral arteritis - within 21 days of travel for uncastrated male equines older than 180 days, unless they meet vaccination requirements

Isolation and residency requirements before export

Horses and other equines need to be kept in certain conditions before export.

Before temporary export (less than 90 days) of a registered horse, it will need to be kept on a holding in the UK or a country with a similar health status either:

  • for 40 days
  • since its entry into the UK, if the animal was imported directly from the EU or a country with a similar health status to the UK less than 40 days before export

Before permanent export, or temporary export of any other equine, it will need to be kept separate from other equines that do not have equivalent health status for at least 30 days.

The animal also needs kept on a holding in the UK under veterinary supervision, or in a country with similar health status either:

  • for 90 days
  • since birth if the animal is younger than 90 days old
  • since its entry into the UK if the animal was imported directly from the EU less than 90 days before you export

The supervising vet does not need to be an official vet. However, an official vet must confirm that these requirements have been met before export of the equine.

Identification requirements

Registered horses can travel with their passport i.e. those registered with one of the following:

  • an EU-recognised studbook or pedigree register
  • a national branch of an international racing or competition organisation

All other equines must have a government-issued (APHA) supplementary travel ID in addition to their passport.

  • This will be sent to the OV along with the EHC
  • The official vet will supply the supplementary travel ID with the EHC when they check the animal before travel.
  • The supplementary travel ID is kept together with the horse passport and the EHC with the animal during travel.
  • The supplementary travel ID will be valid for a single journey to the EU/NI and return to GB.  A new supplementary travel ID is required every time an unregistered horse is moved to the EU/NI.

Entry into NI

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