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
- a valid health certificate signed by an Official Veterinarian (OV) appointed by the appropriate authority in Great Britain. The necessary health certificates and the conditions therein required for export from GB to NI can be viewed here
- Movement back to the European Union and Northern Ireland of registered horses for racing, competition and cultural events after temporary import to the UK for a period of less than 30 days: certificate 8334
- Equine animal for breeding or production to the European Union and Northern Ireland: certificate 8335
- Temporarily export a registered horse for a period of less than 90 days to the European Union or move it to Northern Ireland: certificate 8336
- Fulfillment of these conditions is a matter for consideration between the exporter and their OV in GB.
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.
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
- Entry into NI is via points of entry at Belfast and Larne specifically approved for registered and unregistered equines. Pre-notification must be provided in advance via TRACES-NT.
- An equine importer checklist is available at equine importer checklist.
- Registered equines returning to EU/NI within 30 days of exit after racing / competition in GB can avail of a re-entry EHC that does not require any blood testing. The return journey must be notified in advance via TRACES-NT and the equines must re-enter NI via points of entry at Belfast and Larne.
- The UK Government has been clear that there should be no tariffs on internal UK trade. Digital processes will be streamlined and simplified to the maximum extent, and will not require any export declaration, exit declaration, or customs and regulatory clearance for goods as they leave the rest of the UK for Northern Ireland. Furthermore, the new Trader Support Service sign up for further information will ensure that the process is straightforward even for businesses who have not previously engaged with customs, and that no direct costs are incurred.
- If moving equines to NI, the exporter does not need to pay for them to be inspected and certified. The certifier invoices the government for these costs as part of the Movement Assistance Scheme.