Following the end of the EU-UK transition period on 31 December 2020, the rules permitting the movement of equine animals from GB to NI changed.

The general animal health conditions for the import of equidae into the European SPS zone, which includes Northern Ireland, are laid out in Council Regulation (EU) 2016/429 on transmissible animal diseases ("Animal Health Law"). The term “Equidae” is defined as wild or domesticated animals of the equine (including zebras) or asinine species or the offspring of crossing of those species. The information on this page applies to domestic equidae only, (including donkeys).

DAERA has produced detailed guidance setting out the steps for the movement of horses from GB to NI.

From 1st January 2021 the following procedures must be complied with when transporting equine animals from GB to NI.

1. You must have the correct documentation and certification

The equine to be transported needs to have the appropriate Export Health Certificate (EHC), which must be signed by an Authorised Veterinarian in GB to meet the conditions for movement into NI from GB. Details of the requirements above can be found here.

The person responsible for the consignment in NI must receive a digital copy (e.g. a colour-copy PDF scan) of the EHC and supporting documentation (e.g. Transport Certificate, Transporter Authorisation, Journey Log, if applicable, and Government ID document, if applicable) associated with the consignment from their GB supplier. The EHC will be needed for your next step: Pre-Notification

2. Pre notify online the arrival of equine animals into Northern Ireland in advance

You must pre notify the movement of equine animals in advance online by completing Part 1 of CHED-A using TRACES NT.

We have provided a range of guidance and support to help you get started on TRACES NT. The guidance can be accessed at A step by step guide to getting started on TRACES NT.

You can also find information about how to complete a CHED-A at Pre-notification of the arrival of consignments at a Northern Ireland Point of Entry from GB.

3. Points of entry for equine animals

Landing must take place at the port of Larne or Belfast port 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.

Information is available at Points of Entry (PoE).

4. Check you have the right equine ID

All horses in Northern Ireland need to have a horse passport to identify them. Further information on how to obtain a passport is included at Horse Passports.

Registered Equines

All Equidae or equine animals as defined in European Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/262 which are born or imported into the EU must be identified in accordance with this regulation.

The passport is a document that describes the animal, for example by breed, colour and species. It lists all vaccinations and names the registered owner.

Passports are issued by authorised Passport Issuing Organisations (PIOs). PIOs who are recognised breed societies may only issue passports for a particular breed of horse, however, for horses that do not qualify for specific breed recognition there are PIOs that will issue an identity (ID-only) passport to satisfy legal requirements. 

The presence of a passport does not necessarily equal 'registered' status for export and trade purposes.  An Equine that is ‘registered’ is one recorded with an EU–recognised breed registry or stud book, or a national branch of an international association or organisation which manages horses for competition or racing e.g. on behalf of the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) . 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. Please note certain passport issuing organisations can issue passports to both registered and unregistered horses.

The EU has accepted the UK’s application for recognition of UK studbooks. DEFRA provides lists of all UK approved PIOs that manage studbooks and a list of bodies that are the national branch of an international organisation or association which manage horses for competition or racing on its website, available here: 

5. Transporting equine animals

To help avoid delays when moving equine animals into Northern Ireland after 1st January 2021, further information is set out in the Equines - NI Consignee  Checklist.

Under the Northern Ireland Protocol, Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 will remain in operation in Northern Ireland from 1st January 2021. DAERA will continue to regulate animal welfare during domestic transport in line with these requirements.

What has changed in relation to moving equine animals between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, EU including Republic of Ireland (ROI) and the Rest of the World (RoW)?

Direction of move

Has anything changed?

Guidance

NI-GB

No

There are no changes in the way horses and other equines are moved directly from NI to GB from 1 January 2021. These movements will continue as before. Horses can continue to move between NI and GB accompanied by a valid passport issued by any Passport Issuing Organisation (PIO).

One piece of additional documentation that will be required for NI resident horses entering GB is evidence of the date of leaving NI. This is applicable to registered equines entering GB for racing / competition or cultural event and returning home. Evidence of the date of leaving the EU/NI is required to avail of the Export Health Certificate that allows re-entry back into the EU/NI within 30 days after temporary export without the need for blood testing.

Guidance is available at Equine end of transition Q&As.

NI-ROI

No

The new Bipartite agreement means horses (except those for slaughter) can continue to move between NI and ROI accompanied by a valid passport issued by any Passport Issuing Organisation (PIO).

Guidance is available at Equine end of transition Q&As and Exporting equines to EU Member States.

NI-EU

No

There are no changes to the way equines are exported from NI to the EU. These exports can continue as before.

Guidance is available at Equine end of transition Q&As and Exporting equines to EU Member States.

NI-ROW

No

Guidance to follow.

ROW-NI

No

Guidance to follow.

ROI-NI

No

The new Bipartite agreement means horses (except those for slaughter) can continue to move between NI and ROI accompanied by a valid passport issued by any Passport Issuing Organisation (PIO).

Guidance is available at Equine end of transition Q&As and Exporting equines to EU Member States.

ROI-GB via NI

Yes

Under the new Bipartite agreement, ROI horses can enter NI without veterinary certification. Horses moving directly from NI to GB do not require veterinary certification or pre-notification.

Equines travelling from ROI to GB are subject to certain requirements in accordance with the UK Border operating model.

Guidance is available at GOV.uk - The Border Operating Model.

GB-NI

Yes

There are significant changes to the requirements which must be met for horses moving from GB to NI following the end of the transition period and these requirements apply even if the horses originated in NI and moved to GB recently, for example to attend a show. 

In summary:

  • Each consignment must be pre-notified on TRACES NT at least 24 hours prior to movement to NI;
  • Each consignment must enter via an approved Point of Entry (either Larne or Belfast Port);
  • Consignments will now need to be accompanied by the relevant Export Heath certificate signed by an Official Veterinarian in Great Britain;
  • There may be residency and disease testing requirements.

Guidance is available at Equine imports from GB.

More information about moving equine animals into Northern Ireland

Instructions for Movement  of Horses GB-NI

More information about moving equine animals out of Northern Ireland

 

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