Following the end of the transition period there are significant changes to the requirements which must be met for birds moving from GB to NI.

These requirements apply even if the birds originated in NI and moved to GB recently, for example to attend a show. 

The procedures involved with the movement of birds from NI to GB, NI to EU, NI to Rest of World(ROW), EU to NI and ROW to NI remain unchanged. More details on these procedures are accessible via the table at the bottom of the page.

Please also note that due to the current Avian Influenza situation additional controls and restrictions are in place with regard to the movement of birds you can view the latest information here.

The procedure to be followed when moving birds from GB to NI is set out in the steps below. Alternatively a useful checklist has been developed to help with the new processes.  You can access it here.

  1. Pre-notify consignment on TRACES NT
  2. Have the correct documentation - Export Health Certificate
  3. Enter via the authorised Point of Entry

1. Pre-notifying on TRACES NT

You must pre-notify the arrival of your consignment at least 24 hours in advance using the TRACES NT system. We have provided a range of guidance and support tools to help you get started on TRACES NT including details about the system. The guidance can be accessed here.

2. Export Health Certificates (EHCs)

Export Health Certificates (EHC) must accompany each consignment of animals moving from GB to NI.

The rules on moving birds from GB-NI vary depending on the category of bird.

Please click on the appropriate heading below for more information on the category of birds you wish to import.

What else do you need to know?

Commercial Poultry Imports moving from GB to NI

The conditions for certification will depend on the EHC required which will vary depending on which category of poultry is being exported to Northern Ireland. Specimen certificates and guidance notes for each category can be found at the links below. Conditions generally relate to national and local disease freedoms, testing and residency requirements. The exporter should contact the certifying veterinarian in GB for further details in relation to the specific conditions for the consignment being exported.

Poultry imports of less than 20 birds moving from GB to NI

This includes NI birds which have attended a GB poultry show and are returning to NI and also pheasants, quail, partridges and pigeons (other than those being imported to release as part of a race).

Commission Regulation (EC) No 798/2008 details the veterinary certification requirements for the introduction of live poultry into the European Union and provides templates for the Export Health Certificates (EHC) that must accompany each consignment of animals. Following the end of the transition period, under the Northern Ireland Protocol the requirements of this Regulation will apply to all movements of poultry from GB to Northern Ireland.

All consignments of less than 20 units of poultry moving from GB to Northern Ireland must be accompanied by EHC number 8234. The specimen certificate and Notes for Guidance for the completion of this certificate can be found here on the Gov.UK website.

The EHC includes a requirement that the poultry has been kept for at least 21 days prior to export on a holding in isolation from other poultry and has had negative blood tests for Salmonella in the month prior to export. This means that the poultry would have to complete a residency period in a flock in GB before they would be eligible for certification to move back to Northern Ireland.

Other requirements in the EHC relate to

  • residence of the birds in the UK for 3 months or since hatching
  • the status of the UK or the region of dispatch in relation to diseases of poultry
  • the flock of dispatch in relation to diseases of poultry
  • the vaccination history of the poultry
  • conditions of transport for the birds

For consignments of more than 20 units of poultry, including pheasants, partridges etc, see section on commercial poultry imports.

You should also note that for the return of NI birds following attendance at an event/show the certifying veterinarian in GB may require additional information or documentation from the exporter in order to be able to complete the EHC.  You should contact your local DAERA Direct office for further guidance.

Five or less pet birds accompanying their owner being imported from GB to NI

Commission Decision 2007/25/EC details the veterinary certification requirements for the introduction of live pet birds accompanying their owners into the European Union and provides the template for the Export Health Certificates (EHC) that must accompany the birds. Following the end of the transition period, under the Northern Ireland Protocol the requirements of this Regulation will apply to all movements of poultry from GB to Northern Ireland.

Owners who wish to bring pet birds (pigeons are not considered as pet birds) from GB to Northern Ireland must be accompanied by EHC number 8217. The specimen certificate and Notes for Guidance for the completion of this certificate can be found here on the Gov.UK website.

This EHC must be completed by an official veterinarian in GB who has examined the birds within 48 hours prior to dispatch from GB. In order to complete this EHC, the vet must certify that the birds are healthy and either

  • Have been kept on the premises of dispatch in GB for at least 30 days or
  • Have been kept on the premises of dispatch in GB for at least 10 days and have been tested negative for avian influenza (bird flu) during that 10 day period.

Upon arrival in Northern Ireland, the birds must be moved to the owners household and must not be entered in any shows, fairs, exhibitions or other gatherings for a period of 30 days.

Importing birds other than poultry, pet birds accompanied by their owner or racing pigeons from GB to NI

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 139/2013 details the veterinary certification requirements for the introduction of birds other than poultry, racing pigeons or pet birds into the European Union and provides the template for the Export Health Certificates (EHC) that must accompany the birds.

Exporters who wish to send birds other than poultry, pet birds or racing pigeons from GB to Northern Ireland must ensure they are accompanied by EHC number 8231. The specimen certificate and Notes for Guidance for the completion of this certificate can be found here on the Gov.UK website.

This EHC must be completed by an official veterinarian in GB who has examined the birds within 48 hours prior to dispatch from GB. In order to complete this EHC, the vet must certify that the birds

  • Have been kept in an approved breeding establishment for at least 21 days or since hatching
  • Are captive bred
  • Have been tested negative for avian influenza (bird flu) between 7 and 14 days prior to dispatch from GB

Importing Racing Pigeons as part of a race from GB to NI

If you are importing a racing pigeon just to release as part of a race, i.e. released in Northern Ireland but immediately returning to the country of origin as part of that race and not staying in Northern Ireland, then different rules apply.

If you wish to import a racing pigeon from a non-EU country for the purposes of taking part in a race, please contact DAERA for further advice. Please note due to the current AI situation such moves may not be possible.  You should contact your local DAERA Direct Office for advice. 

CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) birds

Some species of birds are covered by the CITES legislation. For example, virtually all parrot species are on the list with the exception of budgerigars, cockatiels, lovebirds and ring-neck parakeets.

If you wish to import birds which are among the CITES listed species, the birds must be accompanied by the appropriate CITES documentation in addition to the appropriate EHC and transported according to “CITES guidelines for transport”.

The main office for the UK is based in Bristol and further information can be obtained from the UK CITES website. Please contact the CITES licensing Section (telephone 0117 372 8774) for further advice.

Birds imported from the EU transiting through GB

For all categories of birds being exported from the EU to Northern Ireland, there are no changes to previous certification requirements even if the birds are being transported through GB to get to NI.

3. Point of entry for live animals

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.

Information on the Points of Entry is available here.

The table below provides a summary of what has changed and what has remained the same following the end of the EU Exit transition period.

Direction of move

Has anything changed?

Guidance

NI-GB

No*

The general licences setting out the conditions for such moves is available here.

*Please note due to the current AI situation there may be changes to these rules.  You should contact  AHPA imports via imports@apha.gsi.gov.uk for the most current rules.

NI-EU incl ROI

No*

Guidance is available here.

*Please note due to the current AI situation there may be changes to these rules.  You should contact your local DAERA Direct office for details on any changes to these rules.

NI- RoW

No*

Guidance is available here.

*Please note due to the current AI situation there may be changes to these rules.  You should contact your local DAERA Direct office for details on any changes to these rules.

EU incl ROI-NI

No

Guidance is available here.

RoW-NI

No

Guidance is available here.

GB-NI

Yes

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

In summary:

  • The general licencing arrangements are no longer applicable. 
  • 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
  • Consignments will now need to be accompanied by the relevant Export Heath certificate signed by an Official Veterinarian.
  • There are residency and disease testing requirements

Full guidance on the changes is provided below.

 

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