Import and Export of Live Farm Animals
There is free movement of live farm animals between EU Member States in accordance with EU trade regulations. Live farm animals are subject to veterinary inspection and health certiﬁcation at their place of origin in the exporting country and to checks at their place of destination in the importing country. This freedom of movement of animals poses extra risks for Ireland’s animal health status and calls for greater vigilance by importers and farmers to ensure that costly animal diseases are not imported.
In several sectors, voluntary codes of practice are in place, which set out additional measures of protection as far as imports are concerned. On the export side, farm animals going to EU destinations, including Northern Ireland, must be examined by an oﬃcial veterinarian in an approved Assembly Centre prior to export in order to facilitate the issue of the necessary health certiﬁcates.
EU veterinary legislation imposes a wide range of requirements with which farmers have to comply. Animals have to be identiﬁed in a manner that enables their holding of origin to be traced. All farms must be registered with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and they will be subject to oﬃcial veterinary checks on their health status.
More stringent rules apply to the import/export of live farm animals from non-EU Member States.
Import of Poultry and Hatching Eggs
Imports of poultry and hatching eggs from EU Member States are permitted under EU trade rules. Importers must give the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine advance notiﬁcation of the intended import and all imports must be accompanied by an appropriate health certiﬁcate which complies with one of the model health certiﬁcates in Council Directive 2009/158/EEC (as amended) and which is endorsed by an Oﬃcial Veterinarian, duly authorised by the Competent Authority in the Member State of export.
Imports of poultry and hatching eggs from non-EU Member States are only permitted from those regions/countries listed in Commission Regulation 798/2008 as amended by Commission Regulation 215/2010 and may only enter the EU through a Border Inspection Post approved for the import of poultry. There are no BIP facilities for poultry in Ireland.
Importation of Products of Animal Origin
Products of animal origin fall into two main categories – those intended for human consumption and those deﬁned as animal by-products. Intra-community trade and import from third countries of both these categories of products of animal origin are in general harmonised in accordance with Community Regulations for the protection of animal and human health. All traders or importers of products of animal origin into Ireland must be registered and or approved with the relevant competent authority.
The following are the principal conditions applying to trade and imports:
- For trade within the EU, products must originate from approved premises in the Member State, be appropriately health marked, labelled, packaged and accompanied by a commercial document detailing the approved establishment of origin and the consignee for the purposes of traceability;
- Imports must originate from a third country approved and listed by the European Commission for the export of that species/category of product. In addition they must come from an approved establishment, e.g. slaughterhouse, cutting plant, coldstore or processing plant that has been approved and listed for export to the EU for the product concerned;
- Consignment must be accompanied by the appropriate model health certiﬁcate or document required under EU law including, in the case of products derived from susceptible animal species, the required declaration with regard to BSE;
- Consignments may only be imported into the EU through an approved border inspection post. In Ireland approved border inspection posts for products of animal origin are at Dublin Port and Shannon Airport;
- The importer is required to provide the border inspection post of introduction with at least 24 hours advance notiﬁcation of arrival by submitting Part 1 of the CVED (Common Veterinary Entry Document – ref. Annex III to Regulation (EC) No. 136/2004);
- Consignments must be presented to the Border Inspection Post for veterinary checks on arrival and without delay. A charge is applicable for this service.
Some Licensing requirements
The importation from third countries of consignments of animal by-product for research and diagnostic purposes, display items or trade samples must be authorised in advance by a licence issued by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
The import of pathogens and pathogenic agents into Ireland is only permitted under licence issued by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine under The Importation of Pathogenic Agents Order, 1997 (S. I. No. 373 of 1997). Licenses issued by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine do not exempt importers from any prohibition, regulation or restriction imposed by any other Agency or Department.
• There is a general ban on the feeding of animal by-products to farm animals in the food chain;
• Trade and import in unprocessed animal by-products is limited to especially approved establishments;
• Animal by-products that are ﬁnished and processed products must be appropriately wrapped, labelled and transported and accompanied by a commercial document;
• Imports must originate from a Third Country approved and listed by the European Commission for the export of that species/category of animal by-product. In addition they must come from an establishment approved by the third country for export to the EU of the animal by-product concerned;
• The importer is required to provide the Border Inspection Post with prior notiﬁcation of arrival of each consignment that is to be imported;
• On arrival the consignment must be accompanied by the appropriate model health certiﬁcate required under EU law including, in the case of products derived from susceptible animal species, the required declaration with regard to BSE;
• All importers of animal products into Ireland must be registered with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Safeguard measures may be introduced at short notice, limiting or banning the import of products of animal origin from countries or regions, due to animal disease outbreaks or other public or animal health hazards. Importers are responsible for checking the current status of any requirements.
Personal Import of Animal Products
In order to protect animal and public health only products of animal origin which have been produced in accordance with EU rules may be carried in travelers’ luggage for personal or domestic consumption. Generally, this pertains to products which are on sale to the public in the Member State of origin that have been appropriately packaged and have an identifying EU health mark.
From Non-EU Countries
The importation of products of animal origin in travellers’ luggage or that are ordered remotely and delivered or sent to the consumer is prohibited with limited exceptions. This prohibition does not apply to EU Member States or Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland.
For more speciﬁc information on personal imports of products of animal origin please refer to the European Commission Health and Food Safety website: http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/animalproducts/personal_imports/index_en.htm