Movement of equines between Ireland and the UK after the transition period ends
17th September 2020
This notice provides information on the movement of equines between Ireland and the UK in relation to Brexit after
the transition period ends.
During the transition period
The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020. A transition period will apply until 31 December 2020. During this
period, EU rules will continue to apply to the UK, and the UK will remain part of the EU’s Single Market.
Current EU rules on movement of horses between Ireland and the UK will apply during the transition period. The
Tripartite Agreement (TPA) continues in force.
The EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement includes a Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland which protects the all-island
economy and avoids a hard border on the island. In accordance with the Protocol, Northern Ireland will be treated
like an EU Member State in relation to the North/South movement of equines. Details of how some aspects of the
Protocol will work in practice will be clarified during the transition period by the EU and the UK, working together, in a
After the transition period ends
When the transition period ends, the TPA will no longer be in force.
The following requirements will apply:
a) Equines moving from Great Britain (GB) to Ireland will only be allowed enter Ireland if the UK is listed by the EU in
the relevant legislation as a third country permitted to export equines to the EU. If listed, the requirements for moving
equines from GB to Ireland will depend on the sanitary group (health status category) in which the EU lists the UK. It is
likely that, if the UK is listed, it will be listed in Sanitary Group A, although this will only be confirmed closer to the date
on which the transition period ends.
b) Equines must be moved in accordance with Customs procedures. Please see https://www.revenue.ie/en/customstraders-
and-agents/brexit/index.aspx for further information.
c) Equines moving from Ireland to GB will be subject to certain requirements, according to the UK’s Border Operating
Model. These requirements include:
From 1st January 2021
o pre-notification of import of live animals through the UK Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed
System (IPAFFS )1 ,
o export health certification,
o documentary checks and physical inspection at point of destination (based on risk assessment).
From 1st July 2021
1 Further information on IPAFFS can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/import-of-products-animals-food-and-feed-system
o In addition to the requirements outlined above, equines must enter GB through a Border Control Post
(BCP). Documentary checks and physical inspection will take place at the BCP.2
Furthermore, the transporter will require:
o a Certificate of Competence3,
o a valid Vehicle Approval Certificate, issued by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
o a Transporter Authorisation, issued by the UK Animal and Plant Health Association (APHA).
o a journey log, to be submitted to APHA and accompany the equine in certain cases.4
2 A full list of UK BCPs can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-border-inspection-posts-contact-details/live-animals-and-animal-products-border-controlposts-
3 Please contact DEFRA for an up-to-date list of independent organisations which carry out assessments and award certificates.
4 Details on these can be found here: http://apha.defra.gov.uk/External_OV_Instructions/Export_Instructions/Certification_Procedures/Ungulate_Exports/Animal_Welfare.html
For further information please consult the UK’s Border Operating Model, and check for updates of the UK guidance
note on ‘Importing animals, animal products and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin from 1 January 2021’,
available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/importing-animals-animal-products-and-high-risk-food-and-feed-not-ofanimal-
1. Under EU law, the rules applied to the movement of equines between an EU Member State and a 3rd country
depend on the status of the horse (registered or unregistered) and the type of movement into the EU. Common
equine movements between Ireland and GB include moving a registered horse to GB for racing/competition/a cultural
event and returning to Ireland; moving a registered equine to GB for a reason other than racing, competition or a
cultural event; moving an equine to GB for breeding or production, and returning to Ireland; importing an equine from
GB to Ireland.
2. After the transition period ends, equine animals entering Ireland from GB may only enter Ireland via an EU Border
Control Post (BCP) approved for that species. Ireland currently has 2 BCPs for entry of registered equines5: Dublin
5 registered equine’ which includes a “registered horse” is defined in EU legislation as an equine that is entered, or registered and eligible for entry, in a studbook and identified by
means of an identification document issued by:
(i) the breeding authority or any other competent authority of the country where the animal originated which manages the studbook or register for that breed of animal; or
(ii) any international association or organisation which manages horses for competition or racing;
Airport and Shannon Airport. After the transition period ends, Dublin Airport, Shannon Airport, Dublin Port and
Rosslare Port will be designated for entry of all equines (registered and non-registered).
3. Equines from GB will undergo documentary, identity and physical checks at the BCP.
4. Equines from GB must be accompanied by:
an identification document (if this is a passport issued by a UK Passport Issuing Organisation, you will need to
check if the passport is valid for entry to the EU),
a completed Export Health Certificate issued by the UK authorities including a completed owner declaration, and
a Common Health Entry Document (CHED-A).
‘equine for slaughter’ means equines intended to be transported either directly or after transit through an approved marshalling centre, to the slaughterhouse for slaughter;
equine for breeding and production’ means equines other than those mentioned above.
5. Depending on the type of equine, and type of movement, testing for Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA) and Equine
Infectious Anaemia (EIA) may be required before the equine enters Ireland.
6. Depending on the type of equine and the type of equine movement, there may a requirement for an equine
entering Ireland from GB to be resident on its holding of origin in the country of origin/an EU country for a specified
number of days before departure from GB.
Transit of equines via the UK landbridge
At the end of the transition period, controls at entry points to the EU will apply to live animals travelling from one EU
Member State to another Member State that transit through the UK.
Equine animals must be moved in accordance with Customs transit procedure. See
https://www.revenue.ie/en/customs-traders-and-agents/transit/index.aspx for further information.
The relevant part of the Common Health Entry Document (CHED) must be completed and submitted in TRACES NT
(TRAde Control and Export System, New Technology)6 in advance of the consignment’s re-entry into the EU.
6 Further information can be found here: https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/cfcas3/tracesnt-webhelp/Content/Home.htm
Equines will have to be presented for official controls at the point of exit from the EU.
Equines transiting GB may only re-enter the EU through a Border Control Post, where documentary checks will be
carried out to verify the origin of the animals and the relevant official certificates and documents accompanying the
The UK authorities should be consulted in relation to any requirement to provide advance notification when
transporting equine animals via GB landbridge.
Transport of equines between Ireland and GB
At the end of the transition period, transporter authorisations, certificates of approval of means of transport and
certificates of competence for drivers and attendants issued by the UK under Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 will no longer
be valid in the EU.
For queries in relation to obtaining transport authorisations and certificates from the Department of Agriculture, Food
and the Marine, please contact TransportApprovals@agriculture.gov.ie, or consult