Movement of equines between Ireland and the UK
The UK left the
EU on January 31, 2020. Under the terms of UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement the UK
entered into a Transition Period that ran until December 31, 2020 whereby the
UK essentially remained within the EU Customs Union and was subject to EU
customs legislation. Since January 1, 2021, there is a customs border between
the EU and Great Britain (“GB”) and goods including horses are subject to
custom duty and VAT obligations.
Since January 1, horses are no
longer able to move freely between Ireland and Britain, and through Britain.
There is extra certification needed to move horses and these movements can only
take place through a Border Inspection Post at which, at a minimum, there are
Officials from the Department of
Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) will be hoping to do these
electronically to ensure physical inspections will be rare.
In essence, this now means that
there is an extra cost to your business through increased veterinary costs for
certifications, and the engaging of logistics companies to handle the
international travel and Customs requirements.
If moving horses for racing,
sales, or breeding purposes, you should be registered with DAFM and Revenue.
You should also be in communication with your private veterinary practitioner
in relation to the extra certification that is required, and you will also need
to understand who will carry out the various roles in the transporting of your
horses and the Customs duties that will be attached to it.
You need to engage with your
private vet to advise them you require increased veterinary services in 2021
for horses moving to Great Britain. Those horses require an export health
certificate and your private vet will need to examine the horse before issuing
that supplementary veterinary certificate which you will then present to the
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, who will issue a final export
You need to contact your local
Regional Veterinary Office, giving a minimum notice of five working days.
Currently DAFM operate a minimum working notice of three working days for
certificates to mainland Europe but because of the increase in volume
anticipated, the request has been made for operators to give a minimum notice
of five working days. You must submit to your Regional Veterinary Office the
vet cert signed by the private vet and DAFM’s RVO will be responsible for the
signed and stamped certificate.
In addition you are required to
give advance notice to Great Britain on their new import system, IPAFFS, which replaces
TRACES. It is important to note that you must have a UK-based agent to submit
this notification because EU-based operators cannot register for this system.
This notification must be
submitted a minimum 24 hours before your horse arrives in GB and within 30 days
of arrival. Do this as soon as possible before each movement because that
process will assign you the unique notification number that must be included in
the export health certificate from Ireland, and you will need that number when
you contact your local RVO.
considerations is an issue that will generate additional administrative
requirements and potential costs that previously have not applied to the
movement of horses to and from the UK. These matters should be considered in
advance of the movement of a horse cross-border. The customs considerations and
VAT implications are very much dependent on the specific facts of a transaction
so for certainty on the treatment of any specific transaction, we recommend
that advice would be obtained in advance of the transaction.
There are significant issues which
transporters should consider. To transport equine animals to GB, a transporter
will need to apply for a UK-issued Transporter Authorisation, a Certificate of
Competence, and a Vehicle Approval Certificate. The relevant website links are
all below in the Resources section. GB, including Northern Ireland, do not
accept EU-issued versions of these documents.
BREXIT READINESS CHECK LIST