Bringing live animals to NI from EU via the GB landbridge


Last updated 24 March 2021

From 1 January 2021, there are new procedures to follow when moving live animals from European Union (EU) to Northern Ireland (NI) which are transiting Great Britain (GB) only

You must follow the procedure below for all live animals moving from EU to NI which are transiting through GB only.

Before moving live animal consignments from the EU to NI via the GB landbridge, the person responsible for the movement must:

  • Ensure they are registered on TRACES NT (the EU's TRAde Control and Expert System).
  • Obtain an EU Intra Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC) which is issued via TRACES. This will serve as advance notification to GB authorities that these animals are entering GB from EU. Separate notification via IPAFFS (the GB system) will not be required.
  • Ensure the ITAHC is stamped "only for transit…" at the EU point of exit.
  • At least 24 hours before arrival, create a Common Health Entry Document for live animals (CHED-A) on TRACES NT uploading a copy of the ITAHC. This will pre-notify DAERA of the arrival of the consignment.
  • Ensure the consignment of live animals is accompanied throughout the journey by a hardcopy of the ITAHC issued by the exporting EU Member State.
  • The person Responsible for Load in NI receiving the goods must email Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) at to confirm that the consignment has left GB territory, with the subject line 'Confirmation that a consignment has left GB territory'.

Other information relating to use of the GB landbridge

  • Animals can enter and exit GB through any port with no identity or physical inspections carried out at entry to or exit from GB.
  • APHA will carry out remote documentary checks.
  • You must follow animal GB welfare requirements for animals transiting GB.
  • The maximum permitted journey time varies by species and life stage. A consignment of animals may need to be rested for 24 hours. There are approved control posts where animals can be unloaded.
  • If transiting through a port in Kent, trucks over 7.5 tonnes must complete checks on the UK 'Check an HGV is ready to cross the border' service to confirm that the haulier has the relevant declarations to proceed to France.
  • If a 'Kent Access Pass' is issued, the lorry can move to their chosen port or the Eurotunnel. If a Pass is not issued, the haulier will be advised to obtain the required documentation and resubmit the application. Drivers should not enter Kent without this permit as they will be subject to a £300 on the spot fine if they cannot produce the permit.
  • Note: If transit is not through Kent, drivers can proceed directly to their port without engaging with the 'Check an HGV' system. However, the 'Check an HGV' system can also be used on an advisory basis for vehicles under 7.5 tonnes as well as for vehicles travelling to other UK ports.

On arrival in Northern Ireland

On arrival in Northern Ireland, the driver must:

  • follow the signs to the live animal inspection facility
  • present the consignment for inspection with hard copies of all relevant documentation
  • assist inspectors to unload and handle animals as requested

If the outcome of documentary, identity and physical inspection is satisfactory, the consignment will be permitted to enter Northern Ireland.

First published 24 March 2021