Guide

Customs clearance for animals and animal products

Introduction

If you trade internationally in animals and certain animal products, you need to follow particular animal health regulations. While these products are traded freely within the European Union (EU), responsibility lies with each member state to ensure that products meet common animal and public health standards.

The Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES) is a web-based system run by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Health and Consumer Protection. It aims to make the paperwork for trading in animals and animal products easier by generating the necessary documents and sending copies to the appropriate authorities inland and abroad, saving traders time and effort.

Important: If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, you will no longer be able to use TRACES. You will need to follow a different process to import and export animals and animal products to and from the EU.

Read the latest UK government guidance on Customs clearance for animals and animal products.

This guide is aimed at those who trade within the EU and at importers who import from outside the EU. It provides details about what TRACES does and registering for TRACES.