Support attestations: get reimbursed to move goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland


Last updated 1 October 2021

Support attestations (SAs):

  • are an assurance that animal health standards have been met at various stages of production
  • provide traceability information before traders move agri-food goods to Northern Ireland

Types of support attestations you can be reimbursed for include, but are not limited to:

  • 30-day support attestations applied for under the Groupage Export Facilitation Scheme (GEFS)
  • attestations that are part of risk based fish export certification (RBFEC)
  • support health attestations

Traders (suppliers or manufacturers) may need a SA to be able to complete an export health certificate (EHC).

If you’re a trader and have been told by your certifying officer - an official veterinarian (OV), food competent certifying officer (FCCO) or other registered vet - to get a SA you can be reimbursed for some of the costs.

You’ll need to pay the invoice for the SA directly to the certifying officer.

The government will reimburse you up to £150 excluding VAT for each SA.

You can only be reimbursed for SAs that:

  • state ‘Valid for GB-NI trade use only’ - you cannot be reimbursed for SAs used to support exports to the EU
  • include the certificate number of a GB-NI EHC the SA is supporting - you’ll need to get this from your exporter

Each unique SA can only be reimbursed once. If you use SAs regularly, you should apply to be reimbursed once a month.

How to apply to be reimbursed

Complete the application form for reimbursement of GB-NI support attestation costs. Include details of all SAs you are claiming for.

You must include the following with your application:

  • the unique SA number for each SA
  • the GB-NI EHC number the SA is supporting
  • a copy of the SA that states ‘Valid for GB-NI trade use only’ - this declaration must be printed on the header of every page
  • a copy of the invoice(s) from the certifying officer

You should convert all SAs, invoices and evidence to PDF format before you submit them.

Send the form and supporting evidence to

You’ll get an automated email from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) to confirm it has received your application.

APHA will review your application and email you within 15 days to confirm if it has been approved or rejected.

Submit a reimbursement invoice

Once your application is approved, you can submit a reimbursement invoice for the total amount you’re claiming to for payment.

You must include a valid purchase order (PO) number on the front of every invoice. Invoices submitted to APHA without a valid PO number will not be paid.

If you have not submitted an invoice to Defra or APHA before, you’ll need to register to apply for a PO number. APHA will email you once they have approved your first application to tell you what you need to do.

You’ll need to apply for a new PO number each year.

APHA will check your invoice is correct and will aim to reimburse you within 30 days.