Products of Animal Origin
Products of Animal Origin (POAO) are goods derived from animals, and include; certain live animals for direct human consumption, foodstuffs, animal by-products, and goods that may have come into contact with animals.
From 1 January 2022, all Products of Animal Origin (POAO), Animal By-Products (ABP) and High Risk Foods Not of Animal Origin (HRFNAO) consignments need to be pre-notified on the Import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS).
You must submit your notification in IPAFFS at least one working day before your consignment is due to arrive. You can submit your notification up to 30 days in advance.
How to pre-notify
If you are new to the process of pre-notifying plants and plant products, you should register and use IPAFFS from 1 January 2022. To register to use the IPAFFS system traders will need to set up a Government Gateway account and create a Defra account for the IPAFFS service.
A training video and guidance on how to create and complete a pre-notification on IPAFFS are available.
From 1 January 2022, you will require the following information to complete a notification on IPAFFS:
- What type of animal product or goods you’re importing (i.e., POAO, ABP, HRFNAO)
- Origin of the animal product or goods (which country it was produced, originated in)
- Commodity code (Selectable from a predefined list)
- Commodity type (Selectable from a predefined list)
- Species of the commodity (Selectable from a predefined list)
- Commodity weight (kg)
- Date of arrival into Great Britain
- Reason for importing consignment (i.e., internal market, transit, research, etc)
- Consignment’s place of destination
- Consignment’s place of destination
- Upload supporting documents: catch certificate, commercial document, commercial invoice, health certificate, licence/authorisation, mycotoxin certification or other
- Addresses and contact details for place of origin, importer and place of destination
- Details of port of entry
From the end of 2023, the information required for notifying consignments may change and additional fields will need to be completed. We will provide you with these details after the final confirmation from the Governments.
Share your notification reference with your customs agent
From 1 January 2022, staged customs controls are ending on goods imported from the EU. All consignments must be accompanied by full customs import declaration.
Your customs agent will need to include your IPAFFS’ notification reference number (IMP.GB. 202X.XXXXXXX), as a licence number.
You need to ensure that you share the IPAFFS’ notification reference number with your customs agent. Your customs agent must enter this number to submit the declaration. Failure to notify and provide this information will delay your custom agent’s ability to complete the declaration and could therefore delay the departure of your consignment.
For more information on customs requirements from 1 January 2022 please refer to gov.uk/transition.
In August 2023 the UK Government has published the final Border Target Operating Model (BTOM), the copy can be seen here: The Border Target Operating Model
The final Border Target Operating Model sets out a new approach to security controls (applying to all imports), and sanitary and phytosanitary controls (applying to imports of live animals, animal products, plants and plants products) at the border. It sets out how controls will be simplified and digitised.
It incorporates and responds to feedback from stakeholders on the earlier draft Border Target Operating Model. It has been developed with further collaboration across the UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments, and engagement with officials from the devolved administration in Northern Ireland.
The BTOM is to be implemented through three major milestones:
- 31 January 2024 - The introduction of health certification on imports of medium
risk animal products, plants, plant products and high-risk food and feed of non-animal origin from the EU.
- 30 April 2024 - The introduction of documentary and risk-based identity and
physical checks on medium risk animal products, plants, plant products and
high risk food and feed of non-animal origin from the EU. The Government will also begin to simplify imports from non-EU countries. This will include the removal of health certification and routine checks on low risk animal products, plants, plant products from non-EU countries as well as reduction in physical and identity check levels on medium-risk animal products from non-EU countries.
- 31 October 2024 - The requirement for Safety and Security declarations for
imports into Great Britain from the EU or from other territories where the waiver
applies will come into force from 31 October 2024 as set out in the original Target Operating Model. Alongside this, we will introduce a reduced dataset for imports and use of the UK Single Trade Window will remove duplication where possible across different pre-arrival datasets – such as pre-lodged customs declarations.
BTOM describes 3 risk categories:
- Must be pre-notified using import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS) before the goods arrive in Great Britain. The system will create CHED document.
- Must be accompanied by a commercial document from the supplier.
- There is no need for a health certificate.
- Must be pre-notified through (IPAFFS) before the goods arrive in Great Britain, with CHED document.
- From 31 January 2024 the consignment must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by the competent authority in the country where the goods originate
- From 30 April 2024 products in the medium TOM risk category may be subject to physical import checks.
- Must be pre-notified using (IPAFFS) before the goods arrive in Great Britain
- The consignment must have a health certificate issued by the competent authority in the country where the goods originate.
- Most consignments in the high BTOM risk category are already subject to physical import checks. These checks will continue in the same way after 31 January 2024
- From EU countries to Great Britain
- Import risk categories for animals and animal products imported from the EU to Great Britain, from 31 January 2024
- TOM risk categories for animal and animal product imports from the EU to Great Britain: summary tables
- TOM risk categories for animal and animal product imports from the EU to Great Britain: searchable list with commodity codes
If your consignment is in the medium TOM risk category
- Use IPAFFSto notify authorities before the goods arrive in Great Britain.
- From 31 January 2024 your consignment must have a health certificateissued by the competent authority in the country where the goods originate.
- From 30 April 2024 products in the medium TOM risk category:
- will need to enter Great Britain through a point of entry with a BCP that is designated to check them.
- may be subject to documentary, identity and physical import checks.
For EU goods entering Great Britain through west coast ports, there will be a different implementation date for identity and physical checks and for the requirement to enter through a port with a BCP. There is more detail in the Border Target Operating Model.
- From non-EU countries to Great Britain
- Import risk categories for animals and animal products imported from non-EU countries to Great Britain, from 30 April 2024
Products of animal origin (POAO), references to Category II in the tables below relate to Annex I of Retained EU Regulation 2019/2129.
‘Permitted countries’ are countries that meet both of the following criteria:
- They have been approved to export a particular product to Great Britain (also referred to as having ‘market access’).
- They have also been subject to a TOM risk assessment for imports of animals and animal products.
Exporting countries need approval to send animals and animal products to Great Britain. This is also referred to as having ‘market access’. See details of non-EU countries approved to export animals and animal products to Great Britain
TOM risk categories for non-EU countries only apply to countries that have been subject to a risk assessment. These are:
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- South Korea
- United States
In the TOM risk category summary tables, the phrase ‘all permitted countries’ means all countries from this list that have been approved to export a particular animal or product to Great Britain.
Other countries that have market access but have not been subject to a TOM risk assessment will continue to follow existing import processes.
Certain products of animal origin, such as composite products, have separate market access arrangements which are not covered in the data.gov.uk lists referenced above. Check the relevant APHA import information note to confirm market access arrangements for these products.
Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/2122 specific controls on passengers’ personal luggage and on small consignments of goods sent to natural persons which are not intended to be placed on the market.
In order to re-import a consignment of products of animal origin rejected by the EU you will need an authorisation from APHA.
APHA may grant such an authorisation, they may refuse it, or they may grant with certain conditions that need to be fulfilled prior to re-import.
In order for APHA to progress your EU Rejection case APHA will require further information as detailed below.
Please send the information via an email to email@example.com with a copy to
Ensure that any detail relating to the case is presented in concise bullet points as below.
Failure to do the above will result in APHA returning your email and requesting the information again in the format they have requested.
Please Provide the following:
- Product name and description.
- EU Border Control Post (BCP) that rejected the consignment.
- Brief summary of reason for rejection.
- Your role in the re-import:
Exporter/Manufacturer/Freight Forwarder/Import Agent?
To process this case APHA require the following documents. All declarations should be on headed paper.
- A declaration from the EU BCP describing the reason for refusal of entry. (An English Language version of this is required.)
- Full details of destination in GB and the intended use or destruction of the returned consignment from the person responsible for the consignment.
- The original export certificate for the returned product.
If the consignment did not require a veterinary certificate or did not have a certificate for export, you must present:
- a commercial invoice or similar that verifies the returned consignment corresponds with the one that was exported.
If the consignment was not originally exported in a sealed container or where the seal is broken for official control purposes, you must have an official declaration from the EU BCP stating the:
- place and date of unloading and reloading of the consignment.
- consignment did not undergo any handling other than unloading, storage and reloading.
- products were handled only to the extent necessary for the purposes of official controls at the BCP.
- appropriate temperature was maintained.
- unloading and reloading of the consignment was handled hygienically to avoid cross-contamination.
- consignment was stored under hygienic conditions at the required temperature and not at risk of cross contamination.
- effective measures were put in place to avoid the contamination of the POAO with disease agents which cause transmissible animal diseases during the unloading, storage and re-loading in the EU
- place of any unloading, storage and re-loading in the EU country was not subject to animal health movement restrictions due to transmissible animal diseases during the unloading, storage and reloading.
If the rejected goods were originally exported in a sealed container and it maintained an intact original seal, you must have a declaration by the person responsible for the consignment stating:
- “since the product was originally exported, the storage and transport conditions have been complied with and the content of the consignment has not been altered”
- What documents do I need to import live animals, not for direct human consumption (e.g., pets, horses, cows, sheep, live snails for educational purposes, live animals for breeding purposes etc)?
The Port Health Authority in the GB is dealing only with products of animal origin imports (including live animals for direct human consumption), at the moment. Animal and Plant Health Agency- APHA is the GB Authority dealing with import of live animals into GB and I will suggest contacting them for this enquiry.
They can be contacted using their general enquiries telephone number 03000 200 301 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Can I bring Product of animal origin from a country outside the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, the Faroe Islands and Greenland?
You cannot bring in:
- meat or meat products
- milk or milk-based products, except powdered infant milk, infant food or special food (including pet food) needed for medical reasons
- Composite products containing meat or milk, or both.
You can bring in up to 2kg per person of:
- powdered infant milk, infant food, or special food (including pet food) needed for medical reasons - you can only bring it in if it does not need to be refrigerated before use, and is in branded, unopened packaging (unless in current use)
- shellfish, such as mussels or oysters
- snails - these must be preserved or shelled, cooked and prepared
- frogs’ legs - these must be the back (hind) part of the frog with the skin and internal organs removed
- insect meat
You can bring in up to 20kg per person in total of fish, including:
- fresh fish - must be gutted
- fish products
- processed fish - must be dried, cooked, cured or smoked
- The products were not banned when we were members of the EU, why has the UK decided that they are suddenly a health risk? What’s changed
As a result of the UK leaving the EU in 2020 and the end of the transition period on the 31 December 2020, the EU is now a third country and is required to follow the same rules applied to all other third countries. Therefore, as P&Rs apply to imports of commodities from third countries, P&R will now also apply to the EU.
The grace period for imports of chilled minced meat, chilled and frozen minced poultry meat, mechanical separated meat from porcine, poultry and ratite or game birds, ungraded eggs and chilled meat preparations reflect the biosecurity risk status, and to ensure businesses and stock levels are not unduly affected.
- GB imports large volumes of chilled minced meat from the Republic of Ireland. What measures are the government taking to ensure that this vital import trade can continue after 1 July 2022?
The UK operates a risk-based system and P&R factors into that. We will continue to assess the proportionality of P&R as it applies to the EU as a third country.
- Why have you only provided a grace period for certain P&R goods?
A decision has been taken to temporarily delay the introduction of Prohibitions and Restrictions on certain Products of Animal Origin until end of 2023 .
The grace period for imports of chilled minced meat, chilled and frozen minced poultry meat, mechanical separated meat from porcine, poultry and ratite or game birds, ungraded eggs and chilled meat preparations, is to ensure businesses and stock levels are not affected as these products currently present a low biosecurity risk.
It is a continuation of trade we currently have with the EU and the EEA member states, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Switzerland and their biosecurity standards have not changed. The biosecurity risk of importing these goods from EEA member states during this temporary period has been assessed to be low.
- The easements on chilled minced meat, chilled and frozen minced poultry meat, and chilled meat preparations, what sort of products does this include?
Examples of meat preparations include raw sausages, raw hamburgers, raw meatballs, raw seasoned steak or chicken, uncooked chicken strips and chicken nuggets.
This also includes products such as pigs in blankets (raw sausages wrapped in cured bacon), where if any of the meat components are not fully cooked and have had foodstuffs, seasonings or additives added. Other type of products for instance include oven ready seasoned meats such as turkeys or pork joints.
- What temperature does the frozen meat preparations frozen to?
Frozen meat preparations must be frozen to an internal temperature of not more than -18C.
- When will I need an Export Health Certificate?
Export Health Certificate requirement will not come into force for animal products coming from EU and EFTA countries until the end of 2023, unless the products imported are subject to safeguard measures.
Some countries in the EU it is a subject to safeguard measures for notifiable diseases (e.g. (e.g. avian influenza, bluetongue, African swine fever etc.) and POAO under safeguard measures must be accompanied by a health certificate and pre-notified on IPAFFS.
If you are importing such a products, you must contact APHA Imports Team to seek further guidance on the import conditions for these products: email@example.com .
Further information about requirements from July 2022 can be found on gov.uk
- Where can I view the Export Health Certificates?
EHCs are issued by the competent authority in the exporting country, based on the requirements outlined in the model Export Health Certificates.
- From end of 2023 , will my animal products need to enter via a point of entry with a Border Control Post?
Yes, your animal products consignment will need to enter Great Britain via Border Control Post that is designated to receive your type of goods. However we will provide you with final advise, after the final confirmation from the UK Governments.
- How and where will I need to pre-notify my goods from 1 January 2022?
IPAFFS is the import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS) and is the system used to notify the arrival of imports of live animals, animal products and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin.
It is the responsibility of the GB importer (or a representative acting on their behalf) to register for IPAFFS to pre-notify the relevant authority of the goods’ arrival. If an EHC is required for the commodity, the EU exporter should provide the GB importer with an electronic copy of the EHC and the GB importer must upload this on to the notification in IPAFFS.
You can register for IPAFFS on gov.uk
- How do these delays impact my goods that are transiting through Great Britain?
Consignments of EU origin and/or third country that have been cleared for free circulation in the EU can continue to transit through Great Britain as they do today.
From 1 January 2022, animal products transiting through Great Britain will need to be pre-notified via IPAFFS before they enter Great Britain.
Additionally, from 2024 , EU origin consignments transiting through Great Britain will require a certified EHC and must enter and exit through a point of entry with an appropriately designated border control post.
Further information on transits is available on gov.uk
- My composite product is exempt from certification, will I need to pre-notify its arrival into Great Britain?
No, if your product meets the requirements for exemption from Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) controls you do not need to pre-notify authorities of its arrival.
Further information is available on gov.uk
- Does the delay remove any controls from products under safeguard measures?
No, products being imported under safeguard measures must continue to follow existing requirements and controls.
Emergency safeguard action can be taken at very short notice to prohibit or restrict the importation of certain products from certain countries following an outbreak of disease or a public health issue (such as bird flu (avian influenza) or African swine fever). Information on the latest updates concerning disease outbreaks which may affect imports into the UK can be found on Imports, exports and EU trade of animals and animal products: topical issues
POAO from EU under safeguard measures are required to be pre-notified in advance of arrival using IPAFFS and all goods must be accompanied by an export health certificate.
The GB importer will also need to supply the EU exporter/ Certifying Officer (usually an Official Veterinarian) with the unique notification number (UNN) that is produced when the importer notifies the UK’s Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) about the import.
The exporter must add the UNN to the Export Health Certificate. If the safeguard measure is in place due to a new or emerging disease outbreak, and the commodity code is not available in IPAFFS, there may be other steps traders need to take to pre-notify.
Fees are payable for checking documentation, examination or sampling consignments should it prove necessary.
Our current fees and charges can be found on our Port Health charges page.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a payment account prior to the arrival of an Import.