Import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS): guidance

How to use the UK’s new notification system to import animals and animal products from non-EU countries.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, from 11pm GMT on 29 March 2019 (may also apply to new exit date on 31 December 2020), you’ll no longer be able to use the EU’s TRACES (Trade Control and Expert System) to notify the UK authorities about an import.

If you’re importing into the UK you must use the ‘import of products, animals, food and feed system’ (IPAFFS) to create part 1 of a:

  • CVED (common veterinary entry document – for live animals and products of animal origin)
  • CED (common entry document – for high-risk food and animal feed of non-animal origin)

When IPAFFS will be available to use

You can register for IPAFFS from early March.

From 29 March, you’ll only be able to use it to import live animals, animal products and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin from non-EU countries.

You’ll be able to use it if you’re importing from the EU by late summer. Until then, for EU imports you’ll need to use a form downloaded from GOV.UK. Find out more in the guidance on importing animals, animal products and high risk food and feed not of animal origin after EU exit.

Before you start

You must submit your notification at least:

  • 24 hours before your consignment is due to arrive for animals
  • before the consignment is unloaded for animal products
  • one working day before the consignment is due to arrive for high-risk food and animal feed of non-animal origin

Start your notification as early as you can, even if you do not have all the details, so the border inspection post (BIP) or designated point of entry (DPE) can plan for its arrival.

This is especially important if your consignment is arriving out of hours.

You can return to the information to update it, even after you’ve submitted it.

You need to know:

  • what you’re importing
  • the date and the estimated time the consignment will arrive at the BIP or DPE
  • which country it will come from
  • the entry requirements for your consignment – find more guidance on importing and exporting live animals or animal products
  • the purpose of the consignment
  • how the consignment will be transported to the BIP or DPE
  • details of the consignor or exporter, consignee, and importer
  • the consignment’s destination

How to create a notification on IPAFFS

Complete all parts of the first section, ‘About the consignment’, to get a draft CVED or CED number.

You can continue to complete the notification or you can save and return to fill out the rest later.

About the consignment

Use this section to explain what you’re importing, where it’s from, and why you’re importing it.

If you’re importing products of animal origin, you need to say if the consignment conforms to UK regulations.

Consignment details

Use this section to include information about what you’re importing, such as number, weight, what it’s intended for and how it’ll be transported.

You must enter a flight number or ship name in the ‘identification’ field of the ‘transport to the border inspection post (BIP)’ or ‘transport to the designated point of entry (DPE)’. Enter, for example, a flight number ‘BA123’ or ship name ‘SS Atlantic Causeway’.

Describe what kind of document will accompany the consignment in the ‘document’ field, for example an air waybill, a bill of lading or ship manifest.


You must add the veterinary document (health certificate) number or commercial document reference number. The document you need depends on the import requirements of the consignment.

You may be asked for an accompanying document number if you’re importing livestock, for example from a horse passport or cattle identification document.

If you’re importing a product of animal origin from a non-EU country you need to add the product’s establishment(s) of origin.

When the UK leaves the EU, the UK will still use the EU lists of approved establishments for non-EU countries.

If you cannot find the establishment you want, add a note in one of the fields to say ‘establishment not found’. Submit your notification as soon as possible.

If you’re importing after the UK leaves the EU, you’ll need to get an Economic Operator Register and Identification (EORI) number.


Select a trader by first searching for an existing entry for the:

  • consignor or exporter
  • consignee
  • importer

If your trader is not listed, you can create a new trader by scrolling to the bottom of the search results and selecting ‘Add new consignor or exporter’.

For some imports you will not be able to create a new trader because it’ll need to be approved.

If you think your trader is approved and should be on the list, enter a note saying this in one of the fields. This will allow you to submit your notification and the establishment will be checked to see if it has been approved.

Then select the place of destination or delivery address.


You must complete this section if you’re importing live animals. It’s sometimes needed for products of animal origin depending on the commodity – check its import requirements.

What happens after you submit your notification

When you submit your notification, it’s sent to the BIP or DPE.

You can see the status of your notification at all points of the process.

When the consignment is checked at the BIP or DPE, the status will change to say if your consignment is rejected or accepted.

You’ll be kept informed if there are any issues.

You can make changes to your notification after you’ve submitted it, using the ‘amend’ link. This is only until its status changes to ‘in progress’ or ‘valid’.

When a notification is ‘in progress’ it can be changed by the BIP or DPE. It’ll change to the ‘modify’ status, for you to amend and resubmit.

Published 20 February 2019

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