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Get Ready Now!

Following the Government announcement in September 2021 that certain EU to GB Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) import controls will begin from 1 July 2022, we want to remind you of the requirements that will still come into force from 1 January 2022.

Whilst certification, documentary, ID and physical checks, by commodity groups for products of animal origin, animal by-products, plant and plant products, will be introduced in three phases between July and November 2022, the requirement for pre-notifying consignments starts on 1 January 2022.

From 1 January 2022, businesses importing products of animal origin, animal by-products and high risk foods not of animal origin (HRFNAO) must pre-notify consignments at least four hours in advance of arriving into Great Britain. The pre-notification must be made via the Import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS).

To help you get ready for these new requirements we have incorporated key information you need. Please take the time to read and understand the actions needed to continue importing from the EU into GB from 1 January 2022. Additionally, you can refer to the Border Operating Model for further information.

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

Before you can complete a pre-notification, you will need an IPAFFS account. To register for an IPAFFS account you will need to set up a Government Gateway account and create a Defra account for the service. An email address is required, if you are a limited company you will also need your companies house number.

You should decide who is the responsible person to register the business or organisation before you register. The first person to register the business or organisation will automatically become the organisation administrator for that business. You’ll then have permission to invite and remove other team members.

Therefore, you should read the guidance and discuss the correct person in your organisation to manage your IPAFFS account access. Once registered as an administrator for your business, you can invite team members to use your organisation’s account so that they can view, submit and manage import notifications on behalf of your organisation.

If you already have an account, please log into government gateway account and Defra account. If you have any issues accessing your account, please email the APHA service desk.To support you with registration, we have developed step-by-step guidance and a demonstration video.


All consignments (Products of Animal Origin, Animal By-Products, High Risk Food not of Animal Origin) entering Great Britain from the European Union must be pre-notified on IPAFFS from 1 January 2022.

The pre-notification must be completed at least four hours in advance of arriving into Great Britain.

The following information is needed to complete a pre-notification on IPAFFS; therefore, you may need to speak to your exporter in advance to ensure you have all the relevant information.

Information needed for pre-notification:

  • What type of animal product or goods you’re importing (POAO, ABP, HRFNAO)
  • Origin of the animal product or goods (which country is it being exported from)
  • Commodity code (if you need help classifying your goods, you can search for an appropriate code using the trader tariff tool)
  • Commodity type (Selectable from a predefined list)
  • Species of the commodity (Selectable from a predefined list)
  • Commodity weight (net kg)
  • Date of arrival into GB
  • Reason for importing consignment (internal market, transit, research, etc)
  • Consignment’s place of destination
  • Addresses and contact details for place of origin, importer and place of destination
  • Details of port of entry

A step by step guide and video are available on how to complete each section of the IPAFFS pre-notification.

Once the notification is complete, you will receive an IPAFFS notification reference number. The IPAFFS notification reference number will need to be entered onto your customs declaration; therefore, you will need to provide it to the person or agent completing this on your behalf.

From 1 January 2022 all consignments must be accompanied by a full customs declaration and you can find out more on

Please note: If your consignment is leaving the EU on 31 December 2021 but not arriving into Great Britain until 1 January 2022, you must ensure the consignment has been pre-notified on IPAFFS.

Product Specific

Prohibited & Restricted Goods (P&R)

The easement period has been extended for certain POAO from the EU that are categorised as Prohibitions & Restriction Goods (P&R).

You can continue to import the following commodities from the EU into GB until 30 June 2022,

  • chilled minced meat (beef, pork, lamb, mutton and goat)
  • chilled and frozen minced poultry meat
  • mechanical separated meat from porcine, poultry and ratite or game birds
  • ungraded eggs
  • chilled meat preparations

From 1 January 2022, you need to pre-notify these on IPAFFS as per the requirements in the pre-notification section of this document.

Composite products

Composite products are defined as processed POAO for human consumption and include plant products as a main ingredient that is not just added for flavouring or processing. The plant product must be an integral part of the production of the final product (i.e., not just included for flavour or as part of the manufacture).

Many composite products are exempt from SPS controls – those that contain low amounts of animal or plant product considered low risk to biosecurity. These exempt composite products do not need to be pre-notified from 1 January 2022.

You can use the composite decision tree to assess whether your product is a composite and if it is exempt from SPS import controls.

Products under safeguard measures

Products being imported under safeguard measures must continue to follow existing requirements and controls. Import requirements are already in place for a small number of POAO subject to safeguard measures.

POAO subject to 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.

Supporting Resources

We appreciate businesses will have questions about the requirements being introduced in January 2022 and product specific questions. To support with answering your questions, we have developed several frequently asked questions packs based on enquiries we have received into the mailbox and those asked at the recently delivered webinars.

Please take some time to familiarise yourself with the contents. We regularly update these FAQs and recommend you save the links.

We have been running webinars on the import requirements from January 2022, which included a demonstration of completing a pre-notification on IPAFFS. We hope you managed to attend one of these sessions. If you haven’t, the slide pack and the pre-notification demonstration video is available.

Additionally, a January 2022 new requirements journey map outlines the different steps you need to take to import your goods from the EU to GB.

Frequently Asked Questions


For ease, we have extracted some of the questions that come up regularly from the frequently asked question packs.

  • Do I need to enter via a Border Control Post?

Between 1 January and 30 June 2022, your consignment can enter via any point of entry, it does not need to enter a point of entry with a designated border control post. Your consignment will not be subject to any SPS checks.

  • Can I do one notification on IPAFFS for my full consignment, even if it includes several different products and going to multiple destinations?

From 1 January to 30 June 2022, you are required to notify each product type on IPAFFS and not the full consignment in one notification.

Example one: your consignment includes 100 pork joints, 500 packs of cheese, 200 cans of pet food and, is destined for two locations in GB. You will need three notifications because you have three different product types (pork, cheese and petfood) even though two products are going to the same address.

Example two: if your consignment includes 100 packs of cheddar, 100 packs of mozzarella cheese, 100 packs of brie, 50 pork joints and is destined for two locations in GB.

You will need two notifications because you have three of the same product types, cheese that is going to the same location and one product type, pork that is going to a different location in GB. Pre-notifications for different products can only be grouped in one if they are the same product type and are being sent to the same place of destination.

From 1 July 2022, you will need to submit a pre-notification for each health certificate issued for your consignments. This may mean you will need to submit a different number of notifications and we will provide further details in 2022.

  • Are there any charges for using IPAFFS?

No, there is no charge for using the IPAFFS service.

  • Am I able to use IPAFFS on bank holidays?

IPAFFS is an online service and can be accessed 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

  • Who registers for IPAFFS?

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. In making the notification that person or organisation becomes responsible for the consignment on its arrival in GB, including any follow up actions required and therefore needs to be based in the UK. The person responsible for the consignment must be registered on IPAFFS to submit the notification and ensure that all import procedures are followed and that goods are imported in line with requirements.

  • Do animal by products come under POAO or HRFNAO on the notification?

POAO. Click to create a new notification, and then select Products of Animal Origin. When prompted, select or enter the commodity code for the Animal-by-Product and then all required fields to complete the notification.

  •  How do I select an IMP or a CHED notification?

IPAFFS will automatically create an IMP or CHED notification based upon which country of origin is selected.

  • Do we need to add the approval number to the name as place of origin?

Yes. For Products of Animal Origin, you must use the place of origin address to provide details of the EU Approved Establishment. When you create a new Approved Establishment in the address book, you must enter the name of the Approved Establishment in Place of Origin name, as well as the approval number.

  • Can a customs agent submit the IPAFFS declaration on the importer’s behalf?

Yes. You can employ an agent (with a UK address) to act on your behalf to submit notifications. Please note that whoever submits the notification will be contacted regarding any follow up actions related to the consignment, including but not limited to non-compliance and fees.

  • What IPAFFS notification reference do I need to share with my customs agent?

From 1 January 2022, staged customs controls are ending on goods imported from the EU. All consignments must be accompanied by a full customs declaration that is submitted before the goods arrive at the EU point of departure. Depending on the system used, your customs agent will need to include your IPAFFS’ notification reference number (IMP.GB. 202X.XXXXXXX), as a licence number following the country code and licence type CVD in Box 44 on CHIEF or in the document identifier segment of DE 2/3 (Documents produced) on CDS following the country code and licence type CHD. In box 44 or DE 2/3, the CHED document code should still be used to reflect the commodity (live animals, plants and plant products, high risk foods and animal products) that you are importing to ensure successful tariff validation.

  • Is fish classed as a POAO?

Yes, fish is classified as a POAO.

  • Is there any option not to create two notifications when we are facing products with the same commodities number but different types and species of commodities?

From 1 January 2022, traders can create one prenotification and add multiple commodity codes, if:

a) the products are from the same product group i.e., a POAO that is two different types of cheese

b) the products are being exported from the same place and

c) the products are arriving at the same destination in GB.

  • Are there any exceptions for Pharma, where for example - a product may have a small amount of gelatine i.e., capsules? Will this be dealt with as a POAO?

Gelatine products are POAO - however, there are specific import requirements that apply for gelatine capsules. Depending on the exact commodity, a general licence may apply. These can be found on Further information about gelatine capsules can be found here.

  •  Must the GB Importer have a UK address or can an Irish company with no UK address complete the IPAFFS pre-notification?

No. For animal product imports from the EU to GB, the person responsible for the consignment on arrival into GB should have a UK address and be registered on IPAFFS to submit the notification.

Export Support Services (ESS)

The Export Support Service is a new government helpline and online service where all UK businesses can get answers to practical questions about exporting to Europe. It gives access to cross government information and support all in one place.

If you are a UK business you can use this free service, no matter the size of your business or which part of the UK you are based. DIT will continue to work with businesses and business representative groups from all sectors, in all parts of the UK, to help make the service as useful as possible for businesses.

You can access the Export Support Service at GOV.UK/ask-export-support-team or by calling 0300 303 8955 where you will be put in touch with a member of our dedicated export support team.

Helpline numbers & online forums

Here is the list of helplines you may find useful.

We have added hyperlinks that will take you to pages that provide extra information such as the opening hours for the helpline all of which have sufficient capacity to support businesses.

● HMRC Customs & International Trade Helpline - 0300 200 3700

HMRC Imports and Exports General Enquiries - 0300 322 9434

New Computerised Transit System - 0300 322 7095

DVLA Contact Centre - 0300 790 6802


Vehicle Operator Licensing Enquiries - 0300 123 9000

International Road Haulage Permits - 0330 678 1117

The Office for Product Safety and Standards - 0121 345 1201

MHRA Customer Service Centre - 020 3080 6000

National Supply Disruption Centre - 0800 915 9964

Rural Payments Agency (RPA) Trader team - 0330 041 6500

Animal, Plant and Health Agency (APHA) - 0300 1000 313

Defra Rural Services - 0300 020 0301

Environment Agency England - 03708 506 506

Forestry Commission - 0300 067 4000

Fish Exports Helpline - 0330 159 1989

The Intellectual Property Office - 0300 300 2000

BEIS Public Enquiries Helpline - 020 7215 5000

● BEIS Business Support Lines:

England - 0800 998 1098

Scotland - 0300 303 0660

Wales - 0300 060 3000

Northern Ireland - 0800 181 4422

Citizen Advice Consumer Helpline - 0808 223 1133

Department for Education Helpline - 0370 000 2288

Home Office - UK Visas & Immigration Helpline - 0300 790 6268

Home Office - EU Settlement Scheme Application Resolution Centre - 0300 1237379


HMRC also operates a number of services, including:

● Import/export general enquiries can be made by calling 0300 200 3700.

● You can also speak to an adviser online about general import and export queries.

● It is also possible to send a question about imports, exports and customs reliefs.


DEFRA Helplines:

DEFRA also has a number of additional helplines for the commodity you are exporting to the EU.

For questions to the DVSA on vehicle operator licensing you can call 0300 123 9000. For questions to the DVLA you should call 0300 790 6802.

The UK Government also operates two online forums where you can access key information and ask questions directly:

For customs and tax-related queries

For all other border-related queries


Timetable for Controls on Importing Animal Products from the European Union into Great Britain

Following the Government announcement today, we want to share some further information on what this might mean for your businesses.

New controls and requirements due to be introduced from 1 October 2021 and 1 January 2022 have now been delayed to 1 January 2022 and 1 July 2022.

See PDF attached here with all the relevant information on it.

If you have any questions that have not been answered via the content above, please email us at

Get the latest updates at GOV.UK: Brexit - new rules are here.


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