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Importing equine germinal products

Information Note from Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine on the importation of equine germinal products into the Republic of Ireland (November 2023)

“Germinal products” means semen, oocytes and embryos intended for artificial reproduction.

Approved germinal product establishment” means a semen collection centre, an embryo collection team, an embryo production team, a germinal product processing establishment or a germinal product storage centre, approved in accordance with Article 97 of Regulation (EU) 2016/429.

Summary Checklist for Importers:

Importing from another EU Country:

When importing equine germinal products from another EU country you must ensure that:

  1. The germinal products were collected and stored, from the time of collection or production, in an EU approved Germinal Product Establishment. The EU Commission List is updated regularly. See point A below
  2. The germinal products travel with an appropriate official Health Certificate issued by the country of origin. See pont B below
  3. The germinal products are accompanied by the appropriate Zootechnical Certificate where the offspring produced from these are intended to be entered or registered in a breeding book for those animals. See point C below
  4. You must register with TRACES in order to allow the exporter to complete the export certification process. If this is your first time importing Germinal Products, you will need to contact TRACES directly to have the relevant activity validated. TRACES can assist with registration and ensure that you have the correct validated activity on your Operator Profile.  Any requests relating to this from Irish importers can be sent to traces@agriculture.gov.ie.
  5.  All documentation relating to the import must be retained for a minimum of three years.

Importing from outside the EU (Third Country): 

When importing equine germinal products from outside the EU (for example GB, Australia etc) you must ensure that:

  1. The germinal products travel with an appropriate official Health Certificate issued by the country of origin i.e. an EU approved Third Country Health Certificate. See point B below
  2. You must register with TRACES in order to be able to submit Part I of the Common Health Entry Document (CHED). TRACES can assist with registration and ensure you have the correct validated activity on your Operator Profile. Any requests relating to TRACES can be sent to traces@agriculture.gov.ie.
  3. In addition, you must register with the Department of Agriculture (DAFM) and submit the required paperwork to the DAFM Import Portal. For more details please see gov.ie - Importing Animals and Animal Products from the UK (www.gov.ie)
  4. The germinal products are accompanied by the appropriate Zootechnical Certificate where the offspring produced from these are intended to be entered or registered in a breeding book for those animals. See point C below.
  5. Common Health Entry Document (CHED) must be completed on TRACES-NT at least 24 hours prior to the importation and sent to the Nominated Border Control Post (BCP). See point D below.
  6. The appropriate fee for imports of equine germinal products from Third Countries is paid to the DAFM.
  7. Germinal products may be imported through any of the BCPs in Ireland. For a list of BCPs and contact details please click here.
  8. You must retain all import documents and the validated CHED for a minimum of three years.

 

NOTES:

(A)    Approved Germinal Product Establishment

Imported germinal products (frozen/chilled-fresh semen/ova/embryos) must be collected, and stored from the time of collection, in an EU Approved Germinal Product Establishment, in the country of origin. An up-to-date list of EU approved Equine Germinal Product Establishments is available from the following EU Commission website link or from Livestock Breeding Production and Trade Section, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Farnham Street, Cavan Tel. No. (049) 4368293

Centres within the EU and Centres in Third Countrieshttp://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/semen_ova/equine/index_en.htm

Both frozen and chilled germinal products may be consigned either directly to your premises or to a Private Veterinary Practitioner where all accompanying documentation must be kept on file for a minimum of three years.

(B)    Health Certificate

(i)    An official Health Certificate corresponding to the models in the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/403 must accompany the consignment of germinal products. The Health Certificate must be issued by an official veterinarian authorised by the Competent Authority in the country of export and must be produced at the time of importation to an Officer of the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine. This should be arranged by the exporter.

(ii) Consignments of germinal products from the EU are subject to random, non-discriminatory official checks at the place of destination. All documentation accompanying imports must be kept for a minimum of 3 years. If a consignment is being broken up, a photocopy of the health certificate must accompany all batches of germinal products and a record must be kept of the destination of all items on the original certificate.

(iii) It is important that anyone receiving either frozen or fresh/chilled germinal products from another EU country should ensure that the consignment is accompanied by a correctly completed official health certificate certifying that the appropriate tests have been carried out. This documentation should be checked by a Veterinary Practitioner prior to use of the Germinal Products. If in doubt, the germinal products should not be used, and the local Regional Veterinary Office should be consulted.

(C)     Zootechnical Certificates

Imported germinal products from equines, entered or registered in a studbook maintained by an approved body, must be accompanied by a zootechnical certificate (where relevant) as referred in Article 30 of Regulation (EU) 2016/1012. Model forms of these zootechnical certificates are provided in amending Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/602 and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/761.

(D)     Additional information regarding Importation from outside the European Union

(i)   Part I of a Common Health Entry Document (CHED) must be submitted on TRACES-NT (IMSOC) to the approved Border Control Post (BCP) at first point of entry into the Union at least 24 hours in advance of their arrival.  The original document must accompany the consignment of germinal products on the journey and must be presented at the time of importation to an authorised officer at the BCP.

(ii)   Equine germinal products imported from a Third Country (non-EU member state) to Ireland may only enter through an approved Border Inspection Post (BCP) in an EU Member State.  Germinal products may be imported through any of the BCPs in Ireland. For a list of BCPs and contact details please. click here

(iii) Additional procedures must be followed when importing animal products into the Union and are available at gov.ie - Importing Animals and Animal Products from the UK (www.gov.ie) [details at this link relate to movement from all third countries]

Note: These procedures must be strictly adhered to, in order to protect the health status of the equine industry in Ireland.

Contacts:

Further information from

Livestock Breeding Production & Trade Section, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Government Buildings, Farnham St., Cavan. Tel. No. (049) 4368293  Email: livbrsi@agriculture.gov.ie

Relevant Legislation:

  • Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/429 (Animal Health Law)
  • Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/686 (Movement within the EU)
  • Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/692 (Entry into the EU)
  • European Union (Equine) Regulations 2023, S.I. 506 of 2023 (Approval of Equine Germinal Product Establishments)
  • Regulation (EU) 2017/625 (Official Controls Regulation)
  • Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/602 (Model zootechnical certificates)
  • Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/761 (Model zootechnical certificates)