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IPAFFS and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) controls

IPAFFS is the Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System. It is used for the application for, and issuing of, Common Health Entry Documents for imports into Great Britain (GB) from third countries of products subject to sanitary and phytosanitary controls. Since the UK has left the EU, it replaces the use of the European Union’s Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES). The guidance provided in this article is specific to imports of products of animal origin (POAO).


Pre-notification requirements of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) goods on IPAFFS have been introduced from 01 January 2022. The pre-notification must be submitted a minimum of 4 hours in advance of arrival, and at the associated reference number in the format IMP.GB.2022.1234567 provided to your customs agent.


• The requirement for the goods to be accompanied by an export health certificate authorised by a veterinarian in the EU member state of departure has been delayed indefinitely, at least until the end of 2023. 

For further information on this please refer to a Delayed Approach to SPS and ENS import controls on EU-GB movements

 Please register for IPAFFS using the following link:

·       Find out how to register a business or organisation for the IPAFFS service (ODT, 11.9KB).

How to set Alinea Customs to act as your GB representative for IPAFFS

IPAFFS differs from C88 administration and does not require specialist software or the complex technical knowledge and training required by customs agents. It can be performed by the trader or an office clerk, and is free to use. 

However, as many of our clients have outlined that they would prefer to outsource this task to Alinea Customs, we are able to provide administration of this service, for a simple pay-as-you-go fee structure, but will require the initial authorisation from the trader in order to do so. 


The trader must:

  • register with IPAFFS

  • sign an IPAFFS administration agreement with Alinea Customs

  • set Alinea Customs up as a team member and administrator through their Government Gateway account.

You must pre-notify imports from EU countries, and certain countries in the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), on the Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS).


Read more guidance on the requirements for different animal products in the Border Operating Model.


Importing from establishments in EU countries

To import from EU member states, you need to manually enter details of the establishment in IPAFFS:

On the ‘Traders addresses’ page, select ‘Add a place of origin’, then select ‘Create a new place of origin’.

In the ‘Place of origin name’ field, enter the full name of the exporting establishment, then its authorisation number if this is available. You can check the name against the EU’s lists of approved establishments.


In the ‘Place of origin’ fields, enter the full address, telephone number, country and email address where requested.


Save these details. Then you can add the establishment to your pre-notification. Details will be saved to your address book so that you can use them again.


Importing from  establishments in Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, San Marino, Faroes or Greenland

If there is no option on IPAFFS to select the establishment from a drop-down menu, you need to enter details manually following the same process as for EU countries.

Check what documents you need

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Composite goods

The meat, milk, dairy, egg or fish component that makes up 50% or more of your product must come from either of the following that are approved to export to Great Britain:

  • EU country

  • business in that country (this does not apply to wild-caught fish)


You may need a catch certificate and processing statement or storage document if your product:

  • contains 20% or more marine-caught fish or fishery products

  • will be imported using tariff codes 1604 or 1605