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Food Safety


The intra-Union trade rules for porcine animals solely govern the movement of porcine animals between the EU countries.

Before and during dispatch

The animal health requirements for intra-Union trade in porcine animals are laid down in Council Directive 64/432/EEC. This Directive, which has been amended several times, harmonises the rules for intra-Union trade in pigs and establishes the animal health guarantees needed for the trade in these animals between the Member States. It does not apply to movements within an individual Member State.

  • The objective of this harmonisation is to ensure that the same requirements are applied for trade between all the Member States thereby ensuring the safe and free circulation of the animals in the European Union territory.

  • The Directive lays down precise rules (e.g. prohibition of contact with other animals during the travel, cleaning and disinfection of means of transport, etc.) to be respected during the movement of pigs from the holding of origin to the final destination (another holding or a slaughterhouse) to try to avoid any possible spread of serious disease in the European Union. These movements may involve the use of approved assembly centres.

  • In addition there are rules regarding the health status in relation to animal diseases (e.g. Classical swine fever, African swine fever, Swine vesicular disease). Prior to intra-Union trade, the competent authority in the Member State of origin must ensure that porcine animals come from a holding or area that is not subject to any prohibition or restriction for reasons of animal diseases affecting porcine animals.

Moreover, Article 9 of Directive 64/432/EEC provides that a Member State, which has a compulsory national control programme for one of the contagious diseases listed in Annex E(II) to that Directive, may submit its programme to the Commission for approval. That Article also provides for the definition of the additional guarantees which may be required in intra-Union trade.

Article 10 of Directive 64/432/EEC provides that where a Member State considers that its territory or part thereof is free from one of the diseases listed in Annex E(II) to that Directive, it is to present appropriate supporting documentation to the Commission. That Article also provides for the definition of the additional guarantees which may be required in intra-Union trade.

Commission Decision 2008/185/EC of 21 February 2008 sets out a list of Member States or regions thereof free of Aujeszky’s disease and where vaccination is prohibited in Annex I thereto. Annex II to that Decision establishes a list of Member States or regions thereof where disease control programme for that disease are in place.

View "disease-free" map for:

Furthermore, in accordance with Article 8 of Directive 64/432/EEC, Member States are requested to forward to the Commission, by 31st May each year, details of the occurrence of diseases listed in Annex E(I) to the Directive and of any other diseases covered by the additional guarantees provided for by Union legislation in its territory referred to the previous calendar year (see RELATED DOCUMENTS box, on the right hand side of this page).

  • Traceability is a key component of animal health control. Hence animals must be appropriately identified to ensure that when animals are presented for dispatch to another Member State, they can be subsequently accounted for on arrival at the place of destination.

  • The Directive provides also for a harmonised health certificate in which, prior to dispatch, an official veterinarian attests that the animals fulfil all the requirements for intra-Union trade. This accompanies the animal and the movement must be recorded in TRACES. If assembly centres are involved, additional veterinary certification is required.

At the destination

Because there are no border controls for movements between the Member States, non-discriminatory spot checks are carried out at the point of origin and at the destination according to Council Directive 90/425/EEC, as last amended, to ensure that consignments are in compliance with the guarantees provided by the health certificate.

The TRACES tracking system provides an important tool to ensure compliance because it allows the receiving Member State to verify that the consignment arriving at the destination corresponds to that specified in the original accompanying health certificate from the Member State of origin.


The following rules must be respected before porcine animals can be imported into the EU:

Animal health

Porcine animals must fulfil the animal health requirements laid down in Council Directive 2004/68/EC. This Directive harmonies the rules and establishes the general animal health conditions for the import into the territory of the Union of porcine animals.

  • The objective of this harmonisation is to make sure that the same principles for importation of porcine animals are applied in all the Member States and prevent animals from entering EU territory carrying infectious diseases that are dangerous for livestock or humans.

  • Directive 2004/68/EC describes the animal health principles on which importation is based, and the requirements to be fulfilled by a non-EU country to be authorised to export ovine and caprine animals into the EU. Some important aspects are:

    • the health status of livestock, of other domestic animals and wildlife

    • the legislation of the non-EU country

    • the country's rules on the prevention and control of animal diseases.

    • the organisation, structure, competence and power of the veterinary services.

    • membership of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)

    • the regularity and rapidity of information on infectious animal diseases provided by the non-EU country to the Commission and the OIE

  • In addition, other more specific conditions are laid down in this Directive as regards certain infectious diseases. For example, non-EU countries have to be free from the most important diseases as for example foot and mouth disease.

  • Under Directive 2004/68/EC it is possible to regionalise a country. This means that depending on the animal health situation and the guarantees offered by that country, only a part of its territory may be authorised to export to the EU


Before a non-EU country, territory or part of it is authorised to export porcine animals into the EU, the Commission carries out an audit to verify that all the criteria provided for in Directive 2004/68/EC are properly fulfilled.

Authorised countries

Based on the principles contained in Council Directive 2004/68/EC and on the results of the Commission audit, the non-EU country may be added to the list of non-EU countries, territories or parts thereof authorised for the export of porcine animals as laid down in Commission Regulation (EU) No 206/2010, as last amended. Imports of domestic porcine animals shall only be authorised from those non-EU countries where a specific model of veterinary certificate is foreseen in Part 1 of Annex I of that Regulation (column 4).

Diseases assessment

When a non-EU country, territory or part thereof has been listed in Commission Regulation (EU) No. 206/2010, then it is approved in principle for export to the EU.

However, before exports can take place an assessment of the specific disease situation is carried out and if necessary, additional requirements may be requested to minimise potential disease risks. These are laid down in Part 1 of Annex I of Regulation (EU) No. 206/2010.

Veterinary certificates

Porcine animals being presented for entry into the EU must be accompanied by a veterinary health certificate. The relevant certificates for ovine and caprine are laid down in Part 2 of Annex I to Regulation (EU) No. 206/2010. Basic information on the non-EU country of origin, the place of destination and the identification of animals in the consignment must be included in the certificate. It also contains:

  • A public health attestation to guarantee that the non-EU country complies with certain public health requirements including that the animals are from holdings that are free from certain zoonotic diseases (brucellosis, anthrax and rabies), have not received certain pharmaceutical treatments and hormones.

  • An animal health attestation to guarantee that the animals, and/or the herd of origin are free from certain diseases, that the animals are healthy and that their underlying health status does not to present a risk to Union livestock, and that the animals have been inspected prior to movement.

  • an animal transport attestation to certify that the welfare standards laid down in Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 of 22 December 2004, as last amended, have been complied with and the animals are fit for the transport.

An official veterinarian in the authorised non-EU country must sign the certificate to attest that all the relevant conditions in the certificate have been met. The certification must accompany the animals en-route to the EU and when they are presented for entry into the EU at an approved EU Border Inspection Post.

Public health

It should be noted that in order to import live porcine animals, non-EU countries must also comply with certain public health requirements. For example, a country is required to have an approved residue plan.

Border inspections

Live animals entering the Union are inspected at a Border Inspection Post (BIP) (as listed in Commission Decision 2009/821/EC) where Member States' official veterinarians ensure they fulfil all the requirements provided for in the EU legislation. Council Directive 91/496/EEC, as last amended, lays down the principles governing the organisation of veterinary checks on animals entering the Union from non-EU countries.

Common veterinary entry document

Importers must complete relevant sections of a Common Veterinary Entry Document (CVED) prior to entry into the EU. For live animals from non-EU countries, the CVED is laid down in Commission Regulation (EC) No 282/2004, as last amended, and the relevant information must be sent, either manually or electronically via the TRACES system, to the border inspection post of entry at least one working day before the expected arrival of the animal(s).

The CVED provides a standardised format for documentation relating to declaration and checks for live animals arriving into the Union so that data on imported consignments can be properly managed and processed within TRACES, the EU's integrated veterinary traceability system.

NB: Animals of a "lower that Union's health status" cannot transit the Union.


Please see the summary providing "General guidance for non-EU country authorities on procedures to be followed when importing live animals and animal products into the EU".

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