How does TRACES work

How does TRACES work

The European Commission requires consignments of animals, semen and embryo, food, feed and plants, to be accompanied by health certificates or trade documents.

When such consignments are exported to the EU or traded within the EU single market, TRACES manages the official controls and route planning, quickly and efficiently online.

National competent authorities post these documents online through TRACES and either the EU border control authorities or the control authorities at the destination, check the consignments and their accompanying certificates to allow them to enter and travel through the EU.

National competent authorities are pre-notified of the arrival of a consignment and therefore can plan their controls in advance. In the case of the transport of animals further checks and controls on animal welfare can be performed.

Feedback on the decision and controls is available to those parties concerned with the consignment.

With its user-friendly interface, available in 35 languages, shared by the private sector and the competent authorities, TRACES relieves much of the administrative burden usually involved in these processes.

Benefits of using TRACES

For traders
  • Speed up of the administrative procedures
  • Facilitate international trade thanks to the multilingual application
  • Enable consultation of the certification process
For consumers
  • Facilitate traceability of the food chain
  • Enhance official checks on consignments
  • Support a prompt risk management in case of health threats
For competent authorities
  • Harmonise the implementation of law and procedures in cooperation with other information systems (Customs, RASFF)
  • Simplify administrative procedures for competent authorities
  • Facilitate international cooperation between competent authorities thanks to the multilingual interface
  • Support the fight against fraud
For animals
  • Enhanced official checks leading to a better animal welfare and animal health
For plants
  • Facilitate traceability to avoid propagating plant pests in the the EU

For more information about how does TRACES work, check the TRACES toolkit, your gateway to all user manuals, videos and templates for clarification of the functional TRACES objectives, tools and modules.