TRACES: TRAde Control and Expert System

TRACES: TRAde Control and Expert System

Each year, vast quantities of livestock, food and products are traded into the EU to be served on 500 million European plates, raising the question: how can the European Commission ensure that both food and consumers are kept safe? Watch the TRACES video and find out.

Click image to view video

Click image to view video

What is TRACES

TRACES is the European Commission's multilingual online management tool for all sanitary requirements on intra-EU trade and importation of animals, semen and embryo, food, feed and plants.

Its main objective is to digitise the entire certification process and linked procedures, and is in line with the declaration of the Digital Agenda for Europe.

About 30 000 users from more than 80 countries worldwide are interconnected through TRACES, centralising all data, simplifying and accelerating the trading process.

TRACES facilitates the exchange of information between all involved trading parties and control authorities and speeds up the administrative procedures.

The possibility to trace back and forth all the movements of animals, semen and embryo, food, feed and plants contributes to the reduction of the impact of disease outbreaks and brings a quick response to any sanitary alert, for the better protection of consumers, livestock and plants.

The network promotes a better cooperation between the competent authorities but also between the traders themselves and their competent authorities. When a decision is taken, the involved parties gain access to the official documents and receive alert notifications in case of a problem with the consignment. TRACES allows the quick detection of fake certificates and therefore contributes to the enhancement of trust vis-à-vis its partners.

All harmonised export certificates to the EU are available in the last updated version and translated into all EU official languages.

The users can gain access to all information but only if they are a concerned party. The statistical tool allows a rapid reaction in case of any detected problems.

TRACES is available in 35 languages preventing errors in regards to data introduction. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, free of charge.

TRACES is an efficient tool to ensure:

  • Traceability (monitoring movements, both within the EU and from non-EU countries)
  • Information exchange (enabling trade partners and competent authorities to easily obtain information on the movements of their consignments, and speeding up administrative procedures)
  • Risk management (reacting rapidly to health threats by tracing the movements of consignments and facilitating the risk management of rejected consignments).

TRACES aims to strengthen cooperation with EU partners, facilitate trade, accelerate administrative procedures and improve the risk management of health threats, while combating fraud and enhancing the safety of the food chain, animal health, and plant health.

More information

  • Discover the TRACES newsletter, featuring news, featuring news, facts&figures and developments about TRACES
  • Contact the TRACES Helpdesk (+32 2 297 63 50) to obtain more information or to request training on TRACES.
  • Contact us via email:
  • Check the TRACES Toolkit, your gateway to all user manuals, videos and templates for clarification of the functional TRACES objectives, tools and modules.