IPAFFs – A Guide for Traders

The Import of goods into a country involves a lot of paperwork, including the filing of import declarations.

On 1st January 2021, the UK introduced the IPAFFs system after departing from the European Union (EU).

Businesses must use IPAFFS (Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System) if they handle the movement of live animals or other controlled goods into Great Britain.

The IPAFFS is a key component of the UK’s efforts to ensure that these goods are safe and meet the necessary regulatory requirements.

The IPAFFS system is a web-based service.

IPAFFS notify UK authorities of the movements of live animals, germplasm, and certain other commodities into the UK from Third Countries.

This does not apply to goods coming from Ireland, although we can expect this to change on October 1st 2023.

The purpose of the system is to classify products based on their specific characteristics, such as their composition, intended use, and potential risks. 

When should you use IPAFFS during the import declaration process? 

There is not one straight answer as this will depend on the nature of the goods you are importing.

Your business should use IPAFFS for any goods that have a high potential risk to human, animal, or plant health.

Check some examples below:

  • live animals
  • germinal products
  • animal by-products (ABP)
  • high-risk food and feed not of animal origin (HRFNAO)
  • products of animal origin (POAO)
  • composite food products
  • plants and plant products

We should stress that using the IPAFFS system is mandatory for the types of goods mentioned above.

Failure to do so can result in delays and potential penalties for non-compliance.

How does IPAFFS work?

You must use IPAFFs to notify the Animal and Plant Health Agency at least 1 working day prior to the arrival of the goods into the port of entry.

To be able to use the IPAFFS system, businesses must first register for an account.

As a result, you will be able to log in to the system and create an import notification for the consignment you wish to import.

On the notification, you should include information about the consignment.

The information includes: the type of product you are importing, the quantity, and the country of origin.

UK authorities use the information you provide in the import notification to assess the risk associated with the import.

They determine whether any additional measures are required to mitigate the risk.

The Exporter of the goods must apply for the health certificate in their home country.

In addition, The original certificate should be sent with the cargo.

For a complete guide on how to create an IPAFF contact UK Customs Services Ltd here and we will be ready to assist you.

In conclusion, the implementation of IPAFFS for imports has brought significant improvements in the process of importing goods into the United Kingdom.

Most importantly, the system has enabled the authorities to better manage risks associated with imports.

Above all, the system has enhanced the accuracy of data collected on imported goods.

Therefore, IPAFFS has simplified the import process for traders, reducing the administrative burden associated with importing goods.

However, while IPAFFS has undoubtedly been beneficial, it is essential to continuously monitor its effectiveness to identify areas that need improvement.

If you have any issues with IPAFFS, Please contact APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) Helpdesk on 0300 100 0313.

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