In order to ensure the traceability of the product, to check the compliance with specific hygiene standards and animal welfare and also to avoid the transmission of diseases or parasites, a health certificate is required for the international transport of animals.
The transport of animals between EU Member States follows a harmonised procedure and has to be declared in the TRACES system.
The export of animals from Luxembourg to a third country must be in accordance with the requirements set by the country of destination.Applications for health certificates for the transport of animals have to be submitted to the Administration of Veterinary Services ( Administration des Services Vétérinaires - ASV).
Who is concerned
This only applies to domestic or pet animals in the case of a commercial movement of animals.
This exception applies to horses which:
- are being ridden or taken, for sporting or recreational purposes;
- are taking part in cultural events;
- are intended solely for pasturing or work for a maximum duration of 90 days;
- are being transported for veterinary reasons.
Before applying for a health certificate, exporters have to make sure that:
- production animals (bovine, porcine, ovine and caprine animals) to be exported have been correctly identified and properly registered in the ASV's SANITEL system;
- domestic animals and horses are identified by an electronic chip and have their own passport during each trip (dogs, cats, horses and ferrets).
Moreover, the driver is required to hold a certificate of professional aptitude for the transport of animals (certificat d'aptitude professionnel pour le transport des animaux). Transporters must have an authorisation for short routes (type 1) or long routes (type 2). The means of transport also needs to be authorised according to the type of route (long or short).
Before applying for an export health certificate to another EU Member State, economic operators (the exporter or the transporter) have to create an account in the TRACES system, which will be validated by the ASV and which will allow them to register their applications.
The European Commission has published a guide called TRACES Toolkit, which contains the user manuals for the TRACES system, videos and templates.
Professionals who do not intend to regularly request health certificates do not need to create an account in the TRACES system as they can apply directly to the ASV.
With regard to the transport of horses, applicants must receive a pré-certificat sanitaire (health pre-certificate) from their veterinarian. This certificate is valid for 10 days only and the movement of the animal can only take place during the validity period of the certificate.
The inspections and the issue of certificates take place during working days, during the opening hours of the Administration of Veterinary Services.
Health certificates can be obtained by submitting the application to the veterinary inspector at least 24 hours prior to the day and time where the animals to be inspected are presented at the place of loading or at the collection point. The veterinary inspector sets an appointment to carry out the health inspection. For transports whose duration exceed 8 hours, applicants must submit their application for the health certificate at least 48 hours prior to the beginning of the transport.
The certificate must be issued within 24 hours before the departure of the animals and it remains valid for 10 days only.
How to proceed
Filing an application
Economic operators must submit the application for the health certificate for the transport of animals to another EU Member State via the TRACES system.
They must use the code and name for the animal as set out in the customs nomenclature to complete the application.
Applicants who do not have access to or do not have an account in the TRACES system are required to complete an export form, which varies depending on the type of animal and the ASV will ensure the application is properly submitted.
In order to ensure this, applicants must, depending on the type of animal, send the following to email@example.com:
- an application for an export or intracommunity certificate for bovine animals;
- an application for an export or intracommunity certificate for a horse;
- an application for an export or intracommunity certificate for poultry; or
- an application for an export or intracommunity certificate for ovine/caprine animals.
Each transport of animals is subject to an application.
If an application is submitted for an animal belonging to a protected species under the CITES convention, then a CITES permit must be applied for in addition to the health certificate.
Conditions for granting the certificate
The ASV will assess the application by taking into account the health requirements set by the country of destination.
The health inspection includes:
- verifying the identification and type of animals;
- examining the animals with a view to their fitness for transport;
- the collection of information on the holding of origin, the health status of the animals and if it originates from a region free of infectious animal diseases;
- inspection of the means of transport and their disinfection.
Foreign authorities may sometimes require additional inspections.
If the inspection is conclusive, the ASV will issue the health certificate. The veterinarian will register the certificate and the transport conditions in the TRACES system in order to share the information with the authorities at the place of destination.
The health certificate in paper format must accompany the live animals during each transport.
Conditions for denial
The ASV will deny the issue of a certificate if the animal is unfit for transport, if it presents signs of clinical infections or diseases or if the documents concerning the animal are not compliant (identification of the animal, transport documents, etc.). In this case, the animal cannot be taken out of the country.