Import controls

Introduction

At the approved border inspection posts, after pre-notification to the FASFC, animals are subjected to the controls included in Directive 91/496 and Decision 97/794.

There is a comprehensive body of Community legislation in place, which deals with veterinary border control.

On the website of DG Health and Food Safety there are numerous links to the website containing the regulations of the European Union.

Import regulations are highly harmonized across the EU. This means that rules are laid down at European Union level which apply to the import of animals in all Member States of the EU. These are rules concerning the veterinary certificate referring to a third country or a part of a third country authorized to export to the European Union.

For animal species for which there is no harmonized legislation in place, the Belgian conditions apply. These national conditions are listed in an import authorization. The list of animals that are NOT subject to an import authorization can be found in the annex to the circular letter (PCCB/S4/JVS/973640 - french) concerning import authorizations for live animals and products of animal origin imported from third countries into Belgium.

Inspections and decision

Pre-notification

Each consignment of live animals must be notified by an interested party to the FASFC at the BIP of arrival at least one working day before its expected arrival on EU territory. The pre-notification must be made by means of a Common Veterinary Entry Document, the CVED, via the TRACES system.  A CVED must be drawn up for each consignment, the model of which is laid down in Regulation (EC) N° 282/2004.

Documentary checks

Each consignment is subjected to a documentary check. To this end, the original veterinary certificate and the CVED accompanying the consignment must be submitted to the BIP where the consignment arrives. Among others things, it is assessed whether the veterinary document is an original document, whether it complies with the model prescribed by the EU and whether the consignment originates from an approved country and an approved establishment (if applicable).

Identity checks

Each consignment intended for import and transit is subjected to an identity check. 

During the identity check it is established whether the consignment details correspond to the information on the corresponding veterinary certificate. These details include the country of origin, the description and identification of the animal.

Physical checks

In all cases, live animals are subjected to a physical and welfare check by the BIP veterinarian who checks their health and assesses whether they are fit to be transported.  In certain cases, samples may be taken from the animals or a serological examination may be carried out.

Decision

After the checks have been carried out, the BIP veterinarian makes a decision regarding the consignment. The consignment may be either accepted or rejected. If the consignment is allowed into the country, it is thereby released for free circulation throughout the entire European Union (at least from a veterinary point of view).

A rejected consignment is eligible for return, slaughter or euthanasia.

The person responsible for the consignment shall receive a CVED signed and stamped by the official veterinarian, as well as a certified copy of the veterinary document (or an original copy in the case of transit).

Last updated: 20/09/2019