Using IPAFFS in a no deal BREXIT scenario

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, DEFRA will no longer be able to raise notifications on The Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES). Importers will need to use the new Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS), to pre-notify imports from non-EU countries from 29 March. Further information on the imports process in the event of No Deal has been updated on GOV.UK.

The IPAFFS system is now available and DEFRA ask that you cascade this information to relevant organisations or take action yourself. Current users of TRACES should register on IPAFFS and ensure they are familiar with the new system in preparation for a no-deal scenario. Pre-notifications should also be raised on the system, in-line with the guidance below.

How can an importer start using the system?
All importers can now register and raise pre-notifications on IPAFFS. To register, follow this link: A detailed step by step guide is attached, and you can find links to a helpful set of videos below.

What should the system be used for?
IPAFFS should be used to pre-notify the:

  • Arrival of live animals, products of animal origin (POAO) and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin (FNAO) coming from non-EU countries for the same commodities that are currently pre-notified on TRACES. 
  • Arrival of consignments that have:
    • transited the EU before entering the UK, or
    • consignments that will arrive in the UK before onward travel to another country.

When do import agents need to start using the system?
At present, for all consignments that will be arriving in the UK and fully cleared (including any lab tests) before 11pm GMT 29 March 2019, TRACES must be used to pre-notify consignments.

Given the current uncertainty, DEFRA are advising that consignments that are not fully cleared before 11pm GMT 29 March are logged on both systems to ensure that the consignment is appropriately pre-notified. Both IPAFFS and TRACES should be used for consignments that either:

  • Arrive in the UK after the 11pm GMT 29 March 2019; or 
  • Arrive in the UK before 11pm GMT 29 March 2019 but may not be fully cleared (including any lab tests) until after 11pm GMT 29 March 2019

A further update on this requirement will be issued should the guidance change.

It is important you communicate with your exporters in the country of origin, and with your UK import agents, to ensure they understand what documents they need to provide. Further updates will be included on GOV.UK.

Consignments coming from the EU 
UK authorities should be notified of the arrival of live animals, germinal products, and certain animal by products travelling on a DOCOM, high-risk FNAO and POAO from areas where safeguard measures are in place.

The Notification form will be available on GOV.UK from 20 March and full guidance on this process can be found here. Goods originating in the EU which are not currently notified on TRACES will not require notification immediately after the UK exits the EU.

Pre-notification of high-risk food and feed will be introduced from summer 2019. Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) will have its own processes for the notification of imports to Northern Ireland which they will disseminate via their website.

Support available
 GOV.UK guidance on how to use IPAFFS has been updated, There are also links to IPAFFS guidance videos:

For further support on IPAFFS, please contact the APHA service desk on 03300 416 999 or
Opening hours for the Service Desk are 8.30am to 5pm, Monday – Friday.

If you have any further queries on importing of animals of POAO then please email

Back to news

We use cookies on this site to improve your experience. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You will only see this message once. Find out more