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Important information on new import notification system

22nd Oct 2020 / By Alistair Driver

Defra has published mportant information about the new imports system that will be used to notify of consignments of animals and food products coming into Great Britain and how it will be phased in.

With the Transition Period ending on January 1, 2021, the Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS) will be the new national import notification system for GB. 

It will cover imports for live animals, animal products, high risk food and feed and will be expanded to include plants/plants products and will be phased in over the next two months, starting with live aninmal imports.

Important dates

This is an overview of when IPAFFS will be phased in across all commodities:




Non-EU / Non-EEA countries

EU / EEA countries

Live Animals

23rd November 2020

Already live

Animal By Products

7th December 2020

Already live

Germinal Products

7th December 2020

Already live

Product of Animal Origin

7th December 2020

1st April 2021

High Risk Food/Feed not of Animal Origin

7th December 2020

1st April 2021

Plant/Plant Products

From 1st Feb 2021

(specific date tbc)

From 1st Feb 2021

(specific date tbc)

Further information 

To enable a smooth transition from TRACES, Defra will be phasing in IPAFFS before the end of the year as follows:

  • All notifications to GB from non-EU/non-EEA countries which are currently made in TRACES NT on a CHED-A must be made in IPAFFS from November 23, 2020.
  • Notifications to GB from non-EU/non-EEA countries made on a CVED-P or a CHED-D notifications should remain in Traces until 7 December after which they should be in IPAFFS. 

Note: Imports into Northern Ireland will continue on TRACES NT after the transition period ends.

What you need to do now

  • If you haven’t already, register for IPAFFS now. Please note: You only need to register for IPAFFS if your current function is to create notifications on TRACES, acting as the person responsible for the load. 
  • If you are already registered for IPAFFS, please check that you have your Government Gateway ID and password. If you have forgotten these, or your memorable word, contact the APHA Service Desk on 03300 416 999 or email  .

What you need to do from November 23

  • Use IPAFFS for imports of live animals arriving to GB on or after November 23, 2020
  • The technical switch from TRACES New Technology (NT) to IPAFFS will be made at 6am on Monday, November 23. There may be delays to consignments being processed from 6am for approximately 30 mins, as we make the switch from TRACES NT to IPAFFS.
  • Consignment’s arriving before 6am on November 23 should be notified on TRACES NT but  consignments that arrive after 6am should be notified on IPAFFS.
  • Any consignments arriving after 6am but notified on Traces NT or those that have not been cleared by 6am will require manual clearance via the National Clearance Hub.

Government support

Access is available to the IPAFFS Training Environment to help prepare for the change. You will need a Government Gateway account specifically to access this.

NOTE: You will need to create a separate Government Gateway account to the one you use for your live IPAFFS account.