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British Bird Council

 Importing Birds From

European Countries


Bringing birds back from European Union Countries


There are two major changes that have had a drastic effect on both improrting or exportings birds to and from European Countries, this not only includes purchase or selling but also the showing of birds in events such as the World Show or the Gouden Ring


This is of course the first major change; we are no longer in the European Union and thus the laws that apply for the movement of birds across our border are now covered by "retained EU law", which means Europe is a Third Country and there is a lengthy process to follow when improrting or even exporting. This includes health certification, pre-notification to APHA, entering UK via designated border control points, quarantine at an authorised facility and further vet inspection. This includes birds from Northern Ireland.
More details are below.


This is another complication, a long list of European birds has been added to Cities by Ukraine in a bid to stop bird trafficking. It is something the UK has to abide by and thus you need to prenotify APHA and have a permit to bring any of the listed species into or out of the the UK, or in fact across any country border!

More details can be found here


We enclose some "advice" or a process that has been provided by APHA, this is constantly under review and we attend meetings with DEFRA to attempt to improve and simplify the process.

How you can import all captive bred birds form the EU into GB. 

Please note that is information is for non CITES birds if you wish to import CITES birds then there are further requirements which you should follow. (see seperate information on this website) 

“Captive birds” are considered to be the types of birds usually kept as a hobby, for pleasure, scientific interest or sport including racing pigeons, birds of prey & zoo birds.

The movement conditions for ‘captive birds’ from EU are set out in Import Information Note (IIN) CBTC-2, which can be found at the link below.

As stated on  

imports of live animals must now follow the new import requirements:

Live animals, including equines and germinal products must be:

* accompanied by a health certificate (Health Certificates)

* pre-notified by the importer using IPAFFS at least one working day before the expected time of arrival at the point of entry

You’ll need to give the exporter or OV the unique notification number (UNN) automatically produced by IPAFFS when you submit your import notification. The format of this number will be IMP.GB.2021.1XXXXXX.

The OV must add the UNN to the health certificate. A copy of the health certificate must be attached to the import notification.

APHA will carry out identity and physical checks on imports of live animals from the EU at their destination, based on a risk assessment until March 2022.

You must comply with the statement in the appropriate health certificate. 

Here You can find a model health certificate     Health Certificate

We advise that you contact your vet in the country of origin regarding complying with the health certificate requirements and the issuing of the health certificate.

The new process for imports will mean that you will need use IPAFFS to submit your import notification to APHA,

Please see the following link regarding IPAFFS:       IPAFFS

Importers must notify APHA at least 24 hours before the arrival of the consignment into GB.



British Bird Council @ 2021