ARCHIVE: Importer Information Note for importation of captive birds from Third Countries (countries outside the EU) into England (IIN A/10)
These notes explain the conditions which apply to imports of captive birds from Third Countries (countries outside the EU) into England.
These notes should be read in conjunction with the notes describing the veterinary checks applicable to all live animals imported into England.
The import rules for importing certain birds into the EU are laid down in Commission Regulation (EC) No. 318/2007, which came into force on 1 July 2007. This Regulation applies to all birds apart from the following exemptions:
- Birds defined as poultry in Council Directive 2009/158/EC (For guidance on importing live poultry from Third Countries please see Importer Information Note A/7);
- Birds intended for approved conservation programmes;
- “Pet birds” (For guidance on importing pet birds from third countries please see Importer Information Note A/12);
- Birds intended for zoos, circuses, amusement parks or experiments;
- Birds destined for bodies, institutes or centres approved according to Article 13 of Directive 92/65/EEC (as amended);
- Racing pigeons (as referred to in Article 2(f) of Commission Regulation (EC) No 318/2007; and
- Birds imported from Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, and the Vatican City state
There are separate conditions for Avian Influenza vaccinated captive birds and queries on these imports should be directed to the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency.
In accordance with the requirements of Annex I of Commission Regulation (EC) No 318/2007 the European Commission has drawn up a list of third countries from which Member States may permit imports of captive birds.
The approved Third Country list for imports of captive birds can be found in Annex I of Commission Regulation 798/2008.
All captive birds imported from Third Countries must be subjected to a laboratory virus detection test 7 to 14 days prior to export with negative results for any avian influenza or Newcastle disease virus. The birds must not have been vaccinated against avian influenza.
Consignments imported from third countries must be accompanied by a health certificate which conforms to the model laid down in Annex III of Commission Regulation (EC) No. 318/2007 and which is signed by an official veterinarian or inspector of the veterinary authority in the country of origin.
Guidance on how to complete a health certificate can be found in Commission Decision 2007/240/EC.
All birds must be identified with an individual identification number, by means of a uniquely marked seamlessly closed leg-ring or a microchip, in accordance with Article 66(2) of Commission Regulation 865/2006.
ID numbers of leg-rings or microchips must bear at least the ISO code of the exporting third country performing the identification and a unique serial number. The ID number must be registered on the accompanying health certificate, as well as on the outside of the container that the birds are being transported in.
All birds must be transported in new containers which must bear the unique ID number that corresponds with the ID number provided for on the accompanying health certificate.
Captive birds imported into England from an approved Third Country must complete a minimum of 30 days quarantine in an approved quarantine facility or centre. Imported birds shall be transported directly from the Border Inspection Post (BIP) of entry in England to an approved quarantine facility or centre, a list of which can be found in Annex V to Commission Regulation (EC) No. 318/2007.
The total journey time to an approved quarantine facility or centre must not normally exceed nine hours. When vehicles are used for this journey they shall be sealed by the competent authorities with a tamper proof seal.
During the quarantine period an official veterinarian will inspect the quarantined birds at the beginning and end of the quarantine period and further inspections may be carried out, if the official veterinarian feels it necessary, due to the current disease situation. All quarantine and inspection costs will be met by the importer.
Birds listed as endangered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) require a CITES permit. For information and permits, importers must apply to:
CITES and Bird Registration
Wildlife Licensing and Registration Service (WLRS)
Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency
1/17 Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Tel: 0117 372 8168
Fax: 0117 372 8206
Welfare of animals during transport
Importers are reminded that they must comply with rules on the welfare of animals during transport. For information on the rules see the Defra website.
Situations where emergency safeguard action has been taken, at very short notice, to prohibit or restrict the importation of certain animals/products from certain countries following an outbreak of serious disease in those countries may not be covered. Importers are advised to contact the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (see below) to check if any action has been taken in relation to the current status of any particular country. Details of safeguard measures can also be found in our Declarations and Customer Information Notes.
Alternatively you can keep up to date with amendments to legislation by checking the European Commission’s website.
European Union legislation
Consolidated texts, which integrate the basic instruments of European Union legislation with their amendments and corrections in a single, non-official document, are available. Each consolidated text contains a list of all legal documents taken into account for its construction. Please enter the year and number of in the appropriate fields eg for Council Directive 91/496 Year = 1991 & No = 496.
Texts provided in this section are intended for information only. Please note that these texts have no legal value. For legal purposes please refer to the texts published in the 'Official Journal of the European Union'.
For non-consolidated legislation, please use the simple search option on the European Commission’s website.
Contact for general information on import requirements
Specialist Service Centre for Imports
Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency
Essex CM1 2RU
Tel: 01245 454 860
Fax: 01245 351 162
Contacts for other important advice and guidance
Importers should note that the information given relates only to animal health and public health conditions of import. It does not give guidance on other conditions that may need to be met.
The information sheet below gives details of other organisations you may also need to consult.
Page last modified:
24 June 2011
Page published: 9 June, 2006