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Tackling Traces

Posted by andrewivesonadmin | Posted 10th May 2018 | Blog, and News

TRACES (trade control and expert system) is a new electronic system for some exports. The ways in which food and other products of animal origin are being exported are constantly changing. More countries are being exported to with new products and the electronic age is allowing paperless certification to be used instead of the original watermarked health certificate in some circumstances. Keeping up to date with these changes can be daunting, especially if you are used to the ‘old’ system for certificate application.

What is TRACES?

This web-based system allows paperless monitoring of products of animal origin (and live animal) exports within the EU. However, it is increasingly being used for some countries outside the EU and replacing the export health certificate (EHC) in certain instances. The EHC and Declaration are then available to the exporter immediately after validation.

Countries using TRACES are Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Ukraine but more countries will be added to this list in the future. Some of these countries only use TRACES for certain commodities, rather than for every export.


Getting started

Firstly, a TRACES user account is needed. This is granted by APHA after supplying them with your name, email address, organisation address and if appropriate, establishment approval number.

Application is then made through the TRACES system generating a reference number. However, the application is not automatic – the exporter then needs to send a notification email to APHA stating:-

  • Which document is required (certificate/declaration)
  • Destination country
  • Reference number ( EXPORT.GB.YYYY.NNNNNNN)
  • Name and email address of nominated OV/OV Practice
  • Date of export and date of expected certification

These must be emailed to processingteam@apha.gsi.gov.uk

Once the application has been processed the health certificate is issued by APHA to the Official Veterinarian (OV) via a password protected link. The OV prints, completes the certificate, scans it and emails it back to APHA for validation. This is done within 1 day of signing. No original, watermarked hard copy is provided or required.

Points to note

  • It is not possible to create multiple/block applications – each EHC/declaration needs to be applied for individually.
  • The certificate is valid for 10 days from the date of application. If the certificate has not been completed by the OV and validated by APHA in this time a new application is required, they cannot be extended.
  • Note the different system of full stops and commas used to describe weights (as mentioned in the guidance notes).
  • No ‘hard’ copy is produced – ensure the importer is aware of this.
  • Further exporter guidance notes on completion of the forms can be found here.

The Amivet team have experience of working with this system as Official Veterinarians and are available to help if required.

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