SPS Import Systems

SPS import systems – end of transition update


To help you prepare for the 1st January, this note provides some important information about the new imports system you will be using to notify of consignments coming into Great Britain and when/how it will be phased in.


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.


Over the next couple of months, we will be providing you with regular information about the phased introduction of the system across the different commodities.


Important dates to remember


We are aware we have engaged some of you previously on the timescales for phasing in the new imports system, however to aid your preparations, we now attach 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 about what you need to do to prepare to use IPAFFS (Imports of Products, Animals Food and Feed System) and the support we will offering can be found on the attached annex.


As mentioned earlier we will continue to provide regular updates on the transition and we will be writing to you as a single SPS importer community to help to streamline communications.

In the meantime, we are here to help, therefore if you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch by replying to this email.


SPS Systems Programme - Business Readiness Team, DEFRA




IPAFFS – Live animals, animal products and high risk food/feed not of animal origin


At the end of the transition period imports into GB of live animals, animal products and high risk food and feed will be notified via our new national system IPAFFS (Imports of Products, Animals Food and Feed System).


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


  1. 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 23 November 2020.
  2. 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


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 APHAServiceDesk@apha.gov.uk .


What you need to do from 23 November

  • Use IPAFFS for imports of live animals arriving to GB on or after 23 November 2020
  • The technical switch from TRACES New Technology (NT) to IPAFFS will be made at 6am on Monday 23 November 2020. There may be delays to consignments being processed from 6am for approximately 30mins, as we make the switch from TRACES NT to IPAFFS.
  • Consignment’s arriving before 6am on 23 November 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.
  • See the attached flowchart to understand the process.

How we will support you

  • 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.  (If the training link above does not work for you, please copy and paste the link into your web browser.)


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


Training videos are being refreshed and will be available shortly. We will follow up with an email with links to those training videos and user guides. We will also invite you to an online Q&A session.


IPAFFS – Plant and Plant Products


The IT system used to facilitate the pre-notification of imports of plants and plant products will be changing, moving from the current Procedure for Electronic Application for Certificates (PEACH) system to IPAFFS.


To manage the volume of change that you will be experiencing and to manage the phased introduction of IPAFFS to users, it is our intention to introduce IPAFFS for the prenotification of plant and products in early 2021 – after the 1st January 2021.


Therefore, traders should continue to use the existing PEACH system until we direct you to register and use the new service.


The timing and sequencing of this migration will ensure a smooth and orderly transfer between systems and will allow sufficient time for you to become familiar with the new service. We will be providing comprehensive training and support before during and after migration.