Importing Products, Animals, Food, and Feed System (IPAFFS) | A Complete Guide

The trading of animals and feed, which was a hurdle for importers and exporters at one time. This problem was solved when the government of the UK developed a system named IPAFFS (Import of Products, Animals, Food, and Feed System). A system that maintains the track ID of the living and provides certificates, which are essential during the customs declaration process. 


A trading system that has helped traders a lot and is making the customs trade efficient. This blog explains in detail the working structures and benefits of IPAFFS. Moreover, it highlights how one can take advantage of this system and what good it does.

What does IPAFFS mean?

The Brexit movement created multiple challenges for the UK, which affected trade and compliance. TRADE (Trade Control and Expert System), which handled the trade of animals and food, is no longer available for the EU. Thus, a new system was introduced on the market named IPAFFS. It is defined as:


A web-based application that helps  traders get certificates of Health Entry Documents (HED). These documents pre-notify the customs authorities before the consignment boards.


When the documents are issued to the trader, he submits them to the customs declaration page and then submits them for declaration. IPAFFS has surpassed competitors because it is efficient and user-friendly. A trader has to register his account with IPAFFS in order to qualify for certification and then submit the declaration. For the IPAFFS service that HMRC offers, use document code C065.

How is IPAFFS helpful for traders?

Animals, food, feed systems, and other living products are all under IPAFFS’s purview for import management. This system allows the importers to notify and submit a report about the things they are importing. It offers a bunch of services that include:

  • Paper-free system:

    IPAFFS simplifies the import process by providing a single location to file all the required paperwork and apply for clearance. It expedites the import process by cutting down on bureaucratic hoops that businesses normally have to jump through. This efficiency allows traders to spend less time on mundane tasks and more time focusing on expanding their businesses.

  • Clarity in process

    : The system guarantees that import norms, standards, and requirements are defined and disseminated in a consistent manner. Information on import policies, documentation needs, and regulatory compliance standards is easily accessible to companies. When importers and distributors know exactly what is expected of them, everything runs more smoothly and in accordance with regulations.

  • Precautionary notifications:

    IPAFFS incorporates risk assessment techniques to help identify potential hazards or dangers related to imported products, animals, food, and feed.  This system can aid merchants through permitting them to deal with risks in advance, implement necessary control mechanisms, and ensure that all necessary standards for quality and safety are met. Consequently, compliance issues will cause fewer imports to be rejected or held up.

  • Better interaction:

    IPAFFS facilitates better interaction and coordination between market participants and authorities. Traders can post queries to the hub, which will then provide them with responses and guidance. It streamlines interaction between parties and ensures that those involved in import transactions have ready access to relevant information and resources.

  • Ease for sellers:

    In the event of a recall or other safety concern, IPAFFS streamlines the process of recalling and managing recalled products. Sellers can track the movement of potentially compromised inventory in real time, facilitating rapid product recalls and other preventative measures. Protecting public health and consumer safety with this traceability feature boosts the standing of market participants.

  • Fair competition:

    IPAFFS facilitates increased oversight of imports by regulatory agencies, which in turn increases conformity with rules and standards.  Business owners benefit from this kind of monitoring because it promotes fair competition and helps ensure that unsafe or low-quality products do not make it to consumers. By adhering to the rules established by regulatory bodies, traders can protect their reputations and bank accounts.

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How does IPAFFS work?

The methodology of ipaff working is simple and easy to follow, but they should still take assistance from customs experts. You need to have an account on the Government Gateway Account. If you are not registered on this platform, you need to create an account. 


Once you have created your account, can register for DEFRA and IPAFFS services. If a trader already uses DEFRA services, he can directly switch to IPAFFS. IPFFS login details are the same as for a government gateway account. Choose “register for more services” if you already use other DEFRA services and want to sign up for IPAFFS.


If you’re an import agent representing an importer, you’ll need to create an IPAFFS log in account using your own company information. As IPAFFS users, you should not use the “intermediaries” option on the “Manage account” page. You are liable for the shipment from the time it reaches the UK until the time the authorities have finished their inspections after you have issued a notification in IPAFFS.

Benefits of IPAFFS

Both governments and companies that participate in international trade can reap benefits from the import system for goods, animals, food, and feed. Among the many advantages are:

  • New Exposure:

Countries that are able to import goods are able to provide their citizens with a wider selection of products than those produced domestically. It paves the way for people to experiment with novel products from all over the world.

  • Economic Growth

Imports help the economy grow and diversify because they expose businesses to new customers and markets. The revenue generated from import duties, taxes, and fees helps propel the economy forward by easing the flow of goods and services. The promotion of competition has the potential to provide consumers with lower prices and more purchasing options.

  • Strengthen Supply chain:

Importing goods, animals, food, and feed from other regions strengthens supply chains by increasing their diversity and thus decreasing vulnerability to disruptions. The risk of interruption from events like natural disasters, political unrest, or market swings is reduced, and dependence on a single source is reduced.

  • Decreasing vulnerability:

Imports provide countries with the opportunity to learn about and benefit from the world’s most cutting-edge innovations in technology, resources, and expertise. As a result, domestic businesses may benefit from increased growth and flexibility as information and ideas become more easily shared.

  • Healthy Living:

Importing food and animal feed can help ensure a country’s population has access to nutritious options in the event of natural disasters or seasonal shifts that reduce domestic production. As a result, the severity of the food shortage is mitigated, and dietary requirements are fulfilled..

  • Trustworthy:

Many nations with populations that rely on imported goods have instituted rigorous regulations and quality standards to protect their citizens’ well-being. Products that have gone through the import system’s rigorous inspection and certification process tend to be more trustworthy among consumers. 

  • Trade Between Communities:

Import trade between communities of different cultural backgrounds is mutually beneficial. Experiencing new cuisines, traditions, and practices from all over the world is just one way in which cultural exchange broadens people’s horizons and fosters mutual understanding.

Despite its many advantages, the import system must be carefully regulated, monitored, and enforced to guarantee consumers’ protection and the highest possible product quality and safety. Governments impose inspections and controls on imported goods to safeguard citizens’ health, safeguard domestic industries, and lessen the risks associated with them.


What does DEFRA stand for?

The Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs is commonly abbreviated as DEFRA. In the United Kingdom, this agency oversees environmental, agricultural, fishery, food, and rural community policies and regulations.

What is a government gateway account?

Through the Government Gateway Account, a government-used online registration system, individuals and businesses in the United Kingdom have secure access to a variety of government services and online transactions. It's a one-stop shop for interacting with different branches of the government.

Is IPAFFS document submission necessary for every trader?

No, IPAFFS is only required when the goods an importer is finding fall into one of the categories of animals, animal feed, food, or similar products.

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