How to apply for a licence to transport live animals into the EU
If you are registered in the United Kingdom as a company that transports live animals and you wish to transport live animals in the EU after Brexit, you will need a transport licence in the EU. Here you can find out what steps to take before applying for your transport licence.
Once the criteria listed below have been met, you can submit your application to the Netherlands Food and Product Safety Authority (NVWA).
Transport licence application criteria
Before you apply for a transport licence, you have to take the following steps.
- establish a registered office in the EU
- register with the Chamber of Commerce
- apply for eRecognition (eHerkenning) for the Netherlands
- request a customer reference number from the NVWA
- import and register your lorries in the Netherlands
- have your lorries inspected by the Netherlands Vehicle Authority (RDW) for animal transport
- apply for certificates of competence for your drivers
- draw up a contingency plan
You are only allowed to submit an application for a licence to the competent authority in one Member State.
Getting established in the EU
Your company must be represented in the Member State where you apply for a transport licence. This means that your business has to be registered at a physical address within this Member State. Therefore, postal addresses are not permitted.
If you wish to apply for a licence in the Netherlands, you must be represented in the Netherlands, as only your Dutch offices will be permitted to submit the application. The following conditions apply for the Netherlands: registration with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce at a physical address, eRecognition and a NVWA customer reference number.
Registering with the Chamber of Commerce
Please click here to register with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce.
eRecognition for the Netherlands
eRecognition (eHerkenning) is a digital means of identification, this is necessary, to purchase a service from the NVWA, such as a transport licence. Please click here to apply for eHerkenning.
NVWA customer reference number
You will be able to use your eHerkenning to request an NVWA customer reference number.
Importing and registering your lorries in the Netherlands
From 1 January 2021, vehicles previously registered in the United Kingdom will no longer be registered in the Netherlands on the basis of an EU registration certificate or a UK registration certificate. The Netherlands Vehicle Authority (RDW) will treat the vehicle as an import from a country outside the EU.
The vehicle must be individually inspected and certified at an RDW inspection station. For more information on the import and registration of lorries to the Netherlands, please visit the RDW website.
Inspection of lorries for animal transport by the RDW
You will need a certificate of approval for the means of transport for long journeys, which must be issued by an EU country. This applies to all means of transport operating within the EU. Therefore, you must ensure that your lorries are inspected by the RDW.
Certificate of competence for your driver
Your driver will need a certificate of competence to transport livestock that has been issued in an EU country. This applies to all drivers transporting livestock in the EU. If your driver primarily speaks English, we recommend that they attend the course in Ireland. Ireland will be able to issue the certificate, which will be valid throughout the EU.
If you wish to follow courses in Dutch, the Central Office for Motor Vehicle Driver Testing (Central Bureau Rijvaardigheidsbewijzen, CBR) offers the Livestock Transport Competence course. The CBR offers 2 courses:
- Certificate of Competence for poultry transport
- Certificate of Competence for livestock transport (sheep, goats, cattle, horses, pigs)
Please also check the gov.uk website for information on driving licence exchange and the rules on driving in EU countries (in English).
You must have contingency plans to deal with emergencies that can arise during the transport of animals.
You should apply for a transport licence in the EU country where your business is established. If you meet all of the requirements listed above, you will be able to apply to the NVWA to issue a transport licence.
I want to transport live animals into the UK. What steps do I need to take?
If you are a company registered in the EU and wish to transport live animals to the UK, please check the guidance on importing or exporting animals on the website of the UK authorities (in English).
Please consult our web dossier Transporting live animals.