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Movement Assistance Scheme

Defra has introduced the Movement Assistance Scheme (MAS), to support traders and businesses in meeting new requirements for moving animals, plants and associated products from Great Britain (GB) to Northern Ireland (NI) after the transition period ends.

This will include advice to businesses through a helpline, and the reimbursement of some certification costs associated with the new requirements. Together, these measures will support traders as they continue to move agri-food goods from GB to NI.

Shipments of live animals, other animal and certain plant products to Northern Ireland from Great Britain may require an export health certificate (EHC).  Businesses and traders will not incur a cost for an EHC, this will be reimbursed directly to certifiers through the Movement Assistance Scheme (MAS).

Certifiers must be registered with EHC Online to be eligible for support via MAS. If you already have an EHC Online account you do not need to register again, your current registration remains valid.

What you need to do

  • Register on EHC Online if you have not already done so.
  • You’ll be notified of new certification requests on EHC Online.
  • After your first request you’ll be contacted by APHA with details of how to receive payment.
  • You’ll then be provided with a PO number via email, which can be used when raising invoices.
  • If you have issues getting set up, further guidance will be available on the Vet Gateway.
  • Follow the current inspection process to perform an EHC check.
  • If the goods pass inspection you can sign the certificate as you do now.
  • You’ll need to log into EHC Online after the inspection to confirm the checks have been completed, and the details in EHC Online are in line with the certification you’ve provided on the EHC.

Reimbursement information

The steps required for reimbursement of certification costs for animals and animal products are as follows:

  • Determine whether the trader’s goods require an EHC.
  • If so, the trader applies online using the EHC Online portal for an OV or other certifier to inspect their goods.
  • The trader and OV/other certifier arrange an appointment for the necessary checks and, if appropriate, provides the EHC.
  • The OV/other certifier invoices the certification costs to the Government directly. The trader incurs no direct cost.

In order to submit an invoice eligible for reimbursement through MAS, certifiers must submit all PDF invoices and include all EHC checks which have been completed. For GB-EU and GB-ROW certificates you should continue to invoice traders as normal.

The reimbursement scheme will be available for all relevant goods certified from 1 January 2020. It will be reviewed after three months to determine how to best provide ongoing support.

How to submit an invoice

Invoices should be submitted on a weekly and at least monthly basis to include all Export Health Certificates where certification checks have been completed. To ensure payments are made promptly, include all the following information:

  • Unique invoice number
  • Practice details, registered trading name, address on letter-head to include VAT registration number.
  • Purchase Order number, as supplied by APHA team.
  • A separate line for each transaction per Official Veterinarian with the following detail:
    • Date of certification completion
    • EHC serial number
    • Cost of checks based on existing fees, subject to a cap of £150 per EHC or £500 per EHC for equines only
    • Reasonable travel claim (if this is currently charged to the client and not currently included in your cost of checks fee), included number of miles and postcode to and from destinations
    • Certifier ID
    • VAT (at the appropriate rate) should be shown separately on the invoice as a separate charge

Please do not include any other Official Veterinarian tasks in these invoices.

Invoices should be sent by email to

Payment queries

Queries regarding the payment of invoices should in the first instance be directed to Accounts Payable, SSCL on

Queries regarding the PO number should be raised with APHA on:  +44 (0)20 80265644.

The MAS contact helpline is not able to answer any queries about reimbursement of certifier costs. Instead, please find detail below:

Further information

Popular links

Sam OV support

For queries about using Sam or the initial registration process please contact the Sam support desk on:

03300 416999
Email Sam support desk