Notification regarding issuance of DOCOMS

  • 11 August 2023, 11:17

A “DOCOM” refers to a “Document of Compliance,” which is a specific type of travel documentation for horses moving between certain countries, particularly within the European Union. It’s a regulatory document that outlines the health and compliance status of the horse being transported. DOCOMs are used for international travel of horses and are typically governed by bilateral agreements between countries’ agricultural and veterinary authorities.

We want to provide you with the latest information regarding horse travel to France.

Please take note of the following key points:

Current Travel Practice: As of now, all horses have been traveling on Health Certificates, ensuring their safe journey and well-being. Health Certificates are wholly different than DOCOMS.

Health Certificates: All horses can continue to travel to France using the appropriate Health Certificate. This method remains valid and effective for ensuring horse mobility.

DOCOMs Option: While Health Certificates offer 10 days of mobility, a special subset of registered horses can utilise a Document of Compliance for certain trips to France (DOCOMs). DOCOMs provide 30 days of mobility for eligible horses.

Usage Patterns: Over the past three years, DOCOMs have been utilized by 22 Sport Horse yards. They are also more commonly employed in Thoroughbred yards, particularly for breeding purposes.

New Bilateral Arrangement: DOCOMs are part of a new bilateral arrangement between the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine (DAFM) and the French Government. This arrangement impacts all horse movements between the two countries.

HSI Position: Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) has not enrolled in DOCOMs due to not being an authorised delegated body. DOCOMs administration requires frequent inspections, testing, and regulatory authority, which we lack.

Compliance and High Health Status: Authorised delegated bodies overseeing DOCOMs must possess the capacity to conduct inspections and testing on animals and premises. HSI does not have this capability.

Cost Considerations: Implementing DOCOMs involves substantial costs for compliance and inspection infrastructure, which would be borne by breeders and owners.

Consigned Horses: Registered DOCOMs horses must be consigned to and from an Authorised Derogation Establishment.

Transport and SOPs: Only designated transporters for derogated movement can be used for DOCOMs, and specific Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) must be followed.

Issuance of DOCOMs: Only Authorised Delegated Bodies, Authorised Derogation Establishments, and Designated Transporters for Derogated Movement are authorized to issue Equine DOCOMs through Traces NT. HSI does not currently meet these criteria.

HSI has actively engaged with the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine on this matter.

In conclusion, we want to emphasise that DOCOMs are not essential for traveling horses to France. The decision by HSI to not participate in DOCOMs does not hinder horse travel to France. The industry continues to benefit from the cost-effective and efficient practice of using Health Certificates for travel. Implementing DOCOMs would entail significant costs for the industry, making the current approach more viable.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we strive to ensure the best outcomes for the equestrian community. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us [email protected]