Announced Revised Tripartite Agreement

14th May 2014

On May 18th 2014 a revised Tripartite Agreement (TPA) will come into force allowing for governed and traceable movement of horses between the Great Britain, France and Ireland.

The key industry organisations The Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA), British Horseracing Authority (BHA), Weatherbys and British Equestrian Federation (BEF) have been working in conjunction with The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Animal Health Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) to see this regulation imposed.

The amendment of the TPA consents horses which are of demonstrably higher health status than the general horse population, and therefore at lower risk of transmitting disease, to travel under the TPA without veterinary health certification. These are:

  1. Registered General Stud Book (GSB) Thoroughbreds in the Great Britain, France and Ireland, or which are registered in Weatherbys’ Non Thoroughbred Register (NTR) or Autre Que Pur Sang (AQPS) horses for breeding, sale, training and racing in France 
  2. Sport horses and ponies entered into Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) governed competition in France

These two groups of horses have been assigned a high health status because of the regularity of veterinary checks they undergo and their compliance with their governing bodies’ vaccination policies and veterinary regulations.

The TPA is a derogation to the European Community Regulation governing the movement of horses. The agreement is between the Chief Veterinary Officers (CVOs) of the three signatory countries, the Great Britain, France and Ireland and will be an effective method in managing and tracing movements of horses to control the spread of disease.

In addition to a valid identification horse passport, each horse will now need to be accompanied by an additional document known as a DOCOM. These documents confirm the high health status of the horse and record the movement on the European Community’s (EU’s) animal movements database, known as TRACES.

Defra and AHVLA are responsible for making the TPA function effectively in Great Britain.  The equivalent government departments and agencies in France and Ireland are likewise responsible. For 2014, Defra has approved three horse industry bodies to manage the TPA on its behalf; these are:

Weatherbys and the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA) jointly
British Horseracing Authority (BHA)
British Equestrian Federation (BEF)

In turn, these approved bodies have delegated the responsibility for producing DOCOMs for people who plan to transport their horses under the TPA to their approved transporters/shippers/shipping agents (shippers).

Commenting on the amendment, Louise Kemble, CEO, The Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association said “The TBA recognised the importance of continued free movement for Thoroughbreds between UK, France and Ireland and have worked with other stakeholders to retain this important derogation. It will require new compliance measures for horses moving between the UK and France but this will improve traceability and protect the health status of Thoroughbreds.”

For more information on the revised TP please visit the following websites:

For general export and travel queries please contact:

Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA):
T: 01228 403600

For a list of approved shippers or to apply to be an approved shipper, please contact:

Thoroughbred horses:
Breeding and youngstock – Weatherbys
T: 0 1933 440077

Racing and training - British Horseracing Authority
T: 0207 152 0090

FEI sport horses:
British Equestrian Federation
T: 02476 698871