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Intra-Community trade in and imports of bovine semen

Trade in bovine semen is regulated by a number of provisions which aim to preserve the health status of the product and reduce the risk of spread of animal diseases.


Council Directive 88/407/EEC of 14 June 1988 laying down the animal health requirements applicable to intra-Community trade in and imports of semen of animals of the bovine species [See amending act(s)].


The Directive lays down the animal health conditions applicable to trade in and imports into the European Union (EU) of fresh and frozen semen of animals of the bovine species.

Intra-Community trade

Each Member State must ensure that the semen sent from its territory to that of another Member State satisfies the following conditions:

  • it must have been collected, processed and/or stored in one of the approved collection or storage centres. These centres must meet a range of technical characteristics and be placed under official surveillance of a veterinarian (Annex A);
  • it must have been taken from healthy animals which satisfy a number of conditions. For example, these animals must come from herds of officially tuberculosis, brucellosis and enzootic bovine leukosis free status, they must have been subjected to a period of quarantine of at least 28 days and they must not have been vaccinated against foot-and-mouth disease within 12 months prior to collection;
  • it must be accompanied, during transport, by an animal health certificate corresponding to the model contained in this Directive (Annex D).

Imports from third countries

Bovine semen may be imported only from the third countries detailed on list of the authorised countries listed. It must come from collection and storage centres which are approved for import into the EU.

Semen from Non-EU Member Countries may be imported only if:

Collection and storage centres

The Commission's veterinary experts must regularly control the collection and storage centres situated in the Community and in Non-EU Member Countries, in cooperation with local experts.

All sperm collection and storage centres are registered. Each one receives a veterinary registration number. The list of sperm collection and storage centres and their veterinary registration numbers is regulated updated by Member States. The latter then inform the other Member States and the public.

Committee procedure

In managing animal health requirements applicable to trade in bovine semen, the Commission is assisted by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health.


ActEntry into force - Date of expiryDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Directive 88/407/EEC



OJ L 194, 22.7.1988

Amending act(s)Entry into force - Date of expiryDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Directive 90/425/EEC



OJ L 224, 18.8.1990

Directive 93/60/EEC



OJ L 186, 28.7.1993

Directive 2003/43/EC



OJ L 143, 11.6.2003

Regulation (EC) No 806/2003



OJ L 122, 16.5.2003

Directive 2008/73/EC



OJ L 219, 14.8.2008

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 88/407/EEC have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference purposes only.


Commission Decision 2004/639/EC of 6 September 2004 laying down the importation conditions of semen of domestic animals of the bovine species [Official Journal L 292 of 15.9.2004].

Commission Decision 2007/240/EC of 16 April 2007 laying down new veterinary certificates for importing live animals, semen, embryos, ova and products of animal origin into the Community pursuant to Decisions 79/542/EEC, 92/260/EEC, 93/195/EEC, 93/196/EEC, 93/197/EEC, 95/328/EC, 96/333/EC, 96/539/EC, 96/540/EC, 2000/572/EC, 2000/585/EC, 2000/666/EC, 2002/613/EC, 2003/56/EC, 2003/779/EC, 2003/804/EC, 2003/858/EC, 2003/863/EC, 2003/881/EC, 2004/407/EC, 2004/438/EC, 2004/595/EC, 2004/639/EC and 2006/168/EC [Official Journal L 104 21.4.2007].

Last updated: 19.05.2011
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