Operate after Brexit

Export health certificate guidance

Export health certificate guidance

What is an Export Health Certificate? Do I need one?

An EHC is an official document that confirms that the consignment information is correct and that the consignment complies with EU health standards and regulations.

From 1 January 2021, EHCs are required for all export consignments from Scotland to the EU that contain either Products of Animal Origin (POAO) or composite food products (products for human consumption only, that contain a mix of processed products of animal origin (POAO) and/or plant products used as a main ingredient i.e not just added for flavouring or processing).

Businesses moving goods of animal or plant origin for human consumption from GB to Northern Ireland, are required to provide the Export Health Certificate on goods movements. Imports for products of animal origin will require import pre-notification through TRACES and there will be physical checks at the point of destination. There are some easements on requirements when selling to supermarket chains, with further updates to be issued with regard to future use of this easement.

Find out more on GOV.UK.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) are responsible for issuing EHCs.

Businesses should register and apply for EHCs to export from Scotland to the EU and Northern Ireland using the online service. Businesses will need a Government Gateway account and a Defra account before applying. If you do not have them, you’ll be guided to set them up when you use the service for the first time.

Business can find the appropriate EHC, as well as the supporting documents they need to need to export a live animal or animal product, by searching for the latest versions of the certificates on the APHA website.

Businesses will be required to arrange for an approved professional to certify their EHC. New exporters will be required to locate a certifier and secure their services before making an EHC application. You can find an up-to-date list of approved professionals on GOV.UK

You can get help to use the EHC Online Service by calling APHA on 03000 200 301, 8:30am to 5pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

DEFRA have also produced an FAQ document on EHCs for reference.

There is guidance available:

Assistance with the process of acquiring EHCs in Scotland can also be found by contacting your local authority environmental health department. Please note that although these contact points will be monitored throughout the festive period there may be some delays in responding to enquiries.

Further Assistance on EHC is available to Scottish Businesses at Food Standards Scotland.

EHC Checklist

  • Go onto Defra’s form finder and check if the commodity meets the requirements for export. If in doubt, the exporter should contact their certifier
  • Register for an EHC Online account
  • Once registered and logged in you can search for the EHC you need via GOV.UK form finder
  • It is the exporters responsibility to have their application certified. They should check that the Certifying Officer (CO) they wish to use is also registered for EHC Online; you cannot use them if they are not
  • Complete your EHC application via EHC Online
  • Read and check the accompanying notes for guidance to ensure that the products being exported meet the requirements of the destination country
  • Have your consignment inspected and certified by your CO
  • Ensure that your certified EHC travels with the export consignment

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