Advice on Interim Measures for Exporters of Live Animals, Pets, Animal By-Products and Products of Animal Origin (POAO) for Human Consumption

Easements agreed between the United Kingdom and Third Countries (Third Country Easements)

With effect from 26 August 2020 there will be changes to the Export Health Certificate process for exports to Canada.

These are in addition to changes that have already come into effect for exports to Australia, China, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Myanmar, North Macedonia, the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates and United States of America. The changes (easements) have been agreed by the United Kingdom and these countries only and apply to all commodities.

The easements do not affect exports to other Third Countries or to the EU.

 Details of all easements agreed with Third Countries are available at: 

Are there any changes to how I apply to export my commodity?

No, applications for export should still be made in the usual way, using DECOL and/or the TRACES system. You should provide as much advance notification as possible, to help us process your application on time.

However, if you normally post or hand deliver any support documentation relevant to your application, to a DAERA Direct Office, or to an Official Veterinarian in an approved establishment, you should make arrangements to submit this information electronically.

Signed Export Health Certificates (EHCs) issued from DAERA Direct offices, e.g. for dairy products, will be posted out to exporters, except where other arrangements have been agreed with your local DAERA Direct office. If you require a scanned copy of the signed EHC, please advise us of this on application, using the comments box on DECOL, and providing an appropriate email address, if different to that used on application.

Where an easement has been agreed between the UK and a third country, there may be changes in how signed Export Health Certificates are issued – check for the latest information at:

Are any export services being stopped?

All applications for export are currently being processed. However, if resources become limited, priority will be given to applications for export of food stuffs, live farm animals, in particular, those going for direct slaughter, and essential pharmaceutical products containing product of animal origin.

I am a farmer /exporter and I will have livestock (cattle, sheep, pigs, horses) ready for export to GB or EU soon. Has the process changed in any way?

You should contact your AVI in the normal way to make arrangements. You must ensure that your AVI is able to observe all COVID-19 public health guidelines when carrying out any inspections. Please check the latest guidance from the Public Health Authority.

If you cannot comply with the guidelines, then you should not ask your AVI to provide export health certification, and the export should be postponed.

If COVID-19 public health guidelines can be met, and your AVI is able to carry out the inspection, you should make your application in the normal way, ensuring all documentation is submitted electronically, and giving as much notification as possible to allow processing of your application. 

On successful completion of all necessary checks, your AVI will issue you with the original certificate. Alternative arrangements may be put in place to deliver this to you and a scanned copy of the Export Health Certificate may be provided, as required.

Have the conditions for export of my commodity to GB, EU or a Third Country changed in any way?

No. All the current requirements relating to animal and public health still apply. This includes any requirements for animals to be TB tested or blood sampled. The latest DAERA guidance on TB testing is available at:

You will have to ensure that you can meet COVID-19 public health guidelines during inspection and check with your AVI that they are able to carry out the inspection. 

The easements recently agreed with some Third Countries do NOT change the conditions for export.

I am a meat exporter. Can I still get an Export Health Certificate?

Most meat export health certificates (EHCs) are issued from approved establishments where there is a DAERA Veterinary Public Health Programme (VPHP) team on site. There have been no changes to the normal process of application for certificates and certificates will continue to be issued. However there are changes to how signed certificates are issued for some Third countries where an easement has been agreed – see Third Country Easements above.

However, if you export from a stand-alone establishment, for example, a cutting premises, there may also be changes to how and where you obtain your EHC. Your local VPHP representative will advise you of any changes to the process.

I export dairy products. Has the process changed in any way?

Your application should be made in the normal way, giving as much notice as possible. You may be asked to provide additional supporting documentation, via DECOL, including video evidence of loading of consignments. Completed EHCs will be issued to you by post, except where alternative arrangements have been agreed with your local office or where a relevant easement has been agreed with the Third Country you are exporting to – see Third Country Easements above.

 If you require the original certificate to be posted to an alternative address, please inform us on application.

I am an Authorised Veterinary Practitioner (AVI), can I still collect my export documentation at my local DAERA Direct Office?

At present DAERA Direct offices are closed to the general public. We will arrange either to send export documentation electronically (e.g. TRACES certification to GB and EU exports only), or post it to you (Third Country exports on crown gold paper), unless, under exceptional circumstances, this is not suitable. For Third Country exports, early application by the exporter will allow time for postal delivery to your address.

The issue of signed certificates may have changed where a Third Country Easement has been agreed – see above.

Please ensure your exporter client provides us with appropriate contact details for you, on application.

I am an AVI, will I still be issued with Veterinary Support Certificate to allow me to issue an Export Health Certificate?

DAERA will continue to issue Veterinary Support Certificates. However, in future, you will receive these electronically, rather than in hard copy format. It will be issued from a @DAERA-ni.gov.uk email address.

As an AVI, do I have to do anything differently?

EU and Third Countries where no easement has been agreed

Once you have signed and stamped the Export Health Certificate, we need you to scan the issued EHC and email a copy to DAERA within one working day. For TRACES export applications, where you do not routinely have access to TRACES, DAERA will not be able to progress the TRACES export notification until you send us a copy of the EHC. 

In addition to the original certificate, you should also be able to issue a scanned copy of the certificate to your exporter, on request.

Third Country Easement

If there is a Third Country Easement in place please check the TC Easements DAERA Advisory Note to AVIs Update No 6 issued to AVIs and the latest guidance available on the DAERA website:

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