Moving Product - When do you need a Support Health Attestation (SHA)?

Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements are measures to protect humans, animals, and plants from diseases, pests, or contaminants as laid down in EU legislation. The measures maintain traceability, safety and standards in the food chain and are comprised of a wide range of controls including regulation, infrastructure and systems of auditing, certification and inspection.

  • Food Business Operators (FBO) and exporters who move product of animal origin (POAO) for human consumption and animal by products (ABP) from Northern Ireland (NI) to Great Britain (GB) and the European Union (EU) should note the following information, which will apply from 1st January 2021 - see SPS POAO Infographic here


Next step

SHA required?

NI to GB

Final destination GB


NI to GB to NI

For onward processing and back to NI

May be required

NI to GB to EU

For onward processing and exporting to EU

May be required

NI to GB movements of POAO for:

Consumption in GB internal market

Where the POAO will remain on the GB internal market, no additional documentation is required to accompany the POAO moving from NI to GB.

Processing or Storage in GB before onward export to EU (including moves from GB back to NI)

From 1 January 2021, products of animal origin (POAO) exported from GB to the EU, including Northern Ireland (NI), will require an export health certificate (EHC).  The certifying officer issuing the EHC at the point of export in GB must verify that the product meets all the requirements specified in the relevant EHC.

Where POAO moves throughout the UK, including from NI to GB, for further processing, storage and export to EU/NI, it may need to be certified to provide the necessary assurance required for issue of the final EHC. This certification can be issued in the form of a Support (Health) Attestation (SHA).

NI to EU exports of POAO          

POAO exported directly from NI to the EU will not require an export health certificate (EHC).

POAO exported from NI to EU via the GB land bridge, either via an NI or ROI port, will not require an EHC or SHA.  However, exporters should familiarise themselves with other documentary requirements for export of POAO to EU, such as the requirement for pre-notification of the arrival of consignments at the point of entry to EU.  Official seals are not required, however exporters may apply commercial seals if needed.

Further details on GB to EU movements are available at

UK Certification Schemes

Defra, the Central Competent Authority for trade, has made various certification schemes available in the UK to facilitate the provision of SPS assurance for movement of POAO within the UK before final export from GB to EU/ NI.  Not all commodities or movements of POAO are eligible for each of these schemes and strict eligibility criteria are applied.  It is essential that all food business operators and exporters read this information carefully to establish which schemes may be applicable to their business.

The Risk based fish export certification (RBFEC); Groupage export facilitation scheme (GEFS) and Logistics Hub: Certification away from the premises of origin schemes are summarised below and full details are provided in the links contained within the summary. 

Support Health Attestations (SHAs)

A Support Health Attestation (SHA) may be needed when POAO originating in NI is intended for export from GB to the EU (including NI).  If one is required it must be applied for at least 2 days in advance, as they cannot be issued retrospectively.

More information

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