Export health certificates (EHCs) are complex. If an EHC is required for your export, make sure you read it and its associated guidance to know the supporting evidence you must provide before applying for a certificate. Check if importing authority approvals are required by third countries. If import permits are required, these should be obtained from the importing authorities prior to applying for an EHC. These must be uploaded along with all other application documents via DECOL.
The Certifying Officer (CO) is obliged to have this evidence to support certification. If there is no evidence to support certain statements on the certificate, certification cannot proceed unless it is provided.
Applications are made through DAERA Export Certification On-line (DECOL) for third country and some GB exports. These must be made at least 2 working days in advance of date of dispatch allowing one full working day for processing, e.g., apply by Tuesday for Thursday dispatch. For applications on TRACES NT for EU exports, please submit the TRACES NT application at least 3 working days before the proposed export.
For exports of new commodities or to new destinations, the exporter must allow sufficient time to assess the requirements, discuss in detail with the certifying officer and put any necessary new procedures in place, as required and/or directed by the certifying officer. This will include time to complete any required tests or treatments.
For example, some pet exports require preparation months in advance of the intended export, to allow for rabies vaccination, blood tests, etc. where applicable.
Who provides Export Health Certificates and for which commodities?
For certification of meat, dairy and composite food products. Export Enquiries: Application Queries DAERA Direct Regional Offices
- Authorised Private Veterinary Practitioner (aPVP)
For certification of live animals, hatching eggs, table eggs, germinal products, animal by-products, hides, skins, pets and zoo animals you must contact an authorised private veterinary practitioner (aPVP) and ensure that they are authorised for your proposed export. You will find a list of aPVPs here:
Northern Ireland aPVP Veterinary Practices
Not all aPVPs are authorised to certify all commodities. You must check with the practice/ vet if certification can be provided for your specific commodity.
- Environmental Health Officers (EHOs)
For certification of sea fish, fish and seafood products (e.g. oysters), fish & egg composites products Local Authority Council Offices
- DAERA Inland Fisheries Health Inspectorate
For live and dead uneviscerated aquaculture farmed fish, and live bivalve molluscs requiring further purification treatment, certificates issued by DAERA Fish Health Inspectorate: Fish.Health@daera-ni.gov.uk
What are the requirements for trade?
These depend on the commodity or animal to be exported and its destination. The destination country sets its own import requirements. There is specific guidance in each image below for movements to GB and exports to EU Member States and third countries.
For movements of food products of animal origin (POAO) and animal by-products (ABP) to GB for onward export to EU/NI, please follow the link below:
Exporting Food Products of Animal Origin and Animal By Products to GB for later onward export to EU/NI from GB (SHA Online) | Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (daera-ni.gov.uk)
More useful links
- DAERA Stakeholder Bulletin page - This is a summary of all bulletins issued to exporters of all commodities. Please check for updates that may impact on your proposed export.
- Exporter Information Notices, detailing important information on exporting and use of the DECOL system This is for exports that require application through DECOL.
- FAQ for DECOL EHC application process
- Instructions for using the DAERA Export Certification Online (DECOL) system
- General information about exporting
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