Exporting animals and animal products from Northern Ireland to GB, EU and Third Countries (Including guidance and application point for DAERA Export Certification On-Line (DECOL))

Export requirements for animals and animal products depend on the commodity to be exported and its destination. You will find out which certificate applies to your export and how to apply for those in the images below.

Bluetongue Virus (BTV-3): Confirmation of bovine cases - 27/11/2023
The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and the Pirbright Institute have identified BTV-3 in a number of cases in South-East England, detected through Great Britain's annual bluetongue surveillance programme.
Important DAERA information on the impact upon NI Trade Exports to GB, EU and Third Countries can be accessed on the Bluetongue Virus (BTV-3) – Impact on NI Trade page.

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?

  1. DAERA
    For certification of meat, dairy and composite food products. Export Enquiries: Application Queries DAERA Direct Regional Offices
  2. 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.

    When your nominated aPVP agrees to process your application, you must then make that application in DECOL, selecting that vet’s practice from the list at stage 1. For information on how to do this please see pages 12 and 13 of the DECOL System  User Guide

    If the nominated aPVP does not appear for selection in the drop down menu, you must upload an APVP Nomination Form with the supporting documents

  3. Environmental Health Officers (EHOs)
    For certification of sea fish, fish and seafood products (e.g. oysters), fish & egg composites products Local Authority Council Offices
  4. Aquaculture and Fish 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)

The new food and feed definition for qualifying Northern Ireland goods (QNIG) came into force 20th February 2024. For further information, please click on the link below:
Moving goods from NI to GB - Unfettered Market Access (UMA) and Qualifying Northern Ireland Goods (QNIG) 20th February 2024 | Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (daera-ni.gov.uk)

EHC Authenticity - Online Check Service

The destination country sets its own import requirements.

Even if your export meets these requirements and the Export Health Certificate has been issued, there may be occasions where the destination country may seek further assurances as to the authenticity of a certificate when it arrives at the border.

For such instances, DAERA have an online EHC Authenticity Check Service available for use as required.

Please visit the EHC Authenticity Online Check Service page for more details.

More useful links

Privacy notice - To find out how any personal information you send to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) will be handled when using this service, go to DAERA Privacy Statement.

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