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Published:July 26, 2021

Exporting animals products to Europe

How to get a UK health certificate

Exporting animals products to Europe

The UK government has issued guidelines on how to apply for a health certificate when exporting goods subject to Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) controls. UK companies that export plant and animal products to the EU, where stringent SPS controls are in force, should take careful note.


What are SPS controls?

SPS controls are biosecurity measures that, among other things, prevent contamination and protect the health of people and animals exposed to the products. Sanitary relates to inspections on animal goods; phytosanitary controls are applied to plants.

Goods subject to SPS controls include live animals, products of animal origin (POAO) and plant products. 


How Brexit affects agricultural trade

If there’s one term that captures the reality of trade between the UK and EU following Brexit, it’s ‘red tape’. For instance, a survey revealed that half of UK exporters faced difficulties shipping goods to Europe, mainly because of the additional bureaucratic demands. 

However, Brexit has not affected all businesses equally. For instance, manufacturers that produce goods from imported materials may not always be able to take advantage of tariff-free trade between the EU and UK. 

However, red tape doesn’t just affect complex industrial goods. Agriculture is particularly subject to increased bureaucracy and border controls. That is particularly the case when goods are subject to SPS controls. In such cases, traders may be required to supply a health certificate, as well as any other required supporting documentation. Moreover, the goods are subject to inspection at the border.


When is a health certificate required?

You will need a health certificate when exporting live animals or animal products from Great Britain to the EU. Note that goods transiting through the EU also require a health certificate.

The health certificate must be signed by an Official Veterinarian or properly recognised Food Competent Certifying Officer.

Note also that you require a health certificate for each type of animal or animal product that you export.


A green light for trade

Get your agricultural goods to EU markets without costly delays or expensive bureaucratic mishaps. re:TRADE, powered by VAT IT, is a complete supply chain solution that leverages decades of experience and a network of global contact to help make importing as seamless, efficient and cost effective as possible. We’ll help you cut through the red tape, ensuring your goods always get to market as efficiently as possible.

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