Export animal semen, ova and embryos

What you need to do to export animal semen, ova, and embryos (germplasm).

Some countries have import rules for certain goods. You can check by talking to your importer or getting help researching your export market.

There are different rules if you’re exporting germplasm from endangered animals.

Within the EU

To move germplasm within the EU, you must:

  • apply for an Intra Trade Animal Health certificate (ITAHC)
  • make sure your premises are approved

Apply for an ITAHC

  1. Nominate an official vet to inspect your germplasm. To find one, ask your local vet or email
  2. Register with the TRACES system if you’ve not used it before.
  3. Sign in to TRACES and fill in the details of the germplasm you’re exporting.
  4. Contact APHA (DAERA in Northern Ireland). Tell them that the ITAHC has been created and give them details of your official vet.
  5. APHA will send your EHC to your official vet within 7 working days of the date of export, or within one working day of receipt if you plan to export in the next 7 working days. If your official vet does not receive the certificate, contact the APHA Centre for International Trade Carlisle.
  6. Include the certificate when you export your consignment.

Instead of using TRACES, you can fill in form EXA31 (PDF, 829KB, 7 pages) and send it to the APHA Centre for International Trade Carlisle.

Read the guidance notes (PDF, 104KB, 6 pages) if you’re not sure how to fill in the form.

Your ITAHC will be valid for 10 days after the inspection.

If there is not an ITAHC for your germplasm, contact APHA (or DAERA in Northern Ireland).

There’s no fee for the certificate but you’ll be charged for your vet’s time.

Get your premises approved

You need to make sure your premises are approved to export within the EU. This is the place you keep the semen, ova or embryos in the UK.

Contact the Centre for International Trade to arrange this.

Outside the EU

You will usually need to complete an export health certificate (EHC) and some supporting documents to be able to export germplasm.

The EHC is an official document that confirms your export meets the health requirements of the destination country.

Find out how to apply for an EHC on GOV.UK.

Germplasm from endangered animals

Use the Species+ tool to search for the animal that the germplasm came from. Check which annex (A, B, C or D) it’s classified as under EU wildlife trade regulations.

What you need to do depends on whether you’re exporting within the EU or outside the EU.

If Species+ says the animal is banned, you cannot export its germplasm.

Within the EU

If the animal is classed as B, C or D, you do not need to do anything.

If it’s classed as Annex A, you must apply for an Article 10 certificate unless you’re exporting germplasm for scientific research or other non-commercial reasons.

Apply for an Article 10 certificate

Fill in FED1012 form.

Email it to or post it to the Centre for International Trade Bristol.

Include any supporting documents that show you acquired the product legally, for example:

  • a copy of the import permit
  • a previous Article 10 certificate (use the yellow copy)

It costs £31 to apply.

APHA aims to process your application within 15 working days.

Outside the EU

If it’s classed as Annex A, B or C, you need a CITES export permit.

If it’s classed as D, check the animal’s CITES listing in the Species+ tool. If it’s in Appendix III, you’ll need a CITES export permit. Otherwise, you do not need to do anything.

Apply for a CITES permit

Fill in FED0172 form.

If you’re re-exporting goods, include a CITES import permit to prove it legally entered the EU.

Email or post the completed form to the Centre for International Trade Bristol.

A permit costs £63 (or £37 to re-export).

APHA aims to process your application in 15 working days.

If you’re exporting as part of conservation work, you might be able to get a fee waiver through:

Fill in CITB20 form.

Published 9 November 2016
Last updated 23 August 2019 + show all updates
  1. Highlighted information on what may happen in a no-deal Brexit. Also restructured guidance to make it easier to follow.

  2. Updated information on application processing times and email addresses, and updated links on what to do in a no deal Brexit.

  3. Added information for exporters about how to get an export health certificate if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

  4. EHC List updated

  5. Export Health Certificate list updated

  6. EHC List updated

  7. First published.