Guidance

Export animal semen, ova and embryos: special rules

You need a certificate to export animal semen, ova, and embryos (germplasm).

What you need to do to export animal semen, ova, and embryos (germplasm) depends on whether you’re exporting:

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

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

Within the EU

To move germplasm within the EU, you must:

  • apply for an Intra Trade Animal Health certificate (ITAHC)
  • register your premises

Apply for an ITAHC

  1. Nominate an official veterinarian to inspect your goods. To find one, ask your local vet or email ovteam@apha.gsi.gov.uk.

  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 the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) (DAERA in Northern Ireland). Tell them that the ITAHC has been created and give them details of your official veterinarian.

  5. Your certificate will be sent to your official veterinarian within 7 working days. If your official veterinarian doesn’t 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 isn’t an ITAHC for your species of animal, contact APHA (or DEARA in Northern Ireland).

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

Register your premises

You also need to register your premises 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’ll usually need an Export Health Certificate (EHC) - depending on the country and your goods, there are some cases where you:

  • can’t export your animal germplasm
  • don’t need a certificate

Contact the APHA Centre for International Trade Carlisle to check.

If there’s an EHC for your animal germplasm

  1. Tell the Centre for International Trade Carlisle what you’re exporting and the destination country.

  2. You’ll be asked to nominate an official veterinarian to inspect your goods. To find one, ask at your local vet or email ovteam@apha.gsi.gov.uk (or contact DAERA in Northern Ireland).

  3. You’ll be given the application form you need. Fill it in and return it to the address on the form.

  4. Your EHC will be sent to your official veterinarian within 7 working days.

  5. Your official veterinarian will be asked to check that your animal germplasm meet the requirements of the country you’re sending it to.

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

If you export the same species again

You can use the same certificate if your EHC number is still up to date. Check you have the most recent version in the latest EHC list (PDF, 217KB, 72 pages) . If you don’t, contact the APHA Centre for International Trade Carlisle.

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 can’t export its germplasm.

Within the EU

If the animal is classed as B, C or D, you don’t 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 either:

You can use the guidance notes (PDF, 606KB, 15 pages) to help you.

Email it to wildlife.licensing@apha.gsi.gov.uk 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)

The certificate costs £31.

You should get your certificate 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 don’t need to do anything.

Apply for a CITES permit

Fill in either:

You can use the guidance notes (PDF, 739KB, 13 pages) to help you.

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). You should receive it within 15 working days.

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

Use the guidance notes (PDF, 290KB, 2 pages) if you’re unsure how to fill it in.

Published 9 November 2016
Last updated 9 October 2018 + show all updates
  1. Export Health Certificate list updated
  2. EHC List updated
  3. First published.