Guidance

Export food for animals: special rules

Check if you need a certificate to export food for animals outside the EU.

You may need certificates to export animal feed and pet food outside the EU. This includes feed made from plants or meat.

Check the rules in the country you’re exporting to, for example by asking the overseas animal authority or your importer. You may need:

You don’t need a certificate within the EU.

There are different rules if you’re exporting animal by-products like animal proteins, meat and bone meal that will be used in animal feed or pet food.

Check if you need an export health certificate (EHC)

You will usually need to complete an EHC and some supporting documents to be able to export animal feed or pet food.

There are some types of animal feed or pet food you cannot export, or cases where you don’t need a certificate. If you cannot find the EHC you need, contact APHA.

To find out if you need an EHC and apply, follow these steps.

  1. The Export Health Certificate form finder helps you find and fill out the EHC and other supporting forms you will need to export your animal feed or pet food. If you are exporting from Northern Ireland, contact your local DAERA office. Most EHCs will also have guidance documents that give information on how to fill out the certificate.

  2. Fill out the EHC and supporting forms and email them to the APHA address provided in the forms.

  3. In most cases you will need to nominate an official veterinarian (OV) to inspect your animal feed or pet food and sign the certificate.

  4. APHA will send your EHC to your OV within 7 working days.

  5. The OV will check the animal feed or pet food meets the health requirements of the destination country, complete the EHC and sign. The completed EHC will go with the product, and the OV will send a copy to APHA.

To find an OV you can:

There is no fee for processing the EHC but you will need to pay for the OV’s services.

Use the most up to date EHC

EHC’s are sometimes updated when export agreements are changed. So make sure you are using the latest version of a certificate. The EHC form finder will always have the latest version.

Out of date forms will be rejected and cause delays to your exports.

You can sign up for alerts on the form finder, so that you get an email when a form is updated.

Apply for a certificate of free sale

Save a copy of this application form (MS Word Document, 115KB) to your computer. Fill in all relevant parts, then email it to Trader@rpa.gov.uk.

We process (valid) applications in order of receipt, within 5 working days of receiving them. You should allow 10 working days from sending your application to receiving your certificate(s) back.

It’s free to apply and the certificates don’t expire (unless the country you’re exporting to specifies a time limit).

If you need help, contact the Rural Payments Agency.

Rural Payments Agency
Telephone: 03300 416 500
Monday to Friday: 8.30am to 5pm
Find out about call charges

Getting another type of export certification

Some countries require another type of export certificate for certain products.

If your product was made in the UK, you can contact the food safety team in the local authority where your product was manufactured.

Published 10 November 2016
Last updated 5 November 2018 + show all updates
  1. EHC list updated
  2. Export Health Certificate list updated.
  3. EHC List updated
  4. First published.