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.

Export health certificates

To export food for animals outside the EU you usually need an Export Health Certificate (EHC).

Depending on the country and your goods, there are some cases where you:

  • can’t export your product
  • don’t need a certificate

Contact the APHA Centre for International Trade Carlisle to check.

If there’s an EHC for your goods

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

  2. If your goods require it, you’ll be asked to nominate an official veterinarian to inspect your goods. To find one, ask at your local vet or email

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

  4. Your certificate will be sent to your local authority or official veterinarian within 7 working days.

  5. Your local authority inspector or nominated vet will be asked to check that your animal products meet the requirements of the country you’re sending them to.

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

If you export the same type of product 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.

Apply for a certificate of free sale

Fill in the application form (MS Word Document, 122KB) and email it to

The certificate will usually be issued within 5 working days.

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