Export livestock, poultry or bees: special rules

You usually need a certificate to export cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and poultry.

What you need to do to export livestock and poultry depends on whether you’re exporting them:

There are different rules for bees.

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

You must have an Intra Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC) to move livestock or poultry within the EU.

If you export poultry, you must also join the Poultry Health Scheme.

Apply for an ITAHC

  1. Nominate an official veterinarian to inspect your animals. To find one, ask at your local vet or email

  2. Register with the TRACES systemif you’ve not used it before.

  3. Sign in to TRACES and fill in the details of the animals 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 use a paper form. Fill in and return the livestock form (PDF, 961KB, 5 pages) or poultry form (PDF, 781KB, 6 pages) . You can use the livestock guidance notes (PDF, 254KB, 4 pages) or the poultry guidance notes (PDF, 46.2KB, 5 pages) to help you.

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

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

Outside the EU

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

There are some types of livestock or poultry 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 live livestock or poultry. 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 and sign the certificate.

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

  5. The OV will check the animal meets the health requirements of the destination country, complete the EHC and sign. The completed EHC will go with the animal, 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.

Exporting outside the EU via another EU country

If your consignment will travel through the EU on the way to a non EU country, you may need both an ITAHC and an EHC.

Look at each stage of the journey and make sure your consignment has the right certification for each.


As well as following the usual rules for livestock, you must be a member of the Poultry Health Scheme (PHS) to export:

  • within the EU (unless you’re exporting 20 birds or hatching eggs or less)
  • outside the EU to certain countries - your EHC will say if you need to join the scheme

To join the PHS, contact APHA.
Telephone: 03000 200 301
Find out about call charges

Poultry Health Scheme Section
Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)
Customer Service Centre
One Health 
Level 1, County Hall
Spetchley Road

Once APHA has received your application, a veterinary officer will inspect your premises before you join the scheme.

You can find more information, including about inspections, biosecurity and facility regulations, in the PHS members’ handbook (PDF, 538KB, 34 pages) .


What you pay for Fee
Registration (one year’s membership) £73.20
Inspection approval – flock or hatchery £252
Inspection approval – combined flock or hatchery (per site) £279
Veterinary Officer – fee to cover inspection time £27.60 per half hour

APHA will tell you if your flock or hatchery needs to be tested for salmonella and mycoplasma. If it does, you need to pay a fee for the laboratory and for each test that you need.

What you pay for Fee
Laboratory fee £51.60
Salmonella bacteriology (pullorum, gallinarum and arizonae) £157.20
Salmonella serology (pullorum, gallinarum) £403.20
Mycoplasma chicken serology (gallisepticum) £403.20
Mycoplasma culture (gallisepticum and meleagridis) £337.20
Mycoplasma turkey serology (gallisepticum and meleagridis) £403.20

Renewing PHS membership

Your membership lasts for one year. You’ll get a letter two months before it’s due to expire.

When you renew, you need to pay for another year’s registration and inspection approval (plus any laboratory tests you need).

The approval fees are lower than in the first year, and are reduced further if you choose to get an inspection from your own vet.

Type of inspection approval Fee
Flock or hatchery – inspection by a veterinary surgeon £88.80
Combined flock and hatchery – inspection by a veterinary surgeon (per site) £93.60
Flock or hatchery – inspection by a Veterinary Officer £213.60
Combined flock and hatchery – inspection by a Veterinary Officer (per site) £219.60
Veterinary Officer – fee to cover inspection time, if used £27.60 per half hour


What you need to do depends on whether you’re exporting bees from:

Published 11 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. Livestock form (EXA31) and livestock guidance notes updated
  5. First published.