Guidance

Get an export health certificate

You must get an export health certificate (EHC) to export animals and animal products from the UK.

Why you need an export health certificate

A completed export health certificate (EHC) must go with any animal or animal product you’re exporting from the UK.

It’s an official document that confirms your export meets the health requirements of the destination country.

Find an export health certificate

You can find the export health certificate you need using search terms, for example ‘Export dairy products to Zambia’.

How to apply

There are different application processes depending on where you’re exporting from.

Exporting from England, Scotland or Wales

You must fill in the certificate, the export application form (EXA) and any supporting forms.

Email your certificate and any supporting forms to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

You should send one email for each application.

You will also need to nominate an official veterinarian (OV) or local authority inspector to inspect your animal product and sign your certificate.

Exporting from Northern Ireland

You must fill in the certificate and any supporting forms. This might include nominating an authorised veterinary inspector (AVI).

Use the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) online application system to submit your certificate (and any supporting forms).

Use Adobe Reader to complete the forms

You must use Adobe Reader to fill in your certificate and any supporting forms as they are in PDF format. Adobe Reader is a program that allows you to read and edit a PDF.

You can download the latest version of Adobe Reader for free - it only takes a few minutes.

Always use the latest certificate

You should always get your certificate from GOV.UK as certificates will be updated when export agreements change.

If you don’t use the latest version of a certificate your application will be rejected.

Get your export inspected

There are different export inspection processes depending on where you’re exporting from.

Exporting from England, Scotland or Wales

When you apply for an export health certificate you will need to nominate an official veterinarian or local authority inspector.

Once you’ve emailed your application to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), they will send your certificate to this official vet or inspector.

Plan for a timely application

Vet inspections need to happen close to the date of export to be valid.

If you apply:

  • well in advance of your desired export date, the inspection will still take place within 7 working days of the export date.

  • within 7 working days of your desired export date, the vet will be contacted within 1 working day.

The official vet or inspector will check that your export meets the health requirements of the destination country. Guidance notes are provided with each certificate explaining which checks must be carried out.

The vet will complete and sign the certificate. It will then be sent to you. The certificate must travel with your animal products to the export destination.

APHA will hold a copy of the certificate.

Exporting from Northern Ireland

The arrangements for getting your export inspected are different in Northern Ireland - check the inspection process for your animal or animal product on the DAERA website.

Find an official vet

Follow the process to get an official vet based on what country you’re exporting from.

Exporting from England, Scotland or Wales

There are 3 ways to find someone to check your export and sign your export health certificate:

Exporting from Northern Ireland

If you’re exporting meat and dairy products you will have a vet assigned on application to DAERA.

For all live animal and other animal product exports, you will need an authorised veterinary inspector. To find one, you can:

Fees

There is no fee for an export health certificate, but you will need to pay for your vet’s services.

If you need help

Contact APHA or DAERA if you need help getting an EHC.

Exporters in England, Scotland or Wales

If you’re exporting from England, Scotland or Wales and need help applying for an export health certificate contact APHA’s Centre for International Trade by:

Exporters in Northern Ireland

If you’re exporting from Northern Ireland and need help applying for an export health certificate you can:

Published 17 April 2019
Last updated 3 July 2019 + show all updates
  1. deleted a duplication
  2. Following user feedback, a clearer explanation has been added in the section called: "Get your export inspected" The rest of the page is unchanged.
  3. First published.