How to get an export health certificate to export or move live animals and animal products from Great Britain to the EU, Northern Ireland or non-EU countries.
An export health certificate (EHC) is an official document that confirms your export meets the health requirements of the destination country.
You must apply for an EHC if you’re exporting or moving live animals or animal products from Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) to, or through:
- the EU
- non-EU countries
- Northern Ireland
You’ll also need a transit EHC to transit through an EU country.
You may need a transit EHC to transit through a non-EU country. Check with the competent authority (the equivalent of Defra) in that country.
If you do need a transit certificate, apply for an EHC in the usual way.
You’ll need an EHC for each:
- type of animal or animal product you’re exporting from Great Britain
- product type - if you’re exporting a consignment which includes a mix of products.
If you’re moving live animals or animal products to Northern Ireland, you do not need to pay for them to be inspected and certified. The certifier invoices the government for these costs as part of the Movement Assistance Scheme.
Exporting from Northern Ireland to the EU and non-EU countries
You need an EHC to export live animals and animal products from Northern Ireland to non EU countries.
You do not need an EHC to export to the EU.
Contact DAERA on 02877 442 060 to find out what you need to do.
How to apply
- search for your animal or product
- download and read the EHC and guidance notes - these explain what you’ll need to do to export your consignment
Make sure you contact the official vet (OV) or inspector who will certify your EHC before you submit any applications.
If you cannot find the EHC you need, contact APHA.
Use a logistics hub to export or move your products
You can use a logistics hub to export or move products of animal origin (POAO), such as:
Using a logistics hub can save you time by speeding up border processes. It does this by providing a central point for exports and expert staff in one location.
A logistics hub can:
- consolidate your batch of products with others from different suppliers into a single consignment
- collect your products and transport them to their destination in the EU or Northern Ireland
- complete and process the EHCs for your products - including access to a certifying officer
- provide a customs brokerage service
Not all logistics hubs offer the same services. Contact your logistics company or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about logistics hubs.
Your products need to be accompanied by the relevant supporting documents when they arrive at the logistics hub.
The certifying officer will need to check these documents before they can certify the EHC.
Contact the logistics hub to find out what information you need to send with your products, and when you need to send it.
Find an OV or inspector
You will need to choose an OV or local authority inspector and:
- name them in your application
- check they can inspect your consignment and sign your EHC in the days before your export
An OV is someone who’s been authorised by APHA to perform statutory duties (work that is required by law). Use this guidance to find a professional to certify your export health certificate.
After APHA approves your EHC application
APHA will send your EHC to your OV or inspector, or let them know it is ready to download and print if they are registered to use the EHC online service:
- 7 working days before your export date
- within one working day of receiving it, if you plan to export in the next 7 working days
If you’ve applied online, you’ll be able to see when APHA has sent your certificate to your OV or inspector. Contact APHA if your OV or inspector does not receive the EHC.
Get your export inspected
There are different export inspection processes depending on where you’re exporting from.
Exporting from England, Scotland or Wales
Once you’ve applied to APHA for an EHC, you need to arrange for your nominated OV or inspector to complete, sign and give the EHC to you. The EHC must travel with your consignment to the export destination. The goods must not be split up during transit.
Exporting from Northern Ireland
The arrangements for getting your export inspected are different in Northern Ireland - check the inspection process on the DAERA website.
If you need to make changes to an application
If you need to make changes or cancel an application, contact APHA or DAERA.
If you and your OV or inspector are registered to use the online service, you can ask them to cancel the EHC and ask for a replacement.
If your export does not meet all conditions set out in the EHC
You must contact the competent authority in the country you’re exporting to. Competent authority means the equivalent of Defra in that country. Ask if they’ll give you a waiver for the conditions you cannot meet.
If they agree to waive any of the conditions, then an APHA vet can provide your official vet or inspector with a ‘derogation’ which gives them an exemption so that they can still certify your EHC.
Attach the waiver to your EHC application at the time you submit it to APHA.
If you receive the waiver after you’ve submitted your EHC, email the waiver to email@example.com. Include your case ID number or application number in this email so that APHA can link your request to your EHC application.
If you need help
Contact APHA or DAERA if you need help getting an EHC.
England, Scotland or Wales
You can contact the APHA Centre for International Trade in Carlisle.
Telephone: 03000 200 301
You can also use these contact details if you’re having any difficulties using the online service.
You can find your DAERA direct regional office or contact DAERA by phone.
Telephone: 0300 200 7840