Guidance

Poultry meat marketing standards

Marketing standards for poultry meat producers, manufacturers, retailers and distributors.

You must follow poultry meat marketing standards and guidance on importing and exporting live animals or animal products.

Exporting poultry meat from Great Britain (GB) to the EU

If you export poultry meat from GB (England, Scotland and Wales) to the EU, you’ll need to follow third country import requirements (PDF, 772KB) in the EU marketing standards regulations.

Exports from GB bearing one or more farming or chilling method marks (optional indications) must have a poultry meat optional indications certificate from a GB competent authority.

The European Commission has granted third country listing to the UK competent authorities for the issuing of poultry meat optional indications certificates.

You also need to get an export health certificate.

Farming method marks

Farming method marks are:

  • fed with … % …
  • extensive indoor or barn-reared
  • free range
  • traditional free range
  • free range total freedom

Chilling method marks

Chilling method marks are:

  • air-chilling
  • air-spray chilling
  • immersion chilling

Checks and controls

There may be more customs checks carried out on your products. Poultry meat, along with all products of animal origin, should enter the EU through a border control post (BCP). BCPs were previously known as border inspection posts (BIPs).

Find details of the most used BCPs in the EU:

For more information, see guidance on importing and exporting live animals or animal products.

Exporting poultry meat from Northern Ireland (NI) to the EU

There is no change to the requirements for importing poultry meat from NI to the EU. Poultry meat with optional indications for farming or chilling methods (or both) does not require an optional indications certificate for export from NI to the EU.

Moving poultry meat from GB to NI

Poultry meat moving from GB to NI must meet EU import marketing standards requirements. You need a poultry meat optional indications certificate for products bearing one or more farming or chilling method marks.

Checks and controls

All products of animal origin from GB (including poultry meat) should enter NI through designated points of entry.

For more information, read guidance on moving goods into, out of, or through NI.

Arrangements for authorised traders moving food from GB to NI

An arrangement is in place which allows authorised traders such as supermarkets and their trusted suppliers to move some goods without the need for official certification until 1 October 2021.

If you’re moving products of animal origin from GB to NI, you do not need official certification, such as export health certificates, phytosanitary certificates or marketing standards certification.

The government is not discriminating against smaller suppliers or between different companies in implementing these practical measures.

The following conditions are attached to these arrangements:

  • the goods are packaged for end consumers and they bear a label reading ‘These products from the United Kingdom may not be marketed outside NI
  • they’re destined solely for sale to end consumers in supermarkets located in NI, and they cannot be sold to other operators of the food chain
  • they’re accompanied by a simplified official certificate globally stating the products meet all the import requirements of EU legislation
  • they enter NI through a designated point of entry, where they are submitted to a systematic documentary check and to a risk-based identity check on a selection of items in the means of transport
  • they’re monitored through a channelling procedure applicable from the designated point of entry to the destination supermarket in NI

Getting a poultry meat optional indications certificate

If you move poultry meat with optional indications from GB to NI or export from GB to the EU, each consignment must be accompanied by a poultry meat optional indications certificate issued by a GB competent authority.

If you move poultry meat from GB to NI or export poultry meat from GB to the EU that’s marked with one or more optional indications for farming or chilling methods (or both), you need to:

  1. Download and complete the optional indications certificate application form.
  2. Send your completed form to poultry.mailbox@defra.gov.uk.

Defra verifies the information on your application with relevant inspection bodies. Once verified, Defra issues the certificate electronically. It’s the exporter’s responsibility to ensure it accompanies the consignment.

If you move poultry meat with optional indications from GB to NI, your Poultry Export Health Certificate 8269 should also include the following text in Box 1.18 (Description of commodity): ‘Uses optional indications’.

Importing poultry meat from the EU to GB

EU poultry meat with optional indications for farming or chilling methods (or both) does not need third country listing or an EU competent authority certificate until 1 January 2022.

The process for EU member states to apply for third country listing will be published in 2021.

Importing poultry meat from the EU to NI

There is no change to the requirements for importing poultry meat from the EU to NI. Poultry meat with optional indications for farming or chilling methods (or both) does not require an optional indications certificate for import from the EU to NI.

Moving poultry meat from NI to GB

There is no change to the requirements for moving poultry meat from NI to GB. Poultry meat with optional indications for farming or chilling methods (or both) does not require an optional indications certificate to be moved from NI to GB.

Labelling poultry meat and consignments of poultry meat produced in NI

You need to mark poultry with the UK’s oval health and identification marks and meet country of origin labelling requirements. For more information, read the Food Standard Agency’s guidance on the new health and identification marks and guidance on food labelling from 1 January 2021.

Importing poultry meat from non-EU countries to GB

If you wish to import poultry meat labelled with optional indications into GB, these consignments must be accompanied by a certificate signed by the competent authority of the country of origin. The certificate must state that the consignment complies with the Poultrymeat Marketing Standards Regulations in force in GB.

A list of competent authorities will be published once available. Contact poultry.mailbox@defra.gov.uk if you have any queries.

Exporting poultry meat from the UK to non-EU countries

Poultry meat for export to non-EU countries may need to comply with different regulations for:

  • quality
  • marking
  • labelling

You should check the import requirements of the country you’re exporting to.

Exporting poultry meat to non-EU countries via the EU

You do not need a certificate for exports travelling from GB through the EU as part of a customs transit procedure, unless your destination country requires one.

Rejected goods

If the poultry meat consignment you’re exporting from GB to the EU is rejected at the EU border, you may be able to return the goods to GB. Your consignment must meet GB poultry meat marketing standard requirements before it can enter GB free circulation (declared and customs duties paid).

You do not need to provide documentary evidence but goods are subject to random checks in free circulation.

If you need help

Contact poultry.mailbox@defra.gov.uk if you have any queries.

You’ll receive a response within:

  • 48 hours if your query is about poultry meat with optional indications
  • 5 working days if your query is about anything else
Published 31 December 2020
Last updated 3 March 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated section on authorised traders moving food from GB to NI.

  2. New guidance for bringing goods back to Great Britain if they have been rejected for import.

  3. First published.