IOE and IT update: dual running of EHCs for animal-origin goods exported from GB to EU

Tue 31 Aug 2021
Posted by: Noelle McElhatton
Trade News

The EU is making changes to its animal health laws, introducing new Animal Health Regulation (AHR) Export Health Certificates (EHCs) for use by British exporters from 21 August 2021 for goods moved to Northern Ireland or exported to the EU from GB.

Earlier this month, the EU announced a delay to when traders must start to use the new EHCs, which must be signed by a vet, for imports into the trading bloc – from 21 August 2021 to 15 January 2022.

The delay relates to EHCs for all products of animal origin, live animals, germinal products and composite products.

New DEFRA guidance

Today (Friday 27 August) APHA – an agency of the Department for environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) – released further guidance on AHR EHCS to traders:

  • All existing and most of the new AHR EHCs are available and traders can decide which ones they wish to use until 15 January.
  • APHA encourages exporters to begin the process of moving towards using the new EHCs in a manner and time suitable to their business but in readiness for full switchover from 15 January 2022.
  • A small number of new EHCs have been removed from EHC Online for now. These include certificates for some live animals and dairy. This is because the EU will be amending some EHCs, and some are subject to ongoing discussions with the EU regarding GB’s disease freedom status.

Dual running

There will be dual running on the AHR EHCs for live fish, live crustaceans, live bivalve molluscs, echinoderms, tunicates and marine gastropods and products of animal origin from those animals intended for human consumption.

If traders are using the new EHCs, they can continue to sign on the basis they have been doing since January. The new EHCs contain changes regarding when an FCCO can certify the product. For further information, see links below.

Composite products

Changes to the rules for the certification of composite products, which took effect in April 2021, continue to apply.

Traders have been informed they should continue to use the new AHR composite EHCs if they have been doing so since April.

If their composite product used an EHC prior to 21 April 2021, they can now continue to use that EHC until 15 January 2022.


The new AHR EHCs will need to be used for all goods exported to the EU from 15 January 2022. Current EHCs signed before 15 January 2022 can be used until 15 March 2022 for goods on route to the EU.

Further information

Key changes to the AHR EHCs for fish, crustaceans and molluscs available in this APHA briefing note.

For more information on composite products – see this APHA briefing note.

DEFRA held webinars for certifiers in July on the AHR and new EHCs. Please see the fish slides and narrative from these webinars.

For further questions about the AHR and new EHCs please contact: