STOP PRESS: EU delays need for GB traders exporting animal products to obtain health certificates

Tue 10 Aug 2021
Posted by: Noelle McElhatton
Trade News


meat on a wooden slab

The EU has voted to delay when traders must start to use the new Export Health Certificates (EHCs) for imports into the trading bloc – a measure that was intended to start from 21 August 2021.

The delay applies to GB traders moving, amongst other goods, products of animal origin to the EU and to Northern Ireland.

The EU voted to delay the requirement for new Animal Health Regulation (AHR) EHCs, which must be signed by a vet, until 15 January 2022.

Products covered by EHCs

EHCs are needed for the following goods entering the EU:

  • all products of animal origin
  • live animals
  • germinal products (animal semen, embryos or egg cells)
  • composite products

The move will be welcomed by British food producers, retailers and farmers in particular.

The EU’s proposal will mean that current EHCs signed before 15 January 2022 can be used until 15 March 2022 for goods on route to the EU. 

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

DEFRA email

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) emailed GB traders with the news this afternoon (Tuesday 10 August).

Kevin Shakespeare, the IOE&IT Academy’s director said the Institute would update members when more information is available.

“In the meantime, we encourage traders to review this announcement to reflect on the business impacts and to ensure appropriate certification applies,” he said.

Seafish, the public body supporting the £10bn UK seafood industry, tweeted the news to its members at 5pm today.