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New EU health certification rules for animal-origin products

Published 3rd Feb 2022 by MY Export Hub

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announced new rules are due to come into force in January 2022 for companies exporting certain animal-origin and composite products to the EU – including changes to some health certification requirements.

New rules are due to come into force on 15th of January 2022 for companies exporting certain animal-origin and composite products to the EU – including changes to some health certification requirements.

The EU established the requirement for Animal Health Regulation (AHR) Export Health Certificates (EHCs), which must be signed by a vet, in legislation in April 2021, however

in August the bloc voted to delay the introduction of the new EHCs until 15 January 2022.

new rules include:

  • Changes to the EHCs required for different product groups
  • Changes to terms and conditions within EHCs
  • More focus on the treatment of products subject to the new control

Risk-based approach

He added that a risk-based approach is now being taken by the EU to composite foods – those products that contain both processed products of animal-origin and plant-based ingredients, for example a lasagne.

Booth said composite foods deemed higher risk will be subject to greater controls, including physical checks at border controls.

Composite goods deemed to be lower risk may benefit from reduced controls, meaning they may not be subject to physical checks when entering the EU.

Lower risk goods could include those that do not possess processed meat ingredients or those that are shelf stable and can be stored safely in an ambient temperature.

Booth added that the onus will be on the EU importer to prove that these goods are lower risk via a private attestation, with the UK exporter still providing relevant details about the ingredients, especially in relation to dairy and eggs.


Decision trees

Booth said businesses trading composite foods should look at advice and online decision trees provided by DEFRA to understand the nature of their products and the certification requirements around them.

“It’s the risk scoping that’s change, - The key for traders is to identify the treatment and nature of the ingredients in the products, look at the EHC terms and conditions and review guidance notes on EHC online. Then you can identify where your product sits.”

Import rule changes

New rules have also been introduced for EU goods entering Britain.

These include the requirement for import declarations to be completed at the point of entry and the need for importers of agrifood products to pre-notify authorities of their goods movements using the new Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS).

Further export health certification requirements and border checks are due to be introduced for all animal-origin, plant-based or composite products from July 2022.


As we can read from gov.uk website

This guidance applies to businesses in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) that export or move composite food products:

  • from Great Britain to the EU
  • from Great Britain to Northern Ireland
  • through the EU and Northern Ireland (known as transiting)

Composite food products are for human consumption only. They contain a mix of:

  • processed products of animal origin (POAO)
  • plant products used as a main ingredient - not just added for flavouring or processing

Examples are:

  • lasagne
  • pork pies
  • pepperoni pizza
  • cream liqueurs
  • chicken burritos

The following products are not composite products:

  • food made from unprocessed POAO, such as fresh chicken
  • plant-based food products with no POAO content
  • food not intended for human consumption
  • food with small amounts of plant products, such as oil or herbs added for processing or extra flavour (for example, cheeses with added herbs, sausages with garlic, yogurts with added fruit)

We recommend all exporters to regularly check for new updates on Export or move composite food products - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


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