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Export Health Certificates

What is an Export Health Certificate?

Export Health Certificates (EHC) may be required by food manufacturers or exporters who wish to export food of an animal origin to countries outside of the European Community (EC), commonly referred to as third countries.

These certificates confirm that the business complies with all relevant legislation and the food produced is without risk to health.

APHA Export Health Certificates

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is responsible for issuing export health certificates (EHC) for certain products including fresh meat and dairy, and a range of other non-composite foods of animal origin to third countries that will only accept a formal APHA issued EHC signed by an official veterinarian. Under certain circumstances some APHA EHCs, e.g. for some dairy and fishery products can be signed by LA officers.

If you require an export health certificate you are advised in the first instance to make a check of APHA's published list of EHCs on the Find an export health certificate website. If an appropriate EHC is not listed, you should contact APHA to confirm whether or not an EHC is available:

Email:, or telephone 03000 200 301.

NFDC Export Health Certificates

For products not covered by the APHA EHC process, New Forest District Council may be able provide assurances that certain food and drink products produced in the District and being exported meet, as a minimum, UK food safety requirements as well as any additional conditions required by the destination country.

This is likely to apply to processed and composite food products, fishery products and products not of animal origin (PNOAO). Examples of such foods include some dairy products, processed meat products, alcoholic & non-alcoholic drinks, biscuits, cakes, pies, sweets & confectionary, preserves, fruit juices and food additives & flavourings.

Your business must either be registered or approved by New New Forest District Council.

You should follow the process below if the product does not require a formal EHC, but the importing country requires verification of compliance with food law.

The Process

  1. It is your responsibility as the exporter to liaise with the relevant country's embassy or consulate, food authority as well as the importer in the destination country to find out their requirements. Where possible this will inform the wording of any export certification which needs to be issued.

  2. You should then complete an docs icon Export Health Certificate Request [32kb] . The request form can include any required wording, and is also likely to include other key identifying information to be displayed on the certificate such as manufacturer, minimum durability, storage conditions, approval number, consignor, consignee, destination, product, quantity, country of origin, date of production, packaging and batch number.

  3. Once we have received your application we will then contact you by phone to enable you to make a credit card payment.
  4. Following payment we will undertake all of the necessary inspections/checks required to corroborate and verify that the requirements of the certificate have been met. This is likely to include inspection of the consignment and associated documents such as HACCP monitoring records. For subsequent requests from the same business, an inspection may not be required and photographic evidence of the consignment may be sufficient.
  5. We will try and incorporate the wording indicated on your request form onto the EHC.  However, we cannot include wording that implies that we can vouch for the safety of an individual batch or consignment of food. Our wording normally reflects the fact that your foodstuffs are produced and stored in premises subject to our jurisdiction as a food authority, and which have been subject to a satisfactory inspection programme.
  6. If the importing country requires a certificate stating that the product is fit for human consumption we would need to substantiate the claim before this could be stated on a certificate.  This would require examination or analysis at a food laboratory of a sample(s) from the batch being exported. It is your responsibility to arrange and pay for this.
  7. We will provide a draft certificate for your approval prior to issuing the final copy to you.
  8. We reserve the right to decline to issue a certificate if your premises, hygiene standards and or practices fail to meet food safety standards.

How Long does the process take?

The process normally takes between 3 -5 days; however, where a template EHC is not available, or is being sourced from the APHA the process can take significantly longer.

How much will an export Certificate Cost?

There is a cost associated with EHC's, further information is detailed on the Environmental Health Fees and Charges 2019/2020 webpage. 

Updated: 8 Nov 2019
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